Imagine a life without looking for your clothes in the plus-size section at a department store or being able to jog down the street without losing your breath. Now that dream can become a reality with the Lap-Band® procedure.
General surgeon Dr. Michael Sawyer of MMG General & Vascular Surgery has performed over 70 successful Lap-Band® procedures in the past three and a half years. As the only physician in Southwest Oklahoma providing this service he is determined to get the word out about this successful weight loss system.
“The Lap-Band system has an outcome very comparable to gastric bypass, but with less risk,” said Dr. Sawyer. “For those who are obese and would like to improve their health and quality of life, I would encourage them to contact me.”
According to Dr. Sawyer, the Lap-Band® system offers three options: Lap-Band® only, sleeve gastrectomy, and Lap-Band® with sleeve gastrectomy
What Is Lap-Band®?
Lap-Band® is a silicone belt or collar that goes around the upper part of the stomach. After this laparoscopic surgery, your stomach will be roughly the size of a golf ball, and only able to hold an ounce of food. As a result, your appetite will decrease, and you will eat less, feel full sooner, and gradually lose weight.
The Lap-Band® System is adjustable. It is connected to a port that sits underneath the skin. This port can be inflated with saline to tighten it and expedite weight loss. Saline can also be removed to loosen the band and alleviate side effects, if necessary.
Sleeve Gastrectomy is also performed laparoscopically but is more radical and irreversible. More than 80% of the stomach is amputated to create a sleeve.
Lap-Band with sleeve gastrectomy is reserved for more severe cases of obesity.
Who Are Candidates for the Lap-Band® System?
The Lab-Band® system is an option when dieting and exercising have failed and your obesity and/or its complications are affecting your health and quality of life. According to Dr. Sawyer, you may be a candidate for Lap-Band® surgery if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and have other underlying issues affected by excessive weight. Those with a BMI of 35 or greater do not necessarily need to have any other issues.
The Lap-Band® Procedure
Lap-Band® surgery takes about one hour to perform. It is typically done while you are under general anesthesia.
The Lap-Band® surgery is usually performed laparoscopically, meaning that the surgeon makes three to five incisions as opposed to one large incision (open surgery).
After making the incision, your surgeon inserts the Lap-Band — placing it around the upper part of the stomach — and locks it. It is secured in place with sutures. The rest of the lower stomach will stay in its normal position. The band can be tightened or loosened over time by filling or emptying the port, which alters the size of the passage.
The Lap-Band® procedure can be reversed if necessary.
Preparing for Lap-Band® Surgery
Losing weight before your surgery is a win-win. If you lose 5 to 10 percent of your excess body weight before your surgery, you will likely have a shorter hospital stay and lose your remaining weight more quickly after your surgery, according to a study in the Archives of Surgery.
Your Recovery from Lap-Band® Surgery
In general, most people can return to work within a week. If you have a physically demanding job, you may be out longer. You should also be able to return to normal activity and regular exercise within four to six weeks.
Life After Lap-Band®
Weight loss with gastric banding tends to be gradual. You may lose up to two or three pounds a week in the first year after the surgery, but one pound a week is the average. In most patients, gastric banding produces a loss of about 40 percent of excess weight in the first year and 55 percent of excess weight in the second year.
Cost of Lap-Band® Surgery
The cost of Lap-Band® surgery is based on the insurance company’s policy covering Morbid Obesity and is subject to co-pays and deductibles. Fills and adjustments are performed in the office. Most insurance companies require a history of previous attempts at weight loss before agreeing to cover the costs of Lap-Band® surgery. Dr. Sawyer’s staff is available to help determine if this procedure will be covered by your insurance.