Your Guide to An Important Decision

Severe obesity is a severe detriment to the well being of those who suffer from it, and weight loss surgery is an accepted and effective way to overcome the challenge. Results vary, but those who undergo bariatric surgery can expect to lose a significant amount of their excess weight over the following two to three years.

This lost weight makes life better for a number of reasons. Severe obesity can lead to serious health complications, and weight loss surgery can help alleviate the risk of developing those problems. Diabetes, high blood pressure sleep apnea and more may be reduced.

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Why We Only Do Lap-Band

In years past, gastric bypass surgery was the primary method for surgical weight loss. This involves changing a person’s stomach into two stomachs, and then rerouting the intestines.

This method has been effective for many people, but there are also side effects and potential complications. First of all, it is important to remember that gastric bypass modifies your internal organs, making it extremely difficult to reverse the procedure once it is done. LAP-BAND, on the other hand, is much more reversible, as it does not actually change the nature of your organs, but only limits your food intake.

Another issue with gastric bypass is that it isn’t adjustable. Sometimes the contents of the stomach move too quickly through a person’s digestive system after surgery, causing feelings of illness. With LAP-BAND, the restrictions to the stomach are adjustable.

Those who receive a gastric bypass may have to deal with iron deficiency, due to the changes in the digestive tract. In general, the complication rate for gastric bypass is much higher than it is for LAP-BAND.

Videos About Lap-Band


Those considering weight loss surgery should get solid answers before moving forward. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.

Aren’t there many kinds of weight loss surgery?

Almost all bariatric surgeries are either an adjustable gastric band (like LAP-BAND), sleeve gastrecomy, or a gastric bypass. LAP-BAND is a restrictive procedure, meaning that it restricts how much food a person eats. In the procedure, an adjustable gastric band is placed on the upper part of the stomach.

Go here to learn more about LAP-BAND.

Another kind of weight loss surgery is a sleeve gastrectomy, which is when the majority of the stomach is removed, leaving a narrow gastric tube, which bariatric surgeons call a sleeve. This is another restrictive procedure, though it is more invasive than a LAP-BAND, since with LAP-BAND, the stomach is not cut. Gastric bypass is a more invasive procedure, where the stomach is divided into to two stomachs, and part of the small intestine is bypassed.

Is there an advantage with LAP-BAND over other kinds of weight loss surgery?

One of the biggest advantages with LAP-BAND is that your internal organs are not cut and changed. For this reason, LAP-BAND is a safe procedure, and the most reversible of the weight loss surgical procedures.

What kinds of incisions are made?

Some weight loss surgeries, called open surgeries, require a larger incision in the stomach, while others are done laparoscopically, meaning that the surgery is guided by a video camera inserted into the abdomen. Laparoscopic surgery requires incisions, but smaller ones, and surgical instruments are inserted into these small incisions. LAP-BAND is a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure.

How does weight loss surgery help me lose weight?

Some kinds of bariatric surgery alter how a person digests food, which is usually done by rerouting the intestines, like in gastric bypass. Other weight loss procedures restrict food intake, such as LAP-BAND.

See a LAP-BAND animation here.

What are some factors that might prevent me from getting weight loss surgery?

Not everyone is a good candidate for weight loss surgery. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Your body may not be ready for the stress of surgery.
  • You may not have severe enough obesity. Weight loss surgery is for the severely obese, which means you have a BMI over 40. If you have obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, you may qualify for a LAP-BAND procedure with a BMI slightly lower than 40. Other bariatric procedures do not have approval to be performed on BMIs lower than 40.

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