Gastric banding is a weight loss procedure that has important candidacy requirements that patients need to qualify for surgery. The LAP BAND specifically, involves putting an adjustable band around the upper portion of the stomach using a laparoscopy. The band is made of metal and silicone doughnut-shaped ring. By putting this ring on the upper stomach, it puts a limit to how big the stomach can grow.

About Lap Band Surgery

Lap Band (Gastric Banding) restricts the size of the stomach and limits the amount of food the stomach can hold it also slows the passage of the food to the intestine.

Over the past several years, the adjustable gastric band – most commonly referred to as the “Lap Band” – has fallen out of favor among bariatric surgeons in the United States and Mexico. The procedure was found to have too many complications, without the results that make the risk worth the reward.

Yet there are still some individuals that prefer the Lap-Band to other, more successful procedures, such as the gastric sleeve. Lap band surgery candidates must meet very specific requirements in order to qualify for the procedure, and these requirements should be discussed with your bariatric surgeon thoroughly in order to determine whether or not the Lap-Band is the best choice for you.

How do I Prepare for Lap Band?

Depending on the surgeon or hospital, the preparation will vary. Many hospitals would like to see how well you commit to the necessary lifestyle changes before surgery to see how you would perform.

Usually, if your body mass index (BMI) is greater than 50 or if you have any medical issues, you should discuss it with your doctor first if anything needs to be done pre-operatively.

Am I a Candidate for Lap Band Surgery?

Requirement #1: BMI Between 30 and 45

While there is no minimum weight for Lap-Band surgery, you are expected to have a BMI between 40 and 45 or be 100 lbs. overweight, or have a BMI between 30 and 40 and be diagnosed with obesity-related diseases, such as type II diabetes. Patients with a BMI over 45 are not considered candidates for Lap-Band surgery and may benefit from gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass.

Requirement #2: Ready for Frequent Follow-Ups

As many as 50% of those that undergo the adjustable gastric band ends up having it removed due to issues and complications with the band. These complications include band slippage, band leakage, and band erosion. In order to avoid more serious complications, it is important for Lap-Band patients to follow up with their doctor frequently.

Requirement #3: Strongly Motivated to Make Huge Lifestyle Changes

Lap Band surgery is only the first step in the weight loss process. You will need to exercise, eat low-calorie meals, and change your lifestyle to promote weight loss after surgery. But the adjustable gastric band requires extensive motivation because the Lap-Band promotes less weight loss and has stricter dietary restrictions than sleeve gastrectomy.

In addition, gastric sleeve surgery reduces the amount of hunger hormone (Ghrelin) in your stomach, while Lap-Band does not, and since the Lap-Band can permanently stretch if you do not stick to your dietary changes, this means a greater level of commitment to the weight loss process than with alternative procedures.

How Safe is Lap Band Surgery?

Many people contact our bariatric surgery center and ask us, “is Lap-Band surgery safe?” because many are under the impression that it is safer than both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass.

Mortality rates for Lap-Band are very low. The procedure is performed laparoscopically, which means that it is minimally invasive with very small incisions and no scarring. Band problems, food trapping, esophageal dilation, bowel changes, blood clots, acid reflux disease (GERD), and pouch dilation are the most common concerns, as well as complications with patient non-compliance.

Safety and Results of Lap-Band

Lap Band is a safe procedure that we perform here at our Mexico weight loss surgery center. But it has fallen out of favor due to its lower weight loss total, high removal rate, and complications. If you’re interested in learning more about Lap Band – or any of the alternative options available.

How long is the recovery after lap band surgery?

Recovery varies among individuals because everyone has a different body. Compared to other bariatric surgeries, the lap band has the fastest recovery time. People usually return to work one to two weeks after surgery. Normal activity resumes a range from 6 to 12 weeks.

What can I expect my lifestyle to be after lap band surgery (LAGB)?

After surgery, there will be some pain and the quality of life will take a major adjusting. This is totally normal. The weight loss is also a linear and gradual process as in the beginning you may lose 2 to 3 pounds a week then it would naturally slow down and curve out.

After about 18 months the weight loss may not even be noticeable as you won’t even lose weight. Dieting would also be a huge part as people would have to follow guidelines on what to eat and what not to eat.

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