Debbie struggled with her weight. As a child, she would hear the humiliating comment “oh, she’d be so cute if she lost a little bit of weight.” She tried diets, but as Debbie explained, “the weight tends to come back and every time you step on the scale it goes up.” Understanding she needed a little assistance, she decided to talk to a Lap-Band® Surgeon. “It was time for me to do this for myself.”
The Lap-Band Program was an attractive option for three reasons. First, the surgery is performed laparoscopically. The incisions are small—1.5-2.5 cm each—which makes aftercare much easier. Second, Debbie was able to go home the same day because the procedure is performed as an outpatient surgery. And third, she was able to improve her overall health. Debbie no longer takes blood-pressure or blood-sugar medication.
Debbie lost 84 pounds in a year and a half with the Lap-Band Program, and she’s still going strong! She describes the Lap-Band Program as a blessing. And while any major change comes with some apprehension, Debbie’s advice is to “do it.” “I know that you’re scared, I was right there with you. But do it! I would tell you just to ‘do it.’” Even if you’re unsure like Debbie was, she encourages you to talk to a bariatric surgeon: “You will not regret your decision to have the Lap-Band Surgery.”
The Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.
The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.
The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.
Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.
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