Obesity causes an increased risk of health complications such as diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea. However, weight loss isn't easy, especially if you've been significantly overweight for a long time. If your doctor agrees you're a good candidate, you might get help with your weight loss efforts through weight loss surgery. The least invasive option is the lap band procedure. Here's how it works.
A Band Is Applied To Your Stomach
Other types of weight loss surgery involve cutting or stapling your stomach. The lap band surgery doesn't require any cutting except for the incisions required to apply the band. The band goes around the top part of your stomach, and when the band is tightened, the top of your stomach forms a small pouch that fills with food quickly so you get full sooner and eat less.
The Surgery Is Done Laparoscopically
Laparoscopic surgery is performed through small incisions on your abdomen and the use of a scope that allows the surgeon to see inside your body. This eliminates the need to open up your abdomen and have a long incision that makes recovery more painful and longer. You might need to stay overnight in the hospital after your surgery or you might have an outpatient procedure depending on your doctor's policies.
The Band Requires Adjustments
The band has a tube attached to it that stays in your body near the skin of your abdomen. The tube has a port the doctor can use to inflate or deflate the band. This allows the doctor to tighten the band if your stomach needs to be made smaller, and they can also make the band looser if needed.
A lap band can even be removed if necessary and your stomach then returns to normal. This makes the lap band procedure the only weight loss surgery that is adjustable and reversible.
A Lap Band Doesn't Interfere With Nutrient Absorption
A benefit of lap band surgery is that your digestive system continues to work normally, so there is no interference with nutrient absorption like there is with other types of weight loss surgery. You still have an intact stomach, it just fills up faster. As long as you eat a healthy diet, you'll be able to absorb all the nutrients your body needs.
You'll eventually return to a more normal diet, but initially, you'll have to stay on a liquid diet and transition to soft foods. Then, you can gradually add regular food to your diet to learn what you can tolerate. However, you should avoid junk food so you can lose weight.
To be successful at losing weight and keeping it off, you have to change your dietary habits. Your doctor may send you to a nutritionist to help you make the transition to healthier eating and to help you choose the right diet for life with a lap band. You can also look into a company like Davtyan Medical Weight Loss for more information.