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Using the Lap-Band to Lose Weight

Dr. Layton Alldredge, with South Valley Surgical, explained how the procedure takes place and the advantages of the procedure.

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What is the LAP-BAND System?

The LAP-BAND System is the safest, least invasive and only adjustable surgical treatment for morbid obesity in the United States. It induces weight loss by reducing the capacity of the stomach, thereby restricting the amount of food that can be consumed at one time.

Safest and Least Invasive Obesity Surgery

Like a wrist-watch, the band is fastened around the upper stomach to create a new, tiny stomach pouch. As a result, patients experience an earlier sensation of fullness and are satisfied with smaller amounts of food. Since there is no cutting, stapling, or stomach re-routing involved in the LAP-BAND System procedure, it is considered the least traumatic of all weight loss surgeries. The surgeon makes several tiny incisions and uses long, slender instruments to implant the device. By avoiding the large incision of open surgery, patients generally experience less pain and scarring. Mortality risk with the LAP-BAND System is also significantly lower than with other obesity surgery procedures*, as is the risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with the gastric bypass. In addition, the hospital stay after LAP-BAND surgery is shortened to less than 24 hours, including overnight hospitalization. Patients can typically resume normal activities within 1 week, which is quicker than with other surgical alternatives.

Adjustable Treatment

The LAP-BAND System is an adjustable silicone band with an inflatable inner surface. It is connected to an access port below the skin surface by thin, kink-resistant silicone tubing. The port allows the surgeon to adjust the size of the LAP-BAND System to meet individual patient weight loss needs by adding or removing saline to inflate or deflate the band. This impacts the amount and consumption rate of food. Adjustments to the band, which are performed during simple outpatient visits, are determined by the patient’s weight loss, the amount of food that can be comfortably eaten, the exercise regimen, and other issues surrounding the patient’s health, as well as the amount of fluid already in the patient’s band.

Reversible Procedure

Because no permanent changes are made to the body’s physiology, the procedure can essentially be reversed. If necessary, all of the system components can be removed from the body with no damage to the digestive organs. The stomach will generally return to its original form and capacity once the band is removed.

Living with the LAP-BAND

The effectiveness of the LAP-BAND System depends on the success of the surgical procedure and the ability of the patient to change his or her diet and eating behavior. Clinicians offering the LAP-BAND System treatment have committed to being able to provide long-term care for their patients, including dietary, behavior-modification, and counseling support. After surgery, LAP-BAND System patients must maintain scheduled follow-up visits. Follow-up may require four or more visits during the first year and include a review of the patient’s progress and discussion of any concerns or problems that are pertinent at that time.

Patients are encouraged to eat a balanced diet and to avoid the problematic eating patterns of their pre-surgery lifestyle. The restrictive effect of the band produces feelings of early satiety and longer-lasting fullness. This reinforces the patient’s ability to be content with smaller meals when solid food is eaten and well chewed. At the appropriate time, patients are encouraged to increase physical activity and exercise, which is very important to weight loss, good health, and improved quality of life.

LAP-BAND System is FDA-Approved

To date, over 300,000 patients worldwide have undergone the LAP-BAND System procedure. Since the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the LAP-BAND System in June 2001, interest in and use of the LAP-BAND System have been rapidly growing in the U.S. In line with its FDA-approved guidelines for indications, the LAP-BAND System is intended for people who are morbidly obese—those who are at least 100 pounds overweight or who are at least twice their ideal body weight. The term “morbidly” connotes the fact that individuals who carry this much excess weight face an increased risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoarthritis.

*Executive Summary: Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding for the treatment of obesity (Update and Re-appraisal). The Australian Safety and Efficacy Register of New Interventional Procedures – Surgical (ASERNIPS) 2002: 1. (LAP-BAND mortality rate is about 0.05% vs. gastric bypass mortality rate of about 0.5%)

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For more information about the LAP-BAND or to find out
if you or someone you know can benefit from this procedure,
please visit www.svsurgical.com or call 801-LAP-BAND.

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