Laparoscopic gastric banding

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Obesity is a considerable health, mental and aesthetic problem. If the traditional treatment brings no results, it is possible to use a surgical solution and undergo laparoscopic gastric banding.

What is laparoscopic gastric banding?

Laparoscopic gastric banding is a surgical treatment, in involves strangulation of the upper stomach part with a special bandage. The lap band does not influence the appetite, but enables to reduce the volume of food intake and therefore leads to weight reduction.

Are you a suitable candidate for laparoscopic gastric banding (lap band)?

The decision to undergo laparoscopic gastric banding depends on your Body mass index (BMI). If it is more than 40 or already 35 and you suffer from diseases caused by obesity and traditional procedures to reduce the weight are not successful, you can be a suitable candidate for laparoscopic gastric banding.

It is absolutely necessary to have good balance of mind and be without any of the contra-indicated diseases. Even a psychiatric diagnosis can be the reason for refusing a laparoscopic gastric banding.

Ideal candidates for laparoscopic gastric banding are people with a high motivation, who are ready to submit to all dietetic specifications required by the operation.

Techniques of laparoscopic gastric banding

There are two basic techniques of stomach bandage, a rigid bandage and adjustable bandage.

Rigid bandage

In case of the rigid bandage, the stomach is encircled by a band of woven textile. This bandage can not be regulated.

Adjustable bandage

In case of adjustable bandage, the stomach is encircled by a silicone band. This bandage can be regulated. This bandage has a ball on the inner surface, whose volume can be regulated by an injection through the skin to a special metal cell in the subcutis. The cell is connected with the ball through a tube.

Who shall decide whether you can undergo laparoscopic gastric banding?

Laparoscopic gastric banding is done by bariatric surgeons.

The recommendation for the operation is a result of an agreement between your obesitologist, bariatric surgeon and psychologist.

If the traditional treatment (diet, training of eating habits, exercise, pharmacological measures) does not have an effect, this operation can be recommended. It is desirable to undergo the operation before severe health complications connected with obesity occur.

Before the operation

During the consultation with a bariatric surgeon, your general state of health and mental balance will be considered as well as the results of medical check and treatment by the obesitologist and psychologist.

The doctor will count your BMI again and consider the type of your obesity. He will inform you about the procedure and all risks, which can be connected with the laparoscopic gastric banding. You will also receive instructions about the necessary regime after the operation.

As a part of the consultation, the doctor shall decide, which type of bandage is suitable for you.

To the preparatory activities before the operation belongs a in-depth pre-operative medical check. You will probably be asked whether you take any medication containing acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin, Acylpyrin, Alnagon, Mironal etc.). This medicaments can increase bleeding during the operation and thereafter. It is important to inform the doctor if you suffer from any drug allergy.

You should not fall ill with a contagious disease (virus disease, cold etc) during three weeks before the operation.

If you smoke, plan to stop smoking approximately two weeks before the operation and do not start it sooner than three weeks after the operation.

You should organize your transport home after the operation and assistance for one or two days, if you need it.

Operational procedure

Laparoscopic gastric banding is done in a very gentle mini-invasive way through some little incisions.

First, the abdominal cavity is filled with carbon dioxid to uplift the abdominal wall and make it easy to inspect. An optical device with a camera is inserted through sections which are 1-2 cm long. This device provides the surgeons with a projection of abdominal cavity on a screen. The bandage is fixed to the stomach with the help of other special tools, inserted through short sections. The gastrointestinal area will not be opened during the operation.

The sections are closed with stitches, one stitch is usually enough for one section. The small wounds are then covered with a sterile plaster.

Anesthesia

The operation always requires general anaesthesia, it means you shall sleep during the whole operation and will not feel any pain. If you have already experienced general anesthesia, you can inform the doctor about your reaction. You will have to spend some time on the clinic after the operation.

After the operation

You can feel little pain immediately after the operation at the place of the sections, as well as pains connected with the absorption of carbon dioxid. It is mostly an unpleasant feeling in the place of clavicle and arms. This pains will stop very soon an can be reduced with the help of analgetic prescribed by the doctor.

The stitches will be removed in few days.

The doctor provides you with complete instructions concerning dietary measures and other necessary regime details. You will be informed about possible short and long-term post-operational complications, which are however very little in comparison with risks connected with obesity.

In case of unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to contact the doctor anytime.

How does the stomach bandage work?

The strangulation of the upper stomach part with a special bandage causes the client to feel full even after first bites at the meal. It does not reduce the appetite but the daily volume of food intake decreases without unpleasant feeling of being hungry.

In case of adjustable bandage, the volume of the ball can be adjusted during an ambulatory visit in the surgery under the control of x-ray.

What is the result of lap band?

The client´s weight reduces and his/her general state of health improves.

The complications connected with obesity improve as well: the amount of blood sugar in case of diabetes drops, high blood pressure decreases and joints are relieved. The general mobility improves as well, this leads to an increased expenditure of energy and other possible loss of weight.

Together with the reduction of your weight, it is your look which improves. In case of massive weight loss, you may suffer from excessive skin volume. The doctor will recommend you how to deal with this problem. He will probably suggest undergoing a treatment of plastic surgery, which removes the excessive skin.

The weight loss is connected a good mental balance of the client, connected with general improvement of state of health and general look.

How big is the weight loss after stomach bandage?

The loss of weight after the operation is approximately 2 – 10 kg in a month, more than 20 kg after a year and 30 – 40 kg after two years.

How long does the result of the operation last?

The weight reduction after laparoscopic gastric banding has a long-term effect, it lasts more than 5 years.

The lap band can be removed anytime, without the risk of persistent effects. The intestins return almost to their original state.

Updated: 2012-08-10

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