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Lap Band

While millions of severely overweight Americans do try diet, fitness and medication programs to treat their obesity, unfortunately these efforts usually offer only short-term results. Medical studies show that if you are obese, you are not likely to achieve significant long-term weight loss through diet and behavior changes, alone.

Minimally invasive weight loss surgery, such as the LAP-BAND® System, may be your best option for losing and long-term control of excess weight.

How it works

The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a simple yet advanced gastric banding system that helps you gradually lose and control your weight by reducing the amount of food that your stomach can hold at one time. Allergan is the pioneer of adjustable gastric banding in the United States – this is a constantly evolving technology, involving a great deal of research and development.

The name “LAP-BAND” comes from the minimally invasive surgical technique used (laparoscopy) and the silicone gastric band placed around the top of the upper part of your stomach. The LAP-BAND® System works by helping you control your food intake and supporting long term, sustainable weight loss.

LAP-BAND® Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be sick frequently after the operation?

The LAP-BAND®  System limits food intake. If you feel nauseous 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. However, it could  also mean that there is a problem with the placement of the LAP-BAND® System, so <em>contact your doctor if this problem persists</em>.  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 LAP-BAND® System and reduce the success of the operation. In some cases, it may require another operation.

How long will it take to recover after surgery?

If LAP-BAND®  Adjustable Gastric Banding System surgery is performed  laparoscopically, patients typically spend less than 24 hours in the  hospital. Most patients return to work in about a week, and to exercise  in about a month to 6 weeks. In the case of open surgery, or if there  are complications, recovery may take longer.

How much weight will I lose?JeansLostWeight

Weight loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you lose depends on several things. The LAP-BAND®  System needs to be in the right position, and you need to be committed  to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Weight loss 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 start. A weight  loss of 2 to 3 pounds a week in the first year after the operation is  possible, but 1 pound a week is more likely. Twelve to 18 months after  the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Gradual yet steady  weight loss with the LAP-BAND® System can be healthy for  you. Losing weight too quickly creates a health risk and can lead to a  number of problems. The main goal is to have weight loss that prevents,  improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.

How do the weight loss results with the LAP-BAND® System compare to those with gastric bypass?

Surgeons have reported that gastric bypass patients lose weight faster in the first year. At 3 years, however, many LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System patients have achieved weight loss comparable to that of gastric bypass patients.1,2  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.

Does the LAP-BAND® System require frequent visits to my doctor after surgery?

Check-ups with your doctor are a normal and very important part of the LAP-BAND®  System follow-up. Many surgeons see their patients weekly or biweekly  during the first month and every 4 to 12 weeks for the first year.  Adjustments may be performed during some of these visits. It is typical  for follow-up visits to be scheduled every 3 to 6 months during the  second and third year, depending on the individual case.

Does the LAP-BAND® System limit any physical activity?

The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System should not hamper physical activity, including aerobics, stretching, and strenuous exercise.

How is the LAP-BAND® System adjusted?

Adjustments are often carried out in the X-ray department. They are  done there so the access port can be clearly seen. When X-rays are  used, your reproductive organs should be shielded. Sometimes  adjustments can be done in an outpatient clinic or office, and local  anesthesia may or may not be needed. 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 and most patients say it is nearly  painless.

Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?

 The access port is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall, and  once the incisions have healed, it should not cause discomfort or limit  any physical exercise. The only sensation you may experience from the  port occurs when you go in for adjustments. If you feel persistent  discomfort in the port area, talk to your doctor.

Can other people see that I have a port?

The port is placed under your skin and is generally not noticeable even if that area of your abdomen is exposed.

Can the LAP-BAND® System be removed?

Although the LAP-BAND®  Adjustable Gastric Banding System is not meant to be removed, it can  be, in some cases laparoscopically. Surgeons report that the stomach  generally returns to its original shape once the LAP-BAND® System is removed. After the removal, though, you may gain more weight.

Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?WeightSuccess

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 since the  skin will sometimes mold itself around the new body tissue. Give the  skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more  surgery.

Is it true that the LAP-BAND® System seems “tighter” in the morning?

This is a fairly common feeling, especially for people with a LAP-BAND®  Adjustable Gastric Banding System that is too tight or just after an  adjustment. During the day, the water content in the body changes and  this may cause the LAP-BAND® System to feel “tighter” some of the time. Some women have also noticed that the LAP-BAND® System feels tighter during menstruation.

Will I feel hungry or deprived with the LAP-BAND® System?

The LAP-BAND®  System helps 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, the  amount of which varies from person to person, 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  LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a tool to help you change your eating habits.

What will happen if I become ill?

One of the major advantages of the LAP-BAND® System is that it can be adjusted. If your illness requires you to eat more, the LAP-BAND®  System can be loosened by removing saline from it. When you have  recovered from your illness and want to lose weight again, the LAP-BAND® System can be tightened by increasing the amount of saline. If the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System cannot be loosened enough, it may have to be removed.

What about pregnancy?

Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual  cycle may become more regular. If you need to eat more while you are  pregnant, the LAP-BAND® System can be loosened. After pregnancy, the LAP-BAND® System may be made tighter again and you can resume losing weight.

Will I need to take vitamin supplements?

You may. It’s possible to not get enough vitamins from three small  meals a day. At your regular check-ups, your specialist will evaluate  whether you are getting enough vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. Your  surgeon may advise you to take supplements.

What about other medications?

You should be able to take prescribed medication, though you may need  to use capsules. Break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water,  so they do not get stuck in the stoma and make you sick. Always ask the  doctor who prescribes the drugs about this. Your surgeon may tell you  to avoid taking aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain  relievers because they may irritate the stomach. The problems these  drugs may cause could result in LAP-BAND® System removal.

What if I go out to eat?

Order only a small amount of food, such as an appetizer. Eat slowly.  Finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let  your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much.

What about alcohol?HappyLoosingWeight

Alcohol has a high number of calories and breaks down vitamins. An  occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, though, is not  considered harmful to weight loss.3

Can I eat anything in moderation?

After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause  you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little, it is  important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients,  such as those recommended in the nutrition section of this booklet and  as advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian. If you eat foods that  contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of “empty”  calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System may be greatly reduced or even cancelled.

Will I suffer from constipation?

There may be some reduction in the volume of your stools, which is  normal after a decrease in food intake, because you eat less fiber.  This should not cause you severe problems. If difficulties do arise,  check with your doctor. He or she may suggest you take a mild laxative  and drink plenty of water for a while. Your needs will vary, but you  should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.

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