Risks of Weight Loss Surgery
The operation to place the LAP-BAND typically takes less than an hour to perform and the plication an hour. Using laparoscopic (keyhole) incisions means more comfort after surgery. Most patients go home the same or the next day, and most patients only need Tylenol for minor discomfort.
RETURN TO YOUR LIFE QUICKLY
Ask our nurse, Ann: “I had my choice of any surgery for my weight loss, and chose the LAP-BAND. I had my surgery on a Tuesday and went back to work on Monday. I felt so good I could have returned to work on Thursday. It was the best choice I have ever made. Three years later and I have more energy than ever. l love my new look and I feel great. Thank you, Dr. Simpson.” The plication is similar.
When you want your LAP-BAND or plication operation, who do you want as your surgeon? A fine surgery is a series of repetitive steps, and ones that we do more than any other practice in Arizona and the Southwest. Experience leads to good results, our dedication to our Gastric plication and LAP-BAND patients leads to great results.
The LAP-BAND is the safest weight loss surgery in the world. With over 1.5 million being placed world-wide, and a record of safety that is ten times safer than gastric bypass procedures or sleeve proceedures. . No staples here. No re-arranging of guts. Still, this is major surgery, and with any major surgery there are risks, these include, but are not limited to infection, excess bleeding, injury to other organs (such as the stomach or esophagus, spleen, or liver), deep venous thrombosis (clots) that can break off and go to the lung (pulmonary embolus), and even death. Further, any underlying health disorder can be exacerbated by surgery (heart disease leading to a heart attack, for example).
ADJUSTABLE AND REVERSIBLE
The LAP-BAND can be adjusted for your needs. No two people are alike, and the LAP-BAND can be adjusted to fit your needs. We can customize your weight loss to fit your needs. Need more nutrition because of pregnancy? Simply deflate the balloon. Afraid you are losing too fast—we can open it easily.
The LAP-BAND is not another diet, it is not a gimmick, it is the first tool that provides built-in feedback and allows you to enjoy food, and lose weight by eating less and being satisfied. We know the tools to make your journey a success—our practice is dedicating to getting the bandster through their weight loss journey and to their goal. Since all weight loss operations are simply tools for helping you lose weight, the long-term results of all weight loss operations are essentially the same. Long-term, you can lose just as much weight with a LAP-BAND as you can with any other weight loss operation and the LAP-BAND is at least ten times safer than the gastric bypass and duodenal switch. It is true that if you do everything right after surgery, the success rate is 100%. If you are sabotaging your weight loss operation, the results are poor. We are here for your journey. Unlike other weight loss operations—with the LAP-BAND you can continue to lose weight.
Like every other weight loss operation, LAP-BAND patients typically will lose between 50 to 75% of their excess weight. The amount of weight loss varies, and is dependent upon how well you are using the tool, making wise food choices and exercising. We have many patients that have lost 100% of their excess weight. How? Because our practice is dedicated to the LAP-BAND—you won’t get advise meant for other operations. You can lose 100% of your excess weight if you are motivated. Unlike other operations, with the LAP-BAND there is no “golden window,” you can restart weight loss with a simple adjustment of the band, or a change in behaviors (a head adjustment).
LAP-BAND patients lose weight slower than gastric bypass patients, but the weight loss is about the same at two years. The slower weight loss is actually healthier for you and does not come from muscle wasting and protein malnutrition, which is typical of malabsorptive operations. Vitamin deficiencies are uncommon in LAP-BAND patients as well because there is no malabsorption. Without question, the LAP-BAND is the lowest-risk weight loss operation.
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
We use state-of-the-art laparoscopic equipment, with the most modern surgical suites in Arizona. We perform the LAP-BAND procedure through several small incisions with the aid of high definition fiberoptic camera and specialized instruments. This minimizes post-operative pain and recovery. During the surgery, we place an adjustable gastric band around the top part of the stomach, where the satiety center is (where you have the nerves that tell you that you are full) and it creates a small 1 ounce gastric pouch without cutting the intestines, over time this pouch allows a person to eat a cup of food comfortably. A small section of tubing connects the band to the adjusting port that we place under the skin in the abdominal wall allowing easy access for adjustments in the office. The inner lining of the band is a balloon that we fill with saline to narrow the stomach opening, thus limiting the amount of food that can pass. By food staying in this upper pouch longer, the person feels full longer, thus unlikely to snack.
We add saline via the access port with a needle and syringe. We hide the port beneath the skin so it will not limit your activity level. Adjustments involve placing a needle into the port and adding or withdrawing saline. This allows patients to have an individualized weight loss program, which we customize to their situation. Nurse Ann says, “I have had a few adjustments, the needle they use is smaller than the one I use to draw blood. Getting an adjustment is easier and more comfortable than any lab test.” The schedule of adjustments varies with each patient, and is done individually to fit weight loss needs. Typically, we do the first adjustment six weeks after surgery and as needed after that so you get full on small amounts of food and lose about 1-2 pounds per week.
Weight loss occurs because small amounts of food make you feel full. It also decreases the background hunger that is so typical of dieting. Patients say they lose their obsession with food and are satisfied with smaller meals. The LAP-BAND stays in forever. It does not have to be removed.
Advantages – LAP-BAND
• Safest weight loss operation
• Less invasive
• No cutting, stapling or rearranging of the intestines
• Complications are fewer and less severe
• Vitamin needs are simple and vitamin deficiencies are rare
• Avoids severe osteoporosis from calcium deficiency
• Avoids unhealthy muscle wasting from protein deficiency
• No “dumping syndrome”
• No stretched out pouch causing weight regain
• Can be adjusted during pregnancy for adequate calories and vitamins
• Weight loss is healthier, slower and less likely to cause gallbladder problems
• Less expensive if you have to pay for your operation
• Outpatient in most cases
Compilations specific to the LAP-BAND
Slippage & Erosion (these problems are now rare with modern techniques). They occur about one in two thousand times. Both would require reoperation to repair. We do not know why erosions occur, although they clearly have diminished. Slippage or prolapse occur when patients overeat chronically, and can be avoided.
Port problems (easy to repair). Ports can flip, requiring minor surgery to re-suture in place, they can erode or become infected. Tubing can also become detached and require surgery to repair.
The complications of a LAP-BAND, when compared to other weight loss operations, are much less. It has been compared to having a fender bender(LAP-BAND complications) or an airline crash (gastric bypass complications).
Contraindications: The LAP-BAND System is not recommended for patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are pregnant.
Warnings: The LAP-BAND System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required at some time. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Patients should not expect to lose weight as fast as gastric bypass patients, but you can lose the same amount of weight. Slower weight loss is healthier, preventing muscle wasting.
Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND System is major surgery and, like any surgery, complications can occur, from minor complications such as infection in the incisions, to major complications such as heart attacks, strokes, or even death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body.
Not all contraindications, warnings or adverse events are included in this brief description. More detailed risk information is available at www.lap-band.com or 1-877-LAP-BAND. In addition, in our patient consent form — under the form section, you can download our consent form and read through that information.