The lap band surgery procedure. Lap band surgery cost, effectiveness, side effects, risks and complications
Lap band surgery – is an operation during which the stomach`s anatomy is changed in order to promote weight loss. This option is usually considered when exercising and dieting haven`t worked and excessive weight starts affecting your health.
What is the lap band surgery
What is the lap band surgery? The lap band surgery (or gastric banding) is one of the safest weight loss operations. It combines high effectiveness, low level of possible risks, and fast recovery. You may also be interested in: Liposuction, Tummy tuck.
The lap band surgery procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes about an hour, during which no cutting or stapling is made, only a few incisions.
A special ring (a silicone collar) filled with saline is placed around the stomach, dividing it into two parts. After the procedure food can only go into the small upper part of the stomach, so the intake of it can be reduced dramatically. In addition to this you can fill up faster and stay full for a longer period of time. The band is adjustable and can be loosened or tightened with the help of a special port.
Candidates for the lap band surgery procedure
The lap band surgery procedure according to the National Institutes of Health is suitable for patients with the Body Mass Index (BMI) above 40 and with 100 pounds or more of excessive weight. Patients with a BMI from 30 to 40 and co morbid conditions that may improve or resolve with weight loss, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, fatty liver disease and high cholesterol, may also find the lap band surgery procedure an attractive option. Candidates for the procedure should be 18−55 years old, although there may be exceptions. Gastric banding can be also recommended for the patients whose dietary therapy has brought no results. The duration of the patient’s obesity and the history of the disease are taken into consideration as well. The patient should comprehend the risks connected with the surgery and be aware of its benefits, and also be ready to follow strict dietary prescriptions after the operation.
Contraindications for the lap band surgery
The lap band surgery procedure is usually contraindicated for the people with endocrine diseases (e.g. hypothyroidism), inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. esophagitis, ulcers or Crohn’s disease) and cardiopulmonary diseases. People dependent on drugs or alcohol, highly allergic individuals, and emotionally unstable people are also usually restricted from the procedure. The lap band cannot be placed during pregnancy, but a woman can get pregnant after the placement of the gastric band. During pregnancy the band can be adjusted depending on a woman’s condition.
How is the lap band surgery performed?
Usually it takes about an hour to perform the lap band surgery if there are no complications. The procedure is laparoscopic, meaning it is done with minimal invasion – only a few incisions. The tiny cameras and long-handled instruments help the surgeon perform the procedure. The surgeon places the band around the upper part of the stomach, dividing it into two unequal sections: a small top pouch and a large lower one. The small pouch is divided from the large one by a tiny passage that helps to digest food more slowly. Being very small the upper pouch can receive only a limited amount of food at a time. That makes the patient eat less and get full more quickly.
Prepare for the lap band surgery
The lap band surgery is a procedure before which the patient must have all the tests required by the surgeon performing the operation. Usually the list of the necessary tests will include blood tests, ultrasound, and complete physical examination. The candidate will also need to be emotionally prepared for the lap band surgery. Smokers are required to quit smoking about a month before the procedure and are not allowed to smoke again after the procedure. Some drugs and vitamins may be restricted before the operation. On the day of the surgery the patient is not allowed to eat or drink anything starting from midnight.
What to do after the lap band surgery
The lap band surgery is an operation after which most patients stay in hospital only for one day, then they go home and return to their normal activities in a day or two after arrival. One week off work may be necessary for a better recovery. During the first two or three weeks only liquids and mashed-up foods will be allowed. The return to regular foods usually takes up to 6 weeks. It should be slow and gradual to prevent any potential complications. The lap band can be adjusted according to the patient’s needs. The surgeon can easily loosen or tighten the band in case any problems should occur.
This procedure is not as invasive as gastric bypass, but it does have some lap band surgery risks and some lap band surgery side effects.
Lap band surgery complications
Lap band surgery complications can take place during the procedure. There is a small chance that some internal organs (like liver) can be damaged, another one of the possible lap band surgery complications is blood clotting. Very rarely the saline band can change its position or rot away after the operation. Another thing is that with the time the band can start leaking, which usually results in nausea and malaise.
Lap band surgery side effects can be caused by the port of the band. It is placed under the skin and is connected to a tube which is attached to the band. This port can be used when some saline needs to be injected to make the band tighter. The port can become infected and cause unpleasant lap band surgery side effects.
What are possible complications of the lap band surgery?
The following are the most common potential complications:
- breathing problems and allergic responses to medicines (common for any anesthesia);
- infection, blood loss, stroke, heart attack (common for any surgery);
- gastritis, ulceration, erosion, infection, slippage of the band, injuries to some organs, scarring inside the abdomen, vomiting (particular for the lap band surgery).
Lap band surgery risks
Lap band surgery risks include nausea because of overeating or because of eating wrong sorts of food. Owing to the smaller size of the stomach, it cannot tolerate fatty foods, some raw vegetables and fruits. Due to the small size of the stomach, fluid intake is often reduced, so dehydration can become another cause of nausea and even vomiting. Gastric reflux is one of the lap band surgery risks, which is also related to lap band surgery and which causes heartburn. Other common complaints are constipation and bloating.
Prevention of lap band surgery side effects
Lap band surgery side effects differ and not all of them can be prevented, of course, but some of the lap band surgery complications can be controlled. By eating smaller portions of the foods your stomach can digest you can prevent vomiting and nausea. It is a good idea to consult your doctor and work out a personal nutrition plan, which will help you stay healthy and acquire new eating habits. If any of the side effects are too intolerable, it is always possible to take the band out.
How much does lap band surgery cost?
How much does lap band surgery cost – that is the question you want to ask about this procedure. If you have made a decision to have the lap band surgery done, you are aware of many health and lifestyle benefits that can be achieved with the help of an elastic Lap-band, which is placed around the stomach to control your food intake and promote weight loss. Undoubtedly, cost of lap band surgery is one of the most important matters you have to take into consideration before undergoing this operation. Usually cost of lap band surgery falls within the boundaries of 12 to 30 thousand dollars, depending on the area or city where you live. However, if your physician confirms medical necessity of the operation, you can be fully or partially reimbursed by some insurance providers.
How much does lap band surgery cost?
Breakdown of cost of lap band surgery
Cost of lap band surgery usually includes fees for anaesthesia, laboratory and X-ray fees, the fees of the surgeon and the hospital and the fees for the appointments that follow the surgery. When the first year is up, your follow-up appointments will cost anything from 100 to 700 dollars, depending on the problem. What lap band surgery cost usually does not include is post-surgery counselling and additional surgeries you might want to have to get rid of excess skin or fat deposits. Anyway, make sure you ask your bariatric surgeon what exactly the cost of the operation comprises to avoid misunderstanding in the future.
Factors affecting the cost of lap band surgery
Cost of lap band surgery can be affected by some factors, for example, the fees are higher in big cities and urban areas, as more people want to have it done and surgeons are therefore in greater demand. The fees can vary depending on your being an in-patient or an out-patient. Your health plan can also play an important role and influence the cost of the procedure.
Important questions to ask about the cost of lap band surgery
- How much does lap band surgery cost?
- What does the cost of the procedure comprise?
- Is there a possibility for the costs of the procedure to be covered by an insurance company?
- Does the cost include treating side effects, complications, re-operations or body contouring after the surgery?
- What are the fees for removing the lap band?
- Is there a free on-line support for those who have had lap band surgery?
- Does the medical institution provide some financial options for its patients?