If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either thinking about or have already had lap band surgery. It’s the most popular weight loss surgery in the U.S., with more than 75,000 procedures performed each year.
The lap band is a band that is wrapped around the stomach, forming a large gastric pouch. This pouch is connected to the small intestine with a surgically created stoma. Because food passes through the stomach into the pylorus more easily than directly into the small intestine, this procedure is thought to be easier for most people to follow than other weight loss surgeries. (Other common weight loss surgeries are gastric bypass surgery and vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG) — both of which are discussed below.)
The results of your surgery will vary. Most patients report losing some (or all) of their excess weight within months of their procedure. While this may be the case, it can also take a bit longer for some people to see the best results of their surgery. With a little bit of patience, however, anyone can look and feel healthier than they have in years.
What Is The Difference Between The Lap Band, Gastric Bypass, And Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG)?
A gastric bypass is a type of gastric surgery that essentially changes the way food works in the body. Instead of going through the stomach and exiting to the intestines, food is diverted directly from the stomach to the upper intestine (jejunum) where it can be completely absorbed. (Think of a carribean fish taco, but way bigger.) This lessens the amount of food that is digested and makes you feel fuller than you would after eating food that was not bypassed. (1)
A lap band is also a type of gastric surgery, but it is more narrow and is usually only used to treat people who have a high BMI (body mass index — a measure of weight status based on height and weight) and don’t want to lose a lot of weight. Because the lap band is a less invasive procedure, it is believed to have fewer side effects than gastric bypass surgery. It is also a bit cheaper, which makes it an attractive option for people on a limited budget. Finally, it is far easier to learn how to cook healthy foods once you have your lap band than it is to learn how to cook after undergoing a gastric bypass.
When Do You Lose Weight After Lap Band Surgery?
You may start losing weight right after your surgery. In fact, you should start to see some results right away. However, because it takes time for the body to get back to its pre-surgery state, you may not see the best results for months. It’s important to remember that the amount of weight you lose will vary from one person to the next. Some people may lose a lot of weight right away while others may not see any significant changes for several months.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With A Lap Band?
The number of pounds you can lose with a lap band will depend on several factors. The size of the band and how much weight you have to lose will determine how much weight you can lose. (Smaller bands can only handle smaller amounts of weight loss.) For instance, if you’re a woman who weighs 180 pounds and you want to lose 40 pounds, you should look into getting a medium lap band. (Remember: every band and procedure has a maximum weight it can handle. Your surgeon will advise you of this before you undergo the surgery.)
You may also need to take other factors, such as your age and whether you are a diabetic or have kidney disease, into consideration. The older you are, the harder it will be for your body to lose weight. Also, if you have diabetes or kidney disease, you need to watch your diet extremely carefully after your surgery. Some foods may affect your blood sugar or blood pressure, so you have to be careful not to overeat after your surgery. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to lose the weight you want and need.
Are There Any Longer Term Side Effects From Lap Band Surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there are several longer term side effects associated with lap band surgery. These include:
- Bad Breath
- Poor Appetite
- Mouth Dryness
- Memory Loss
- Facial Hair Growth
While these side effects are relatively rare, they are all quite unpleasant. If you or a loved one is suffering from any of these side effects, you should consult with your surgeon immediately. There are also a few more side effects that are specific to lap band surgery. (2)
Should You Adjust Your Diet After Your Lap Band Surgery?
It is not advisable to change your diet completely after you have had your lap band surgery. The amount of food you eat will affect your weight, so it’s best to stay true to what your body is used to. It is also important to continue to exercise regularly, as this will help you stay fit and prevent further complications from arising.
However, once you have reached your goal weight, you should consider changing the way you eat. When you reach your goal weight, you should avoid foods with lots of additives and preservatives. These are the types of foods that are known to cause cancer. You should also try to consume more veggies and fruits than usual. All of this will increase the chances of you staying healthy for longer.
In some cases, people who have had the Lap Band surgery and then switched to a low-carb diet have had positive results. This type of diet does not discriminate between fat and carbs, but instead focuses on how much energy you get from each food unit. This may help some people who have had the surgery to lose weight and maintain their ideal body. (3)
Are There Any Differences Between The Different Types Of Lap Bands?
There are several different types of lap bands. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the most popular types is the silicone-based band. These are relatively new to the market, but have gained a good deal of acceptance due to their low tissue reaction. The other types of lap bands include the titanium and the steel. The steel bands are strong but can cause some complications due to the possibility of rusting if not cleaned properly after each use. Also, depending on the type and brand of steel band you use, you may or may not encounter the problem of rusting. The titanium bands are strong and have a good reputation, but they are also very expensive. They are also one of the more technically demanding types of lap bands to implant.
It’s best to consult with your surgeon to see what type of lap band will be best for you. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of lap band you want to go with, but keep in mind that each type has its pros and cons.