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Lap Band Surgery

Lap band surgery requires less recovery time, fewer painkilling drugs and less equipment than in open procedures.


Lap Band Surgery

by Trish Williams

Is Lap Band Surgery for You?

All your life you’ve fought it, but you’ve never been able to win the fight. You can’t stand looking in the mirror or going out shopping for clothes. Just looking at food makes you gain weight.

Obesity. Everywhere you turn, you hear about fad diets, exercise programs, special pills and foods to help you lose weight. You’ve tried everything, and still, you remain fat. Maybe you’ve recently seen a television program on something called lap band surgery and want to know what it is and if it’s something you might consider for yourself.

Lap band surgery was first standardized in Europe in the 1990s.

“The laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding procedure squeezes closed the upper part of the stomach with an inflatable belt. Patients quickly feel full after eating a little. Lap Band is the abbreviated and trademarked combination of Lap (from laparoscopic) and Band (from gastric band)” reports

“Called the Lap-Band adjustable gastric banding system, the device consists of a silicone band that cuffs tightly around the upper stomach to create a small gastric pouch. The belt restricts how much a patient can consume, and patients quickly feel full after eating a little,” said Namir Katkhouda, a professor of surgery, who performed the first laparoscopic procedure at USC University Hospital in 2001. The Food and Drug Administration approved lap band surgery back in 2001, and many obese individuals have been helped since.

Lap band surgery requires no cutting of the stomach. In fact, the procedure moves rather quickly. Small incisions are made into the skin, and then the lap bands are placed into the body through the incision. The procedure only takes around an hour and the patient get to return home the following day. The Health Science Campus website reports that lap band surgery requires “less recovery time, fewer painkilling drugs and less equipment than in open procedures. It also poses less risk of complications.”

Lap band surgery can be reversed by removing the lap band from the body of the patient. Typically those who have had this surgery can lose up to 55 percent of their excess weight within two years. The surgery can cost around $15,000, but that is still less than other procedures that can cost an additional $3,000 to $5,000. Unfortunately, because the procedure is relatively new, insurance coverage may depend on the insurance carrier.

Are there risks associated with this procedure?

Although medical doctors report risks associated with lap band surgery to be minimal, some risks do still exist. Mostly these risks have to do with whether or not the patient follows a doctor’s instructions. Erosion of the band can occur with use of alcohol, spices, and certain types of medications. Also, slippage of the band is common. This can happen if the person eats too much food, causing the band to move or slip. Surgery is then required to fix it. Infection can occur as well, just as with any surgical procedure.

For more details on risks associated with lap band surgery...


Trish "Ariala" Williams is a freelance writer and marketing consultant who has published numerous articles in magazines and newspapers across the country. She also works on web design, web content, graphics, promotions and copywriting.

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