Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to become pregnant
Are there any special diets before
or after LapBand surgery?
What can I expect from the Lap Band surgery
and the recovery after?
Why am I not losing weight after
Lap Band surgery?
When should I contact my surgeon?
How much weight can I expect to lose?
Will I need plastic surgery after
the Lap Band surgery?
How long does the procedure take?
The LAP-BAND® system 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 have resumed normal activity by 1-2 weeks. Those patients that have had both the LAP-BAND® System and laparoscopic gallbladder surgery say that the LAP-BAND® System 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 liquid diet or as we suggest “anything through a straw” for the first two weeks. The next two weeks incorporate soft food. Four weeks out from surgery patients begin on regular food, being careful to avoid thick meats and breads. It is important to take small bites and to chew food thoroughly. Equally important, one should not drink while eating, to avoid washing all of the food particles that you’ve taken care to break down, resulting in you being able to eat more. Patients can drink unlimited amounts when they are not eating. Most people take in 800-1200 calories per day.
What is an adjustment?
An adjustment is an office procedure that takes a few minutes to do. Most people (>90%) state that it doesn’t hurt at all. By adjusting the LAP-BAND® Adjustable band, we 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® Adjustable 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 child bearing 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® System procedure becomes pregnant, we simply deflate the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric band and allow them to consume whatever calories they need for mom and baby to grow. Once they have completed breast feeding we tighten the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric band back up.
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® system 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 occurs 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 do fine. The final complication specific to the LAP-BAND® System 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 resecure or replace the port. The risk of death from a LAP-BAND® System is the same as someone undergoing a general anesthetic (around 0.05%).
Why should I choose the Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Bariatric Program?
Drs. Olsofka, Lusco, and Theuer have developed a comprehensive program built around the LAP-BAND® System. Because of the safety profile of the LAP-BAND® System, they do not offer gastric bypass. 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 psychiatric help 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 monthly support group meetings filled with LAP-BAND® System only patients.
How Do I Get Started?
First, our patients call and make an appointment to attend one of our free
LAP-BAND® System seminars. After attending the seminar a history form is filled out by the patient and reviewed by us. We then see the patients in our office for their first visit. Next a letter of medical necessity is submitted to their insurance company 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 cash-pay program with Sts. Mary and Elizabeth. It is all inclusive and covers all office visits and adjustments for up to one year. We also can help you set up financing with a local banking institution if necessary.