If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above, you may find it extremely difficult to lose weight via exercises or dieting. As we all know, obesity leads to several medical conditions and diseases.
Medical practitioners and surgeons are constantly developing new ways and procedures to help patients suffering from obesity to lose weight in a relatively short time.
Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) is a bariatric surgical procedure for weight reduction. It is a type of bariatric weight-loss procedure done to help patients that are overweight lose excess weight.
The procedure is done by the use of an adjustable band tied around the top of the stomach. It then creates a small stomach pouch which reduces the amount of food the stomach can take.
The aim of this procedure is to reduce the amount of food that the patient is able to eat which invariably lead to weight loss. The patient also feels full after eating less food and doesn’t feel hungry very often.
If you have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 and above, you are an ideal candidate for the procedure. However, if you have some medical conditions, you need to speak with your doctor.
If your BMI is between 35 and 40, you may be an ideal candidate for the procedure, however, you need to speak with your doctor first.
Generally, you are not an ideal candidate for the procedure if:
If you are a poor candidate for surgery, you should not undergo LAGB. You will likely encounter severe complications during or after the procedure. If you have an intestinal disorder or any stomach disorder, you are not an ideal candidate.
If you take aspirin or ibuprofen frequently, you may not be a right candidate. If you smoking frequently, you are addicted to alcohol or you take hard drugs, you are not a right candidate. If you are not willing to follow the medical instructions, engage in exercise, and follow a special diet plan, you are not a right candidate.
Before undergoing a LAGB procedure, it is very important for you to consult with your doctor to know if it is the best option for you. Your doctor will provide you with the best medical advice and instructions.
There are some lifestyle changes and special diets you need to follow. You may need to attend a bariatric surgery education program to help prepare you for the surgery and your life after the surgery. You may need the services of a nutritionist, a psychologist and a therapist for proper medical care before the surgery and after the surgery.
You may need to undergo some medical tests such as blood tests, blood pressure, sugar level and other necessary tests. You may also need to undergo an imaging scan of your stomach structure.
You will be given a special diet that you will be eating for some weeks and days before the procedure. You will need to stop smoking several months before the procedure in case you do smoke. You will also need to stop taking blood-thinning medications, aspirin or ibuprofen days before the procedure.
You are not allowed to eat the night before the surgery will be done.
You will need to lie down on your back on a surgical table. You will be given general anesthesia to make you unconscious throughout the duration of the procedure.
The surgeon will make several small incisions in your upper abdomen and then insert a laparoscope (a long thin tube with a high-intensity light and a tiny camera at the front end) and small surgical instruments through the incisions. The surgeon is able to see the inside of your abdomen via a monitor that is connected to the tiny camera.
The surgeon will then insert an adjustable gastric band around the upper part of your stomach and tighten it to make a small stomach pouch.
A small port is placed under the skin of your abdomen and a tube is connected to the port with the adjustable gastric band. The tube connects the adjustable band with the port.
The surgeon will then use an injection needle to go through your skin into the port and injects fluid into the port. The fluid will pass through the tube into a balloon around the band.
The addition of fluid causes the balloon to inflate thereby tightening the band. This restricts the amount of food that your stomach can hold, hence you feel full by eating very little. The addition or removal of fluid determines how tight or loose the band will be.
The primary aim of this procedure is to restrict the amount of food the stomach can contain so that you don’t each much, thereby reducing the amount of calories absorbed into the body.
The procedure typically takes between 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
After the procedure, you may need to remain in the hospital for one or more days so that you can be observed and monitored. You will be given necessary instructions and the diet you need to be eating in the next weeks until full recovery.
You need to come to the hospital with a family member or someone because you are not allowed to drive home by yourself.
You may need to be taking vitamins and minerals supplements such as vitamin D, and B12 in place of the nutrients that are lost due to lack of food.
Your diet will be liquids in the first few days, then soft foods after some weeks before solid food after four or six weeks. Make sure you eat slowly and in small portions.
You will need to go for regular medical check-ups so that your doctor will examine you and know how well you are recovering. You will undergo regular blood tests every few months to make sure you don’t have low blood iron, low calcium, low level of vitamin D, and high blood glucose. You also need to go for check-ups so that your doctor can know how well you are losing weight. Your doctor may also need to adjust the band as necessary.
After full recovery, you will need to engage in regular exercises and eating healthily. Your diet should not contain foods that are high in calories and sugar.
Bear in mind that the key to losing weight after the procedure is to avoid eating a lot of food, totally avoid food that contains calories, follow a healthy diet, engage in exercises and generally live a healthy lifestyle.
The cost of LAGB is not fixed. It varies, depending on different factors such as the experience and qualification of the surgeon that performed the procedure, the location, the hospital & facilities, and other associated factors.
The average cost of LAGB range between $8,800 to $22,500.
LAGB procedures generally has rare short-term complications. Complications usually arise after several months. There have been cases of frequent vomiting, band erosion, band slip, esophagitis, pouch dilatation, esophageal dilatation, leakage in the balloon, port-site infections, port breakage, hernia formation, postoperative anastomotic strictures, dumping syndrome, vitamin deficiencies, and malnutrition.
There are cases where re-operation may be needed if severe complications arise and if the patient didn’t experience any weight loss.
40 to 60% weight loss has been reported on patients that undergone LAGB procedure. Weight reduction result largely depends on the lifestyle of the patient, diet, exercising, motivation, and compliance with instructions.
In a U.S. investigation of patients with a BMI somewhere in the range of 30 and 40, 80% of patients lost about 30% of their excess weight and maintained it for one year. There were a few patients who did not lose any weight and others who lost over 80% of their excess weight.
The number of patients choosing to undergo laparoscopic adjustable gastric band has recently declined significantly. This is likely because of the long-term complications that may arise. Many patients are instead opting for other kinds of weight loss procedures.
To achieve good result from this procedure, you must be willing to make major changes in your eating habits, and lifestyle. You must be willing to follow a healthy diet, exercise regularly, attend regular check-ups, and follow all the instructions that were given to you by your doctor, dietician, psychologist, and so on.
Inability to comply with all the instructions, eat a healthy diet and follow a healthy lifestyle may lead to regaining of weight or no weight loss.