Lap-Band surgery, a form of bariatric surgery, is used in the management of obesity. This procedure makes the stomach smaller, limiting the amount of food that someone can comfortably ingest. Weight loss from Lap-Band surgery is slower and less dramatic than with gastric bypass. Lap-Band surgery is the least invasive type of weight loss surgery. However, gastric band surgery is not ideal for everyone. There are a variety of factors that make someone a good candidate for this procedure.
Who Qualifies for the Lap-Band Procedure?
In general, a patient should have a BMI of at least 40, or be at least 100 pounds overweight to be considered a candidate for this procedure. Individuals who have a BMI between 35 and 39 may also be considered for Lap-Band if they have at least one obesity-related health condition. Some of these conditions include hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes. If an individual does not meet either of these two qualifications, they may be considered for Lap-Band if they have tried unsuccessfully to reach and maintain a healthy weight for a period of time.
Weight is not the only issue in determining who makes a good candidate for this procedure. Even after undergoing Lap-Band surgery, weight loss requires a lifestyle change. Individuals who are unwilling or unable to make these changes will not have as much success with the surgery as those who revamp their lifestyle.
What to Expect After Lap-Band
Depending on the weight and health of an individual patient, it may be necessary to maintain a specialized diet several weeks before the scheduled surgery. After surgery, it will be necessary to maintain a liquid diet for a period of time while the area heals. Adherence to these guidelines is necessary not only for success from the surgery, but also for the health of the patient.
Willingness to commit to an active lifestyle is also important for success. Gentle walking should begin as soon as possible after surgery. As the patient heals and drops weight, increasing the length or intensity of exercise will help with weight loss. Even individuals who are chair-bound should increase their activity levels, by marching in place in a seated position, and doing upper body movements. Individuals who meet the medical requirements for Lap-Band surgery, and who are willing to make the lifestyle changes mentioned are more likely to experience satisfactory weight loss and improved health from the procedure.