Are you tired of trying to lose weight and never seeing results? Have you considered getting a gastric band to help you shed those extra pounds? If you’re not sure what a gastric band is or how it works, keep reading!
What is a Gastric Band?
A gastric band, also known as a laparoscopic adjustable gastric band or LAP-BAND, is a medical device that is implanted around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. This limits the amount of food that you can eat, helping you feel full with smaller amounts of food. The band is adjustable, so your doctor can make it tighter or looser depending on how much weight you need to lose.
How Does it Work?
During a gastric band surgery, a band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, dividing it into two parts: a smaller upper pouch and a larger lower pouch. The upper pouch can hold only a small amount of food, which limits the amount of food you can eat at one time. The band is connected to a port that is placed under the skin of your abdomen, which your doctor can use to adjust the band over time.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Gastric Band?
Generally, gastric band surgery is recommended for people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or those with a BMI of 30 or higher who have weight-related health issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure. However, each case is different, and your doctor will evaluate your individual situation to determine if gastric band surgery is a good option for you.
What are the Benefits of a Gastric Band?
- Can promote significant weight loss
- Improvement of weight-related health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea
- Lower risk of heart disease and stroke
- Improved overall quality of life
What are the Risks?
Like any surgery, gastric band surgery carries some risks. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slippage of the band
- Leakage of fluid from the band
- Difficulty swallowing
If you experience any problems after your surgery, it’s important to contact your doctor right away.
Shedding Pounds Made Easy
If you’ve tried other weight loss methods without success, a gastric band may be a good choice for you. Over time, with regular adjustments to the band and a healthy diet and exercise plan, you can achieve significant weight loss and improve your overall quality of life.
What to Expect After Surgery
After your gastric band surgery, you will need to follow a special diet and gradually introduce soft foods back into your diet. You will also need to make regular adjustments to the band, which your doctor will do for you in the office. This will help you achieve continued weight loss and maintain your progress.
Meal Planning Tips
Here are some tips to make meal planning easier with a gastric band:
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day
- Avoid high-fat, high-calorie foods
- Chew your food thoroughly to avoid discomfort and ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need
- Focus on protein-rich foods to help you feel full longer
Exercise and Physical Activity
Getting regular exercise is an important part of losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. After your surgery, start with low-impact exercises such as walking and gradually increase your activity level as you feel comfortable.
Having a support system can be hugely beneficial as you go through the process of losing weight with a gastric band. Look for support groups in your area, or consider joining an online group to connect with others who are going through the same experience.
A gastric band can be a highly effective tool for weight loss, but it’s important to remember that it is not a magic solution. It requires commitment and dedication to a healthy diet and exercise plan in order to achieve lasting results. If you’re considering a gastric band surgery, talk to your doctor to see if it’s a good option for you.
FAQs about Gastric Band Surgery
- Q: Is gastric band surgery covered by insurance?
- A: Many insurance providers do cover gastric band surgery, but it’s important to check with your individual provider to see what is covered under your plan.
- Q: Can the band be removed if necessary?
- A: Yes, the band can be removed if it’s causing complications or if you’re no longer satisfied with the results.
- Q: How much weight can I expect to lose with a gastric band?
- A: The amount of weight loss varies from person to person, but most people can expect to lose 50-60% of their excess weight over the first two years after surgery.
- Q: How long does the surgery take?
- A: Gastric band surgery typically takes 30-60 minutes.
1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2017). Gastric Banding Surgery. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery/gastric-banding-surgery
2. Mayo Clinic. (2020). Gastric Banding. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/gastric-banding/about/pac-20385187