Most overweight people have experienced the “Dieting Yo-Yo” – they
lose some pounds, but soon gain back even more. In the long run, they
remain on the same medications for blood pressure and diabetes, and they
are still obese.
If you are obese and neither lifestyle changes nor medications have
helped you lose enough weight, surgery may be an option. Bariatric
surgery (surgery to treat obesity), helps keep weight off long-term,
improves your health, and has been shown in multiple studies to cure or
significantly reduce many of the other health problems associated with
obesity. It is safe in the long-term, fully covered by virtually all
insurance plans and, with recent advances, can be minimally invasive and
have you back home as early as the next day.
Approved in 2001 by the FDA, laparoscopic banding is the safest and
least invasive bariatric surgery for patients for patients interested in
The lap band is a small, saline-inflatable band placed around the upper
portion of the patient’s stomach. The surgery is performed
laparoscopically, which means less scarring, shorter hospital stay, less
pain, quicker return to full activities, and fewer long-term
complications. And it leaves the stomach fully intact.
It works by being placed around the upper part of the stomach to create a
small stomach pouch that holds a small amount of food. The band
restricts the amount of food consumed, slows the emptying of food from
the stomach, and provides a constant sensation of being full. It allows
you to finally gain control over your hunger.
Operating time is about 60 minutes and most patients are ready to leave
the hospital the following day. Over 200,000 of these surgeries have
been performed around the world providing their safety and
effectiveness. Most patients can return to work within a week or two.
How does it work?
The lap band is adjustable to fit your particular weight loss needs,
which can control the amount of saline in the band with a fine needle
through the skin. The average weight loss of lap band patients in a
clinical study was approximately 36-38% of excess weight, two to three
years after surgery. Most importantly, the procedure is 100%
reversible, which means that at any point the band can be easily
removed, leaving your body virtually unchanged.
Our bariatric program now accepts patients who wish to pay out of pocket
for the lap band procedure. Many of our patients are surprised at just
how affordable this option is. Patients often choose this alternative
because their insurance carrier may feel that they do not meet their
criteria for bariatric surgery or require a 6 month to one year wait
before they will allow patients who otherwise qualify to undergo
surgery. We are more than happy to discuss this very affordable option
with in greater detail at the time of your initial consultation.
Another option in bariatric surgery is the sleeve gastrectomy. It is
a fairly new minimally invasive technique where the surgeon creates a
small, sleeve -shaped stomach about the size of a banana. The stomach
is about 15%-20% smaller than its original size. With this option
patients are expected to have 70% excess weight loss at 18 months. The
sleeve gastrectomy is not a reversible procedure.
There are several benefits to the sleeve gastrectomy. It is effective
for patients who are morbidly obese and an alternative for patients
suffering from morbid obesity whose health risks are too complicated for
earlier weight loss methods. There is no foreign body present and no
malabsorption as with the bypass. This procedure, which takes about an
hour involves at least an overnight stay, does not involve any rerouting
or reconnecting of the intestine.