LET US HELP YOU DECIDE WHICH PROCEDURE IS BEST FOR YOU
The LAP-BAND® procedure should not affect your regular physical activity, as long as you have fully recovered and healed form the surgery, which typically takes between four to six weeks. If you are interested in learning more about LAP-BAND® and exercise, call our offices at (855) 690-0565 and one of our helpful medical staff will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.
A LAP-BAND® procedure isn’t a cure-all or a quick fix, but it is a uniquely powerful tool for weight loss that’s meant to work in combination with a good diet and exercise plan, in order to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Our site, nutritionists, and bariatric surgeons can assist you in outlining a healthy, balanced, yet fulfilling diet to suite your healthy lifestyle for the long term. Additionally, exercise has benefits beyond weight-loss. Some form of regular exercise adds to your overall health and fitness, in addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight. For more information about LAP-BAND® exercise and diet programs, as well as the services we offer at West Medical, please call our offices at (855) 690-0565.
A cosmetic plastic surgery procedure may be applied to remove excess skin folds after significant weight loss. However, it’s essential to allow one to two years to pass following your weight loss surgery in order to allow your skin reshape around your new figure. For more information about plastic surgery following LAP-BAND® surgery, please call West Medical offices at (855) 690-0565, and we will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.
To qualify for weight loss surgery, you must have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. However, patients with a documented comorbidity (obesity-related illness) and BMI of 35 or higher may qualify for weight loss surgery. In addition to these requirements, patients should be healthy enough to undergo an operation.
Yes! There is a growing list of nonsurgical procedures for people with somewhat lower BMIs that might be appropriate in your case.
There are a great many medical conditions that often accompany obesity, but here are some of the most common:
- Heart disease
- Fatty liver disease
- Kidney disease
It’s possible. For many patients, at least some of the costs of weight loss surgery are covered by insurance providers. If you are unsure if your medical insurance provider covers the costs of your procedure, West Medical has a dedicated webpage that will help you determine the amount of your coverage.
As with any medical treatment or surgery, there is some degree of risk present in every weight loss procedure. However, West Medical only performs surgeries and other procedures that have been proven both safe and effective in reliable, peer reviewed, published scientific studies. Additionally, West Medical adheres to federal and state guidelines, including ensuring that our surgeons hold the necessary qualifications to perform procedures safely. Of course, some procedures may be more involved than others, so there is an element of balancing both the benefits and the risks. Before any procedure, we will go over both the positive and negative outcomes that are possible so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Recovery is different for each procedure and varies for every individual. However, below, we list several facets of recovery that prospective patients should keep in mind.
- Hospital Stay. Gastric sleeve and Lap Band patients can expect to remain in the hospital for up to 24 hours while gastric bypass patients may need to stay for up to three nights.
- Special Diet. Patients will need to stick to a liquid diet following surgery that gradually transitions into a pureed diet. Once the stomach has healed enough that it is determined to be safe, a very modest solid food diet can resume.
- Lifting and Exercise. Gastric bypass and sleeve surgery patients should generally avoid heavy lifting for at least six weeks, while Lap Band surgery patients may be able to resume physical activity after one to two weeks.
All solid foods will be off the menu immediately following your procedure, so it will be necessary to stay on an all-liquid diet at first. Your digestive system needs time to heal; it is of the utmost importance that patients stick to their post-operation diet plan following weight loss surgery. Later, first pureed and then solid foods will be gradually reintroduced on a carefully designed timetable so that your system has time to readjust. Once recovery is complete, not that many foods are expressly forbidden though patients will need to choose their foods, and their portions, with great care. Some patients may find that they are unable to consume meals either high in calories or carbohydrates without experiencing a painful condition known as “dumping syndrome” which patients agree is as unpleasant as it sounds. Since this creates a disincentive to overeat or eat the wrong kinds of foods, in modern parlance it’s both a bug and a feature.
For most procedures, patients can return to work around the two-week mark. However, those in more physically demanding occupations may require as much as six weeks off before it is safe enough to return.
That will depend on many factors, including the type of procedure. The normal expectation after weight loss surgery is for patients to lose about a pound a day for the first 30 days. Patients who have Lap Band or nonsurgical treatments may lose weight more slowly. That being said, it is not uncommon for patients to lose dozens of pounds in the weeks and months following such operations as a gastric sleeve or bypass, especially if very strict adherence to a new diet and exercise regime is maintained.
Like any surgery, weight loss patients must have pre-operation clearance before the procedure. Additionally, because of the drastic lifestyle changes that will be essential before and after weight loss surgery, it may sometimes take several months to a year before patients are ready for a procedure. While this may disappoint some, many vital steps must be undertaken to ensure that a person is emotionally and physically ready for weight loss surgery. The wait time offers patients a chance to prepare for a new lifestyle.
While it might be somewhat counterintuitive, it is often necessary for patients to begin losing weight before undergoing weight loss surgery. There are two reasons for this:
- Patients must be able to demonstrate that they can make the necessary lifestyle changes before proceeding with permanent treatment options. This is an important indicator of post-operative success as well.
- Shrinking the liver and fat deposits throughout the body can also increase the safety and effectiveness of the procedure.
Patients need to understand what they are likely to experience following a procedure. Possibilities include:
- Temporary Post-Operative Effects. Patients may experience some swelling, gastrointestinal discomfort, and moderate pain surrounding incision sites, which can be managed through prescribed pain medication. Additionally, patients may experience a loss of appetite. In the months following surgery, hair loss is a common, but usually temporary, side effect.
- Dumping Syndrome. Weight loss surgery is designed to make overeating less attractive and many people may find themselves unable to overindulge post-surgery due to reduced stomach capacity. Patients who do manage to overeat may experience severe discomfort, including a condition known as “dumping syndrome” in which the patient may rapidly empty their bowels in addition to experiencing nausea and abdominal cramping.
- Need for Dietary Supplements. Because the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is reduced following certain types of weight loss surgery like gastric bypass, dietary supplements are often necessary to ensure proper nutrition.
- Excess Loose Skin. A large amount of loose skin is a common side effect of significant weight loss, especially if the weight is shed rapidly. Older patients may also be more susceptible to large amounts of loose skin due to decreased skin elasticity. Many patients eventually obtain plastic surgery to deal with this issue.
It’s never a good idea to make specific medical recommendations online because, truly, every patient is different, and what’s ideal for one person may be terrible for the next. While the only way to make this choice is to make an appointment for a consultation with a bariatric surgeon, some important differences are worth knowing. Gastric sleeve surgery is generally considered to be highly effective. Its impact may be partly due to hormonal changes reducing the appetite that seem to accompany this procedure, which removes most of the stomach while leaving the rest of the digestive tract intact. Many patients have been attracted to the Lap Band, however, because it is less invasive, adjustable, and may be reversed if necessary. One issue is that those adjustments call for multiple procedures. Also, studies indicate that other procedures appear to result in more pounds lost.
I FEEL INCREDIBLE! I have a lot more energy and am very active