Lap band surgery is one of the widely accepted surgical methods for weight loss. This article will provide you with a brief overview about this procedure.
Weight loss seems to be a distant dream for many, who try various methods for achieving the same. There are different types of diets, exercise programs, and many other methods introduced with the aim of losing flabs. While some people find these methods effective, others may not. When all other methods fail, obese people resort to surgical measures to lose weight. Even surgical procedures for weight loss are of different types, and gastric lap band procedure is one among them. People who are in the age group of 18 to 55 years, and are obese for the last five years, can opt for this surgery. They must have almost double their ideal body weight or have any serious health problem that can be relieved by tackling obesity through this surgery.
Lap band procedure is usually done laparoscopically, but in some cases, open surgery may become necessary. Usually, this happens when the patient has already undergone an abdominal surgery, or is extremely obese, or has serious medical problems.
The patient is administered with general anesthesia and an inflatable silicone ring is positioned around the upper part of the stomach. Small incisions are made on the stomach wall and through these incisions, the surgical instruments are inserted. One of the incisions is used for inserting a laparoscopic camera, which is placed inside the abdomen. The images sent by the camera are displayed through a monitor, and this allows the surgeon to see the inner parts and perform the surgery. The inflatable ring is connected to an access port placed beneath the skin in the abdomen, using a thin tube. The ring is not inflated during the surgery.
How Does a Lap Band Work
Once the lap band is secured around the upper part of the stomach, a small pouch called stoma is formed at the top portion of the stomach. This stoma is small, as compared to the remaining part of the stomach. In most cases, the stoma can hold around ½ to one cup of food, whereas the capacity of a normal stomach is six cups. As the stoma can hold very less amounts of food, the person feels full, even if he consumes food in small quantities.
The stoma has a narrow opening that connects it to the larger part of the stomach. This slows down the pace of movement of food from the stoma to the larger part. So, the person doesn’t feel hungry for a long time, and this results in reduced intake of food, leading to weight loss. The band is adjustable as it can be inflated or deflated by introducing or removing saline solution.
Adjusting the levels of saline solution inside the ring is normally done through the access port placed beneath the skin. The band is adjusted as per the requirement and comfort of the individual. If the band is too loose, the food passes too fast from the stoma to the bigger part of the stomach, and the person would feel more hungry. If it is too tight, the food doesn’t pass through the digestive system in a proper manner, leading to other problems. So the band is adjusted several times by the surgeon, so as to obtain an ideal positioning.
The advantages of this method is that it is less invasive and more safe. It does not require any cutting or stapling of the stomach, nor does it cause any serious change in the anatomy of the stomach. It is adjustable as per the requirements of the patient and is fully reversible. Complications, like infection, slipping of the band, gastritis, erosion of the stomach wall, internal bleeding, etc., may also occur. The cost for this procedure may range between $10,000 to $20,000 and may vary from one place to another.
Cost of lap band procedure includes the cost of adjustments and fills that may range between $35 to $200. Even though this surgery is said to be safe, consider it as the last option. Try other methods for weight loss, before resorting to surgery. If you decide to opt for this procedure, contact an expert surgeon and make sure that you understand all the benefits and complications related to this procedure.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.