Gastric banding, also known as lap band or adjustable gastric banding or realize band, is a least invasive weight loss procedure in which an adjustable silicone band with an expandable balloon is placed around the upper part of the stomach of the obese person. The band is placed in such a way that the upper stomach gets squeezed to become a pouch that has about an inch-wide outlet. Thus, stomach is divided into two parts; one small upper part and another lower part. This band facilitates limited intake of food as now the small upper stomach cannot withhold more than an ounce of food. The person feels full soon and there is limited intake of food or calories that subsequently result in weight loss.
Who all can undergo lap gastric banding surgery?
Lap gastric banding is recommended to individuals with following conditions who have unsuccessfully tried to lose weight:
- A BMI of 40 or more
- A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition
- Excessive weight gain
- Severe obesity
- Inability to lose weight through diet and exercise
- Obese individuals who have excessive hunger and/or need big portions to feel satisfied
- It is also indicated in those obese persons who are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, severe sleep apnea etc.
How will lap gastric banding surgery aid weight loss?
Lap gastric banding surgery results in weight loss by:
- Limiting the food intake as the new and small stomach can hold limited amount of food
- Restricting the absorption of calories and nutrients by your body
- Altering the gut hormones in a way so that the person feels fuller early and remain full for longer
Lap gastric banding procedure
Once a person decides to undergo the lap gastric banding surgery, different lab tests and exams are done to make sure that lap gastric banding is right for the person. There will be a session with nutritionists who will elaborate about the dietary changes required before and after the procedure. Also, there will be some changes lifestyle like quit smoking and alcohol etc. some weeks before the surgery. Doctor may prescribe certain medications to help your body handle the upcoming surgery.
Surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. As the name says, it is a laparoscopic procedure in which small incisions are made to insert the laparoscope and other instruments to perform the procedure. It does not require long incision like open surgery. The procedure starts with surgeon making 4 small incisions in the stomach. Through one of the incisions, laparoscope is introduced into the stomach while other incisions are used to insert instruments and silicon band. Now the adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper part of the stomach so that the stomach gets divided into two parts. No cutting or stapling or suturing is required in the procedure. The new upper stomach now becomes a pouch and can hold only about an ounce of food.
The silicone band can be adjusted by inflating or deflating the balloon in the band. This is done via a tube that is connected to the silicone band and is attached to an injection port on the skin. This plastic tube is used to inject or remove the saline from the silicone band. Saline is injected to make the band tighter while saline is removed to make it enlarged. This thereby facilitates the tightening or loosening of the band. This feature of gastric band works if there are any side effects or there is a need to improve weight loss.
Advantages of laparoscopic gastric banding
- The procedure is quick and takes less than an hour
- Laparoscopic procedures are mostly done as day care procedures and night stay is not required in the hospital
- People with desk jobs can return to work as early as 1-2 days
- There is negligible blood loss with laparoscopic procedures
- The incisions are very small and almost invisible
Risks associated with lap gastric banding
Other than the risks of usual surgical procedure like infection, formation of blood clot, blood loss etc, patients undergoing lap gastric banding have following band related risks:
- Band erosion: The gastric band can erode though the stomach and may require removal.
- Slipping of stomach: In some cases, stomach can slip through the band and an immediate surgery is required to fix this.
- Gastric symptoms: Some patients complain of abnormal gastric symptoms like heartburn, gastritis, stomach ulcers etc.
- Nutritional deficiencies: As the body gets less foods and that food is also bypassed, there can be deficiency of nutrients including vitamins and minerals.
- Bowel obstruction: Stomach may scar resulting in blocking of bowel.
- Access port risks: Access port may flip upside down or surgeon may not be able to reach access port every time requiring an immediate minor surgery
- Gallstones: Quick weight loss after lap gastric banding can cause gallstones.
These all are just expected complications and most of the patients undergoing lap gastric banding do not get these at all. Moreover, all these are manageable conditions and should not deter your decision of undergoing lap gastric banding.
Post Procedure Care
- Patient is shifted to the post-operative room soon after the surgery for few hours to monitor any abnormal signs and symptoms.
- Soon after the surgery, patient is given medications for pain relief and antibiotics to prevent infection.
- Ambulation is encouraged soon after the surgery.
- Patient is discharged mostly on the same day and very rarely a night stay is required in the hospital.
- No extra rest is required after the procedure and patient can resume normal day to day activities 1 or 2 days after the procedure.
- Nevertheless, patient is advised to avoid heavy weight lifting and other strenuous activities for first few weeks.
- Patient is given liquid or mashed foods for first 2-3 weeks.
- A specific diet is introduced for 6 weeks that starts with liquids and then pureed or soft foods are slowly given to the patient.
- After 6 weeks, patient can eat normal diet but in limited quantities as advised by the doctors.
- Patient wears special stockings on legs to prevent formation of blood clots.
- Frequent medical check-ups to monitor the health of the patient are advised for first 6 months after surgery.
- Patient should follow the dietary and lifestyle instructions provided by the surgeon to reduce and maintain weight loss.
Results of lap gastric banding
Lap gastric banding can provide long-term weight loss, if the patient follows dietary and lifestyle advises given by the surgeon. Average excess weight loss has been reported to be between 40 to 60% but this depends upon how much the patient follows the surgeon’s advices and makes major changes in his eating habits and lifestyle. Accordingly, patient can lose half, or even more, of the excess weight within two years after surgery. Also, the resultant weight loss improves and, in some cases, completely resolves disease related to overweight like:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Heart disease
- Severe sleep apnea
- Stroke etc.
Above all, lap gastric bypass surgery makes you feel confident with your new and improved appearance and immensely improves your ability to perform routine daily activities, which will also improve your quality of life.
Why MedTours Global?
- We are associated with the best hospitals globally having the emergency infrastructure, fully equipped with the latest technologies and techniques to overcome from every emergency condition.
- Our team of doctors are highly experienced in ‘Emergency Patient Management’ and work together to save the patient.
- Consultation from doctors through e-mail, phone, and video calling.
- Rehabilitation programs are organized to assist complex surgery patients.
- Complete support and assistance being given before and after treatment.
- Cost of treatment is quite less as compared to other service providers.
- We are always ready to offer our helping hand and our services are available Free of Cost 24/7.