Lap Band Surgery Overview
Since its introduction in 2001 to the United States and 1993 to Europe and Australia, the Lap-band is one of the most popular forms of bariatric surgery. The Lap band helps patients suffering with obesity and weight related medical disorders to lose weight by restricting how much food could be eaten over the course of a day, resulting in weight loss. With this simple surgical technique, a smaller stomach becomes full sooner and empties into the intestines at a slower rate, promoting slower digestion. Over time, the band can be adjusted according to patient's desires, or if they have met their goal weight.
Lap Banding Procedure
Before the procedure begins, doctors will have patients undergo extensive testing to be sure that it is safe to proceed. Screening includes a gastroscopy, imaging studies, blood tests and consultations with specialists.
The Lap Band creates a small pouch in the stomach with the use of a stoma, or band, which helps to limit food intake without the need for staples. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and varies in surgical time from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The surgeon makes small 1cm incisions into the abdomen. The Lap band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. The pouch created through the placement of the band becomes the new stomach, which drastically reduces the amount of food that can be consumed. Once the band is in place, it is possible for the surgeon to adjust it at any time by inflation or deflation.
By having the ability to adjust the Lap band, patients are able to control the amount of weight they want to lose. Adjustments take only a few minutes and involve no pain.
Qualifying for the Procedure
Despite the presence of obesity, the Lap Band procedure is not approved for just anyone. The doctor will decide whether a patient is a proper candidate for the procedure, based on the BMI index, to determine if they fall into the range recommended for surgery.
Patients may be approved for Lap-band surgery if they have a:
Benefits of Lap Band Surgery
The Lap Band procedure is much more advantageous than other methods since it includes benefits such as:
As with any surgery, there are many costs involved. Surgeon, hospital, anesthesia, x-ray and pre-operative lab fees are all expenses that can be anticipated when going through the procedure. Related expenses also include diet or exercise regimens and post-surgery therapy. In the United States, costs for Lap band surgery ranges from $15,000 to $20,000. In Belgium, costs range from $6,500, while in countries such as Costa Rica, India and Mexico, costs hover around $8,100.
Choosing a Lap-Band Doctor
As with choosing any doctor, one of the most important aspects to research is the experience the surgeon has. The more experience, the less risk of complications. Some information that should be researched is:
As with any physician or facility, check on accreditation as well as membership in local, domestic or international cosmetic or plastic surgical associations or organizations for information on your doctor before signing on the dotted line.
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