An increasing number of people are getting bariatric surgery. In fact, 1 out of 3 adults in North America is classified as obese. Every year, more than half a million people globally undergo bariatric surgery. In 2017 alone, 228,000 Americans underwent a weight loss medical procedure.
One of the most popular weight-loss medical procedures is lap band surgery. If you’ve heard of this procedure, you might have also heard of some negative things about it. That’s why in this article, we’ll list some of the misconceptions about lap band surgery and debunk each one.
What is lap band surgery?
First, let’s define what lap band surgery is. Lap band surgery is an adjustable surgical treatment for people who are severely obese and have medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
Lap band surgery involves the placement of an inflatable silicone band in the patient’s upper stomach to limit the amount of food that your stomach can hold. Because of the limited space of the stomach for food, you feel fuller sooner even with a smaller food intake. An adjustment port is attached to the band to allow your doctor to adjust the tightness if necessary.
Of the various weight loss medical procedures available, lap band surgery may be considered the least complicated. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that does not involve cutting, stapling, or stomach rerouting. It is done through laparoscopy with small incisions in your abdomen made to insert the adjustable gastric band in your upper stomach.
With lap band surgery, there is also less post-operative pain. In fact, patients can even go home on the day of the surgery itself. It requires a shorter hospital stay. Furthermore, recovery time is faster compared with other medical procedures for weight loss. Any post-operative complications are also less likely for lap band surgery procedures.
Unlike gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery is flexible and reversible as the gastric band placed in the stomach can be adjusted or removed if needed. This may entail additional procedures down the line though. Patients who have undergone lap band surgery also have the lowest vitamin and mineral deficiencies compared with gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery.
What are some myths surrounding lap band surgery?
While lap band surgery is already a very viable procedure for weight loss, there are still some misunderstandings about it. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Lap band surgery is a quick and easy weight loss fix.
Going for lap band surgery is a choice that you make to improve your health. It is not a quick and easy fix for your weight loss challenges, as it also has to be accompanied by lifestyle and changes in your food intake to keep the weight off permanently. It’s definitely not a one-and-done deal.
2. Weight loss from lap band surgery is not sustainable.
Patients who have gone through lap band surgery keep at least half of the weight they have lost on a long-term basis with the help of changes in lifestyle, proper nutrition, and eating habits. It won’t be sustainable, however, if the patients do not follow the doctor’s orders or guidelines.
3. The procedure costs a lot of money.
Of course, any surgical procedure entails costs. And with a weight loss medical procedure oftentimes as the only remaining option for severely obese individuals with health issues, the cost of having one is justified. But actually, lap band surgery costs much less than undergoing gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery.
4. You cannot have an MRI with the gastric band in your stomach.
You can still get an MRI even if you have had lap band surgery. Just make sure to let the radiologist know about your lap band surgery so that any adjustments needed in the machine settings can be made.
5. Lap bands will give you problems with metal detectors.
Depending on the sensitivity of the detector, a lap band, along with other metallic items you have with you, may sound off the alarm as you pass through an airport metal detector. To be on the safe side, always carry with you a card that identifies you as having had lap band surgery, with the name and contact details of your surgeon. That will ensure you have no problems getting through.
6. Lap band surgery is not recommended for morbidly obese patients
Lap band surgery actually has lower death rates compared to other forms of bariatric surgery. Therefore, for individuals with a BMI of over 50 and with existing health conditions, going for lap band surgery is the better option. Remember, lap band surgery has lesser complications and is minimally invasive. Recovery time from a lap band surgery is also shorter which is good for the morbidly obese patient.
7. Weight loss will be too quick and drastic.
This is not true, as on average, patients who have undergone lap band surgery lose around 2-3 pounds a week. The upper limit of 3 pounds is only slightly higher than the optimal weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week. With proper nutrition and changes in food intake and lifestyle, you can work on a target of a 2-pound per week weight loss after lap band surgery.
8. You will be restricted to a liquid diet forever.
Being on a liquid diet after surgery is temporary. Your doctor or dietitian will at first only let you eat pureed foods. However, you can also soon eat soft foods depending on their determination of your digestive system’s readiness. In a couple of months, you can eat solid food once again. Just make sure that you know which types of food to avoid, to eat in smaller portions, and to eat slowly and chew your food well.
9. Lapband surgery is a dangerous surgical procedure
While complications may still arise, of the available weight-loss surgical procedures, lap band surgery still has the slimmest chances of having post-surgical issues. The procedure also does not involve open surgery, with only minor incisions made to the stomach.
10. Any surgeon can do a lap band surgery
A lap band surgery is best done by a surgeon that has familiarity and expertise with the procedure. Make sure to choose a bariatric surgeon that has performed the procedure repeatedly and is an expert in the field.
Get expert lap band surgery today!
Now that we have debunked the myths, are you now interested in getting lap band surgery procedure done?
At The Weight Loss Surgery Center Of Los Angeles, we perform excellent and expert lap band surgery. Dr. Davtyan, a well-recognized, highly respected, and most qualified weight loss surgeon, and his competent team will walk you through the whole process – from discussing how lap band surgery works to making the decision to get one, and in providing the best care possible throughout the procedure.
We understand your weight loss challenges. Talk to us. We are here to listen to you. And once you have decided, we will journey with you to help you realize your health and weight goals so you can finally have that life that you want.