Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the procedure take?
The Lap-Band procedure takes about 30 minutes and is done on an outpatient basis. This is done under a general anesthetic and requires five small incisions.

What is the typical recovery?
Most patients require a few days to recover and resume normal activity by 1-2 weeks. Those patients that have had both the Lap-Band procedure and laparoscopic gallbladder surgery say that the Lap-Band procedure was much easier to recover from. In fact, our patients are discharged home on anti-inflammatory medications such as Aleve instead of narcotics.

What can I expect to eat after surgery?
Patients are placed on a specific nutritional regimen for two weeks following surgery. The first two weeks include both thin and fuller liquids. The following two weeks incorporate softer foods. One month out from surgery patients will begin regular food, being careful to avoid tough meats and breads. It is important to take small bites and to chew food thoroughly. Equally important, one should not drink while eating. Drinking with a meal will result in consuming more food and calories. Patients can drink unlimited amounts when they are not eating. Most Lap-Band patients consume 800-1200 calories per day.

What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is an office procedure that takes a few minutes to do. The Lap-Band is accessed through the port and adjusted appropriately with saline. Most people state that the adjustments do not cause pain. By adjusting the Lap-Band, we can control how fast the pouch empties. The slower it empties the longer you stay full.

How many adjustments will I need?
As you lose weight, the fat around the stomach diminishes and causes the

Lap-Band® to become looser. This is usually evident by the patient wanting to eat more and becoming hungry between meals. Additionally, your weight loss curve usually flattens out. Most people require around 3-5 adjustments over the lifetime of the Lap-Band® System.

What about becoming pregnant?
Most women of childbearing years find that with weight loss their menstrual cycles become more regular, and that it’s easier to become pregnant. There are also less complications with pregnancy and delivery. If a patient who has had a Lap-Band becomes pregnant, we simply deflate the Lap-Band and allow them to consume whatever calories they need for mom and baby to grow. Once they have completed breastfeeding, we tighten the Lap-Band appropriately.

How much weight can I expect to lose?
Most patients lose 1-2 pounds per week for the first year and a half. Most recent studies show that the average weight loss at 5 years is comparable to that of gastric bypass and gastric sleeve. Typical weight loss is 60-65% of your excess body weight. This is calculated by subtracting your ideal body weight from your current weight and then multiplying that number by .65.

What are the risks?
The Lap-Band® procedure has been shown to be 10 times safer than gastric bypass. Complications such as slip (2-10% reported in the literature) and erosions (1% reported in the literature) can occur. Gastric band slips usually require laparoscopic revision or repositioning of the band and are typically outpatient. Gastric band erosions require laparoscopic removal of the gastric band and usually a 1–2-day hospitalization

Temporary gastric obstruction can occur immediately after surgery and has a frequency of 2-5%. This is usually treated with IV fluids and observation. Once the swelling goes down patients return to normal. The final complication specific to the Lap-Band® is problems that can arise from the port. Rarely, the port can flip over or develop a leak, which requires a simple outpatient procedure to re-secure or replace the port. The risk of death from a Lap-Band® procedure is the same as someone undergoing a general anesthetic (around 0.05%).

Why should I choose the U of L Health, Mary & Elizabeth Hospital Bariatric Program?
Dr. Olsofka and Dr. Lusco have developed a comprehensive program built around the Lap-Band® System. Because of the safety profile of the Lap-Band® they do not offer gastric bypass or gastric sleeve.. This program is designed to be efficient for the patients and offers an extensive support network with an exercise program, nutritional support, education, counseling, and psychological resources if necessary. They also have a team of anesthesiologists who specialize in perioperative care of the bariatric patient. Our facility has state of the art laparoscopy equipment and a dedicated group of nurses that take care of our patients post-operatively. We also have bi-monthly support group meetings with Lap-Band® patients.

How Do I Get Started?
First, our patients view our newly revised Lap-Band focused online seminar. After viewing the seminar, an application must be completed. The application is reviewed, and our team contacts your insurance company to verify insurance coverage and benefits. You will be seen by Dr. Lusco or Dr. Olsofka for your Lap-Band consultation appointment. Next a letter of medical necessity is submitted to your insurance company along with other insurance criteria and once approved the patients are notified. We then have a designated day where patients come in for their preoperative testing as well as nutritional and exercise counseling. The patient then sees the surgeon the following week for the second visit and their surgery will be the following week.

What if my insurance company doesn’t approve this?
We have developed a self-pay option with U of L Health, Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. It is all inclusive and covers all office visits and adjustments for up to one year.