The Lap Band 411

With several weight loss surgeries being offered to patients, it’s hard to choose which one is right for each patient. Every surgery has its benefits but so far the lap band system has showed the most promise. This surgery will not only improve the way a person feels, but could also boost a person’s confidence.

The lap band system, compared to other weight loss surgeries, does not require stapling or cutting of the stomach. The lap band surgery is unique because it is the only gastric band surgery that is reversible and adjustable, conforming to each patient’s needs. The lap band surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that is done laparoscopically, which means that there are only small incisions made in the abdomen. The lap band surgeon will place the band directly on the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch that will be fill quicker as a person eats. This will in turn make the patient feel full quicker and stay full for a longer period of time.

During this surgery the bariatric doctor will place a small port under the first few layers of skin in the abdomen. This port is connected to the silicone band around the stomach. This port makes adjustments easier. If the patient finds themselves eating with out any restriction, the physician will adjust lap band to make band tighter and the patient will be able to feel difference right after adjustment. These lap band adjustments are done by the lap band surgeon who will locate the access port by feeling it through the skin.

After the port has been located, the surgeon will insert a fine needle into the port, which only feels like a small quick pinch similar to when someone donates blood. With that needle that surgeon will be adding saline into band to make it tighter. Or if it so happens that a patient needed saline removed, it would be done the same way but instead of adding fluid, saline would be removed.

This surgery usually does not last more than an hour. It usually is an outpatient procedure which means that in most cases a patient will be able to go home the same day as surgery. The lap band surgeon will explain any aftercare instructions, including how to care for the small incisions.

Most lap band surgeons will provide the first lap band adjustment 6 weeks after surgery to allow the stomach to heal from surgery and get used to the band. Immediately after surgery, diet consists of 2 weeks of liquids, then will move to bland, semi solid foods, and eventually back into solid foods in small portions.

While the procedure is covered under most PPO insurances, the cost of the lap band procedure ranges from $15,000-$18,000, depending on existing medical conditions. If insurance doesn’t cover lap band surgery, most facilities offer lapband financing. Lapband financing can be done through a medical financing company such as CareCredit.

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