ADVANCED LAP-BAND CENTER
Surgical Center for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity
Louis Fox, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Medical City Hospital, Dallas, Tx. 75230
phone 972.566.4560 – fax 972.566.6239 laparoscopic gastric banding
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1.Will I be sick a lot after the operation?
- How long will it take to recover after surgery?
- How much weight will I lose?
- How do the weight-loss results with the LAP-BAND compare to those with the gastric bypass?
- Does the LAP-BAND require frequent office visits after surgery?
- Does the LAP-BAND limit any physical activity?
- How is the band adjusted?
- Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?
- Can the band be removed?
- Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?
- Is it true that the LAP-BAND seems “tighter” in the morning?
- Will I feel hungry or deprived with the LAP-BAND?
- What will happen if I become ill?
- What about pregnancy?
- Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
- What about other medication?
- What if I go out to eat?
- What about alcohol?
- Can I eat anything in moderation?
- Will I suffer from constipation?
- Q: Will I be sick a lot after the operation?
The LAP-BAND® System limits food intake. If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well or that you are not following the diet rules properly. However, it could also mean that there is a problem with the placement of the band so you should contact us if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible. It can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch. It can also lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band, which would reduce the success of the operation. In some cases, it would also require another operation.
- Q: How long will it take to recover after surgery?
The LAP-BAND surgery is performed laparoscopically and is typically done as an outpatient in a day surgery setting. This laproscopic procedure takes about one hour to perform under general anesthesia. Patients begin drinking liquids and are walking within one to two hours after surgery. 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.
- Q: 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. The band needs to be in the right position, and you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Obesity surgery is not a miracle cure, and the pounds won’t come off by themselves. It is very important to set achievable weight-loss goals from the beginning. A weight loss of 2 to 3 pounds a week in the first year after the operation is possible, but one pound a week is more likely. Twelve to eighteen months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Remember that you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too fast 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.
- Q: How do the weight-loss results with the LAP-BAND compare to those with the gastric bypass?
You should focus on long-term weight loss and remember that it is important to lose weight gradually while reducing obesity-related risks and improving your health. Gastric bypass patients loose weight faster because of the malabsorptive component of the bypass surgery. However, at two to three years post-op, the Lap-Band patients may approach the same weight loss.
- Q: 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. Frequent post-op visits have been shown to result in better weight loss. Bad eating habits can be addressed and changed. Also during these post-op visits, adjustments (band fills) are performed to drive the weight loss.
- Q: Does the LAP-BAND limit any physical activity?
The LAP-BAND does not affect or hamper physical activity including aerobics, stretching and strenuous exercise.
- Q: How is the band adjusted?
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. It may take place in the doctor’s office, at an outpatient “Fill Center” clinic under Flouroscopy X-ray or in an AfterCare program setting.
- Q: 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 and stitched in place to the abdominal wall muscle. 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.
- Q: Can the band be removed?
Although the LAP-BAND® System is not meant to be removed, it can be. In most cases, this can be done laparoscopically. The stomach generally returns to its original shape once the band is removed. After the removal, though, you may soon go back to your old eating habits and regain your weight or even more. You always want to keep your band in place and well adjusted to keep you accountable.
- Q: Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?
That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery will not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation. Sometimes the skin will contract and mold itself around the new body tissue. You should give the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery.