FAQs about Lap Band
Q: Will I often be sick after the operation?
A: The Lap Band System was developed to limit the food intake in a patient-friendly way. If you regularly feel nauseous or sick, it may mean that you are not chewing the food well or following the diet rules properly. It may also mean that there is a problem with the placement of the band, so you should contact your doctor. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible because it can cause the small stomach pouch to stretch or may lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band, thus reducing the success of the operation and, in some cases, requiring another operation.
Q: Will I suffer from constipation?
A: There may be reduction in the volume of the stools following a decrease in food intake, because less fiber is eaten. This should not cause severe problems, but if difficulties do arise, consult your doctor. He or she may suggest that you take a mild laxative and drink plenty of water for a while to resolve the problem. (Drinking plenty of water is a good idea, anyway.)
Q: Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
A: It is possible that you may not get enough vitamins within three small meals a day. During your regular check-ups, your specialist will evaluate whether you are getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B-12 , folic acid and iron. Your surgeon may advise you to take vitamin supplements.
Q: What about other medication?
A: You should be able to take prescribed medication. You may need to break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water so that they do not get stuck in the stoma and possibly make you sick. You should always consult the doctor prescribing the medication regarding this. Your surgeon may advise you to avoid taking aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers since they may irritate the stomach and could result in problems requiring band removal.
Q: What will happen if I become ill?
A: One of the major advantages of the Lap Band System is its adjustability. Should you develop an illness which requires you to eat more, the band can be loosened by removing saline from it. As soon as you have recovered from your illness and weight loss is desirable and safe, the band can be tightened by increasing the amount of saline.
Q: How is the band adjusted?
A: Adjustments are often carried out in the X-ray department so that the site of the reservoir can be clearly seen. When X-rays are used, your reproductive organs should be shielded. Sometimes adjustments can be performed in the outpatient clinic or office. Local anesthesia may or may not be necessary. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the reservoir in order to add or subtract saline. This procedure usually takes only a few minutes and is considered by most patients to be nearly painless.
Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: If the band is in the right position and you are committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits, you may lose between one-third and two-thirds of your excess weight. It is important that you lose weight gradually over a period of 12 to 18 months or more. Rapid weight loss represents a health risk and can be associated with a variety of problems, of which nausea and vomiting are only the most minor examples. A weight loss of 2-3 pounds a week in the first year after the operation is a possibility but certainly not a rule. Twelve to 18 months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Remember that your primary goal is to achieve a weight loss that prevents, improves or resolves health problems associated with obesity or morbid obesity.
One final point:
It is important that you ask your surgeon all the questions you may have regarding obesity surgery and the Lap Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System, and it is essential that you follow his or her recommendations.
Q: What about pregnancy?
A: Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight because your menstrual cycle may become more regular. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band can be loosened. After the pregnancy, the band may be made tighter again so that you can go back to losing weight.
Q: Can the band be removed?
A: Although the Lap Band System is not meant to be removed, it is possible. In some cases this can be done laparoscopically. Surgeons report that the stomach generally returns to its original shape once the band is removed. However, after the removal of the Lap Band System you may soon go back up to your original weight, or more.
Q: What if I go out to eat?
A: Order only a small amount, such as an appetizer. Eat slowly so that you finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much.
Q: What about alcohol?
A: Not only does alcohol contain an excessive number of calories, but it breaks down vitamins and thus should be avoided as much as possible. However, one glass of wine at a reception, a birthday or a dinner party should not do much nutritional harm.
Q: Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?
A: It is not always necessary. As a general rule, plastic surgery will not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation. Sometimes the skin is sufficiently elastic to mold itself around the new body tissue. It is recommended that you allow the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery.
About Mexicali Bariatric Center
Mexicali weight loss surgery provider Dr. Alberto Aceves has performed more than 6000 bariatric procedures throughout his career. As an experienced surgeon, he is pleased to provide Mexico Lap Band, vertical sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass patients with safe, effective treatments for their sustained weight loss. If you are interested in learning more about bariatric surgery, or you have previously undergone treatment and are interested in Mexicali revision surgery, contact Mexicali Bariatric Center today.