Important Facts On Lap-band And Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

By Joseph Foster

The use of surgery in weight loss is a practice that has continued to attract a lot of interest all over the world. The main reason is that surgical techniques have been refined over time and are associated with very few complications and failure rates. These procedures are broadly known as bariatric surgeries. Examples include lap-band and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. There are a number of things that you should know if you consider having any of these operations.

Surgical weight loss options should only be considered if lifestyle changes have been tried with no success for a considerable period of time. Although the lifestyle modifications tend to take a bit long before results can be appreciated, they do not have any serious side effects. The two main areas where changes can be made are the diet and level of physical activity. Strive to have a healthier diet and to engage in regular physical exercise.

Lap band surgery is also referred to as gastric banding. This is because it involves the use of a band made of silicon. The band is fitted around the upper part of the stomach to decrease the stomach volume. Most centers perform the operation using the laparoscopic technique. With the technique, small incisions are used to gain access to the organ and perform the operation. This results in fewer complications.

When the stomach size is reduced, you will eat less than before as only a small amount of food can be held at a given point in time. Your appetite will also be affected as you will be having early satiety during mealtimes. Over time, you will start losing weight since very little of consumed food ends up in tissues as storage.

The silicon strip is connected to a long tube that is accessible from under the skin. This tube gives the surgeon and the patient control over the silicon band. One can increase or reduce the pressure exerted by the band by filling the plastic tubing with water or emptying it. Increased pressure may be needed if the pouch is too big and a reduction may be required if it is too small.

Just like the lap band operation, gastric sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive operation. This means it limits the amount of food that one can eat in one sitting. The stomach is cut along its length to leave just a small portion of the original. Generally, between 75 and 80% of the organ is removed. What is left is a tubular structure that can only hold a fraction of the food held previously. Weight loss is through reduced food consumption and reduced absorption of nutrients.

Complications are few and rare with these operations. Those that are likely to be encountered include nausea, vomiting, minor bleeds, food leakage, esophageal spasms and infections among others. Many of them are fairly easy to manage and resolve within a few days or weeks. Potential candidates need to discuss the possibility of these complications with their surgeons beforehand.

Appreciate that results will vary from one person to another. This differences are affected by both patient and doctor factors. Patient factors may include the magnitude of the initial problem, lifestyle after the procedure and genetic factors. Doctor factors include type of technique used and level of skill of the surgeon.

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