Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who is a candidate for the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
Generally, patients with a BMI greater than 33 who have associated
medical complications of obesity and who have failed with conservative
weight loss methods would be candidates. In addition, patients must
be at least 18 years old, a good surgical risk, not pregnant, not on chronic
steroids, no history of prior stomach surgery, not addicted to alcohol
or drugs and not have any medical condition which caused the obesity. And
finally patients must be able and willing to abide by certain dietary and
life style changes post-operatively. Also patients must not have any
of the following medical conditions:
- Inflammatory disease of Gastrointestinal tract
- Cirrhosis of the liver (and portal hypertension)
- any Auto-immune Disease
- certain psychological illnesses
is the LAP-BAND® System procedure considered to be so much safer than other weight
loss surgery procedures?
There are many reasons as follows:
- The LAP-BAND® System procedure has been statistically proven to have significantly
less side effects and complications.
- The procedure is easily performed with minimal small incisions laparoscopically
and can be performed as an outpatient with a quick recovery time.
- The procedure is reversible and adjustable.
effective is the lap band procedure compared to other surgical weight loss
The results after 5 years are almost equivalent to gastric bypass
surgery with an average weight loss of 60% of excess weight. Some patients
lose even more weight.
Question: Is the weight loss that results from the LAP-BAND® System procedure permanent?
Yes, it can be permanent as long as the patient adheres to the necessary
dietary restrictions and adopts a life style of regular exercise.
Question: What is the cost of the lap band procedure if I have no insurance
or my insurance does not cover it?
The LAP-BAND® System procedure is much less expensive than other weight
loss procedures such as Gastric Bypass. Since our practice was established
as a dedicated center of excellence for the LAP-BAND® System procedure, one of
our goals was to make the procedure affordable and also available to all
patients who could benefit from the surgery. See cost section of the website for further
want to help patients with an obesity problem achieve a healthier, happier
and longer life. Financing is also available.
is the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
The procedure is done laparoscopically with small incisions and then
a silicone, latex free, inflatable band is placed around the upper part of
the stomach with an attached access port under the skin. This creates
a new small upper stomach pouch with a narrow outlet which is adjustable.
Question: How does the LAP-BAND® System work?
The LAP-BAND® System limits the amount of food that can be eaten to smaller
amounts and thus less calories are consumed and weight is lost. It also
creates a longer feeling of fullness after eating. With the access
port, the tightness of the band can be adjusted to achieve the optimal
weight loss, yet still insure adequate nutrition.
What generally happens to the complications of obesity such as diabetes,
hypertension, arthritis etc, after the LAP-BAND® System procedure is performed?
Once the excess weight comes off, the medical complications of obesity
are either reversed or are more easily controlled.
Question: After the LAP-BAND® System procedure
is performed, what is required of the patient to assist in achieving the
optimal weight loss results?
It is extremely important after the LAP-BAND® System is placed for the patient
to be dedicated to exercise, eating a healthy diet and following certain
behavior modifications. Those patients who follow the necessary life style
changes will have the best results.
Question: How long has the LAP-BAND® System procedure been performed?
The LAP-BAND® System procedure has been performed for many years outside
the United States and it has been done in the U.S. since 2001 when it was
approved by the FDA.
Question: What generally are the statistical results of various weight
Most people with a significant weight loss problem do not have long
term weight loss success with conservative measures alone of diet, exercise,
medication and behavior modification. However when a weight loss procedure
such as the LAP-BAND® System system is performed in addition to the conservative
treatment, long term weight loss success increases dramatically. The average
weight loss after the LAP-BAND® System procedure is approximately 60% of excess
weight after 5 years. Some patients have even better results.
are the complications and risks of the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
The complications of the LAP-BAND® System procedure are much less than those with
other weight loss procedures such as Gastric Bypass. Some complications
are directly related to the skill and experience of the surgeons. Most
LAP-BAND® System surgery complications are not serious and can be corrected with
minimal difficulty (see Risks / Complications).
Question: What weight loss results
can be expected after having the LAP-BAND® System procedure performed?
On average, patients can expect to loose approximately 60% of their excess
weight by 5 years. Some patients have even better results. The weight
loss can be permanent if the patient is compliant and follows the necessary
lifestyle and dietary changes after the surgery. It is a gradual and
not sudden weight loss. This is the safest way to lose weight. During
the 1st year on average, patients will lose 2 pounds a week. Also many
of the medical complications associated with obesity are reversed as a
direct result of the weight loss.
Question: Should the LAP-BAND® System be
removed after the desired weight loss occurs?
No. The LAP-BAND® System should be viewed as a permanent medical device. It
is the best way to insure long term weight control.
Are any adjustments required to the LAP-BAND® System after the procedure?
Yes. Patients will require some adjustments to the tightness
of the LAP-BAND® System after surgery to assure optimal weight loss and adequate
nutrition. This is usually done during an office visit. Adjustments do
not require additional surgery. The frequency of the band adjustments varies
from patient to patient.
Question: Will I need plastic surgery to remove excess skin after the
LAP-BAND® System procedure?
Many patients do have plastic surgery after they have achieved
their optimal weight loss. The most common procedure is an abdominoplasty
(also called Tummy Tuck) which involves removal of excess skin and fat
from the abdominal area. Our practice is also dedicated to providing
our patients with any needed plastic surgery procedures. In most cases,
any needed plastic surgery will be done at approximately 2 years
after the LAP-BAND® System procedure.
Question: Where can I learn more about the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
You can review our website in detail. The website provides many
educational materials such as reference articles from medical journals.
We also provide free brochures and a DVD, plus you can attend one of our
free monthly educational seminars to gain an in depth understanding of
the procedure and interact with patients who have had the procedure and obtain
answers to all your questions. You will also have the opportunity to ask
any private questions at our seminars.
long is the recovery period?
Since the procedure is done as an outpatient laparoscopically,
patients go home the same day without overnight hospitalization and on
average can return to work in one week. Some patients
return to work in a few days.
Question: Will I feel hungry and deprived after having the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
Since your smaller stomach pouch fills more quickly after eating
smaller amounts of food and also because the stomach empties more slowly,
patients will feel full until the next meal and not have the desire to
snack between meals.
Question: What can I eat after the surgery?
You can eat most foods but in smaller amounts. You should try
to avoid foods that are high in fiber, fat, and carbohydrates and
try to eat primarily protein. You should also avoid high calorie liquids.
If you drink alcohol (which is high in calories) it should be limited
to smaller amounts and only occasionally.
Question: Can I get pregnant after having the LAP-BAND® System surgery?
Yes, but if you become pregnant, the LAP-BAND® System may need to be deflated
temporarily to allow for adequate nutrition for the baby.
Question: Do patients need to take vitamins after the LAP-BAND® System procedure?
Yes, patients should take daily multi-vitamins. Your surgeon will advise
you on the best type of vitamin.