Bariatrics Frequently Asked Questions

Obesity and Weight Loss Surgery -
Gastric Banding or Lap Banding

 


Gastric banding is purely a restrictive procedure. It involves applying a band around the top of the stomach forming two portions of the stomach – a proximal small ‘pouch’ of about 15cc and a distal large normal stomach. The band is connected via a narrow tube to a reservoir ‘port’, which is kept underneath the skin usually over the breast bone or the lower ribs. The band could be adjusted by removing or injecting fluid into the ‘port’. This restricts the food that can pass through the stomach. Even a small amount of food will stretch the ‘pouch’ and create the feeling of fullness. It has the advantage of being relatively safe, less complex & reversible, but requires close follow-up to decrease the size of the stomach pouch outlet as the band is inflated over a period of weeks.

 

How long will it take to recover after surgery?
As the surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients typically spend 24 hours or less in the hospital. It takes most patients about 1-2 weeks to return to work (most go to work with in a week) and a month to six weeks to resume vigorous exercising. However, patient will vary depending on their own situation.

Will I feel hungry with the band?
The band makes you eat less and feel full in two ways - first by reducing the capacity of your stomach and second by increasing the time it takes food to get through the digestive system. After a small meal, you should feel full. If you follow the nutrition guidelines when you choose your food and then chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived. Remember that the band is a tool to help you change your eating habits.

Will I vomit a lot after the operation?
The band limits food intake. If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well enough or that you are not following the diet rules properly. Contact your doctor if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible as it can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch. It can also lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band or cause erosion of the band into the stomach. In such circumstances you may have to have the band removed, which could also be done laparoscopically.

How much weight will I lose?
Weight-loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you lose depends on several things. The band needs to be tight enough to restrict your food 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. You lose a lot of weight initially. Twelve to eighteen months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. The main goal is to have weight loss that prevents, improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.

How frequently have I to visit the doctor after surgery?
Regular check-ups are necessary. Patients are seen 2 weeks after the surgery and then every 2 - 12 weeks for the first year. Adjustments are performed during some of these visits. It is typical for follow-up visits to be scheduled every three to six months during the second and third year, depending on the individual case.

Does the band limit any physical activity?
The band does not hamper physical activity including aerobics and strenuous exercise.

How is the band adjusted?
Adjustments are often done in an outpatient clinic or the physician’s office. Sometimes adjustments may be carried out in the X-ray department. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline; this will tighten or loosen the band.

Can the band be removed?
It can be, usually laparoscopically. The stomach generally returns to its original shape once the band is removed. After the removal, though, you may soon go back up to your original weight. You may also gain more weight.

What will happen if I start vomiting?
One of the major advantages of the gastric band is that it can be adjusted. The band can be loosened by removing saline from it. When you have recovered from your illness and want to lose weight again, the band can be tightened by increasing the amount of saline. If the band cannot be loosened enough, it may have to be removed by surgery.

What about pregnancy?
Your doctor will tell you how much weight to lose after surgery, but it is recommended that you wait to become pregnant until your weight is stabilized. Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. The menstrual cycle may become more regular. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened.  After pregnancy, the band may be made tighter again and you can resume losing weight.

Address and Contact Information

 

400 West I-635

Suite 101

Irving, TX 75063

 

Hospital Main:
(972) 868-4000
Hospital Fax:
(972) 868-4009
Surgery Waiting Room:
(972) 868-4113
Surgery Registration:
(972) 868-4065
Imaging Registration:
(972) 868-4151
Imaging Scheduling:
(972) 868-4152
Administration:
(972) 868-4000
Emergency Room:
(972) 868-4111

 

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