FAQs About Weight Loss Surgery
Does the LAP-BAND® work as well as other weight loss operations?
The LAP-BAND® is safer than other weight loss operations, and is effective with two important points: having a practice that is dedicated to the LAP-BAND®, and available, and the willingness of a patient to follow up as needed for adjustments and support.
How well does the Gastric Plication with Lap-Band work?
The gastric plication with Lap Band appears to have a faster weight loss than the Lap-Band alone. There appears to be a lower slip rate and more satisfaction.
How long to recover after the Sleeve?
Well motivated person can go home the same day, although some spend the night.
How long will it take to recover after surgery?
The LAP-BAND® surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients typically go home the same dayl. It takes most patients about a week to return to work and a month to six weeks to resume exercising. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.
The Gastric Plication (stomach plication) with Lap-Band is also performed laparoscopically, and home the same day. Rarely there may have some early nausea with the plication surgery. Return to work is typically one week.
Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?
There are no restrictions based on the access port. It is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall, and once the incisions have healed it should not cause discomfort or limit your movements or any physical exercise. The only sensation you may have from the port is when you go in for adjustments. If you feel persistent discomfort in the port area, let us know as soon as possible.
How is the band adjusted?
Adjustments are often carried out in our office or sometimes in the X-ray department. When X-rays are used, your reproductive organs should be shielded. Local anesthesia may or may not be needed. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline. This process most often takes only a few minutes. Most patients say it is nearly painless.
Does the LAP-BAND® require frequent office visits after surgery?
Check-ups are a normal and a very important part of the LAP-BAND® System follow-up. We see the patient 2-3 days following surgery to check the wounds. Then we see the patient at six weeks post-op where we consider the first fill. We will see our patients as often as needed for fills, advice, encouragement, and classes.
Will I feel hungry or deprived after surgery?
The LAP-BAND® does not make you eat less or feel full. There is no reduction in the capacity of your stomach nor does the band increasing the time it takes food to get through the digestive system. The band works two hours after you eat, not when you eat. If two hours after you eat you notice hunger then you need a band adjustment. Remember that the LAP-BAND® is a tool to help you change your eating habits.
The Gastric (stomach) Sleeve limits the capacity of what you can eat. Thus you can eat about a cup to a cup and a half of food after surgical swelling has gone down. You won’t feel hungry after eating a small amount of food – but you do need to eat healthy food.
How much weight will I lose?
Weight loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you may lose depends on several things. Primarily, you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Obesity surgery is a tool for weight loss. Our program will help you determine reasonable goals for your weight loss. A weight loss of 50 to 100 pounds in the first year, although patients can lose more. Remember that you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too quickly creates a health risk and can lead to a number of problems. Your main goal is to have weight loss that prevents, improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.
Can I eat anything in moderation?
After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients and we will provide you with menu plans and recipes for these. If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of “empty” calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of any weight loss surgery may be greatly reduced or canceled.
What if I go out to eat?
Order only a small amount of food, such as an appetizer portion. Eat slowly. Finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much.
Are there people who would do better with the RNY or DS?
No. The primary method of weight reduction is restriction. The RNY and DS start you out with maximum restriction, and as time goes on the patient’s stomach, or pouch enlarges. If a patient’s pouch enlarges with a LAP-BAND® we simply remove the fluid, and allow the pouch to return to its normal size. The effect of malabsorption with the DS or RNY is lost after several years.
What about the iLap Combination Procedure?
We find a number of patients opting for the combination procedure because it increases weight loss, but gives them two great ways to loose weight. This is an experimental procedure, but we have been quite happy with the results of it.