Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding is also known as LAGB. This is one of the least invasive bariatric surgery operations which are available for obesity. Performed under a few tiny abdominal incisions instead with a single large incision, this surgical intervention uses instruments like a laparoscope, which is a tool with a tiny camera attached to it. Bariatric surgeons make use of such tools to place a band around the top portion of stomach & which subsequently leaves a very small pouch available for ingested food. Eventually, this small pouch means that the patient will now feel full after eating small amounts of food. This is to help the patient lose weight & like the name suggests, this bariatric procedure can either be adjusted or even reversed at any point of time.
LAGB is commonly used to treat severe cases of obesity which are linked to arthritis, sleep apnea, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol & high blood pressure. This weight loss procedure is recommended for people who have earlier tried other weight loss programs without any long-term success. Once LAGB patients lose significant amounts of weight, their risks for weight-related health problems also falls as a bargain. Adjustable gastric binding is designed to help people live longer when they fail to lose weight in other ways. Bariatric surgeons usually recommend LAGB for patients who are severely obese with BMI (body mass index) greater than 40. Gastroenterologists might also recommend LAGB for patients whose BMI is between 35 – 40 along with a medical condition like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery Procedure
Before undertaking LAGB, bariatric surgeons will make sure that the patient is a good candidate to the procedure. They will also obtain surgical clearance from the patient’s healthcare provider. LAGB patients will have to visit the bariatric surgeon for a physical examination & undergo blood tests for nutritional deficiencies & other associated problems along with an ECG (electrocardiogram) in order to make sure that the patient is having no pre-existing medical problems. Moreover, many bariatric surgery clinics might ask LAGB patients to enroll for a special pre-surgical program which is educating about healthy living & about the gastric banding procedure in order to prepare the patient for the operation. Moreover, LAGB bariatric surgery is not recommended for people who are abusing alcohol or drugs or are having any other serious medical problem or are unwilling to make commitment for lifestyle changes involving diet & exercise programs. Prospective LAGB patients are also required to quit smoking before bariatric surgery & should be inclined not to start it once again.
The patient will be administered general anesthesia during the surgical intervention. The bariatric surgeon will then make several small incisions inside the patient’s abdomen in order to be able to insert the required surgical instruments. Gastric band, which is made of special rubber material is then placed around the stomach & tightened so that the upper portion of the stomach forms a smaller pouch which empties into a large pouch located below. Bariatric surgeons will then leave a small port under skin of the patient’s stomach in case the size of the pouch is required to be increased or decreased in future. When required, bariatric surgeons insert a needle into port so as to inflate or deflate the band. Gastric adjustable band around the patient’s stomach will now work like a balloon & compress the channel in stomach around which this band is placed. The entire LAGB surgical intervention usually takes about 3- – 60 minutes of time.
Benefits of Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery
LAGB bariatric procedure does not involve removing any portion of the stomach or stapling as with other bariatric surgeries. Therefore, it does not disturb absorption of nutrients from food in the same way that it used to do prior to undergoing LAGB surgery. LAGB is one of the safest bariatric weight loss procedures available as of now.
Patients will typically be able to go back home the day after LAGB operation. Diet during recovery will mostly consist of liquids & pureed food for about 2 to 3 weeks of time. After this patients can gradually begin adding soft foods & then followed by regular normal food. Most patients can return to their regular, but smaller diets, in about 6 weeks of time. Hereafter, LAGB patients are required to eat smaller meals as necessary part of lifestyle changes. They are also required to chew food slowly & repeatedly so as to convert it into liquid slurry before swallowing. They are also required to eat healthy diets which are high in protein, minerals & vitamins, but low on sugar. LAGB bariatric surgery does not make a patient suddenly lose weight. However, it is a safer & less invasive bariatric procedure than other types of weight loss surgeries, including the traditional gastric bypass surgical intervention. Nevertheless, with LAGB, patients will have to be prepared to eat appropriately & exercise regularly. Based on this tight regimen, LAGB patients can expect a long-term weight loss equaling to one fourth to one third of their original weight. Nevertheless, since LAGB patients will be at high risk for nutritional deficiencies for the remaining part of their lives, they will also be required to take a prescribed daily dose of supplements as well. They will also need to take life-long medical care in order to watch-out for any types of problems they develop with nutrition.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding Surgery Success Rates
Stay at the hospital following LAGB surgery is generally overnight, after which the patient will start on clear fluids including water, juices, broth & black tea. These are required to be slowly sipped in small amounts. Moreover, before patients go home, they are required to undergo x-rays so as to check the position of the gastric band after which they can have free fluids for the rest of their time at the hospital. During the following 4 – 6 weeks of time while the LAGB patient’s body will heal, they will gradually increase texture & volume of food intake. They may also be provided a dietary guidelines booklet during their appointment with the dietician.
- First postoperative visit to the obesity clinic will be arranged in about 1 – 3 weeks of time following LAGB surgery. The healing of the patients’ wounds will be assessed & other issues discussed during this appointment.
- First appointment for adjustment of the gastric band will generally take place between 4 – 6 weeks of time following surgery. The PAGB patient will then see the bariatric surgeon initially so as to achieve appropriate band fluid volume & thereafter decrease frequency of surgical consultations.
Dieticians would usually call on phone within the first week following LAGB surgery in order to review intake of food. The first postoperative visit to the dieticians’ clinic will occur between 3 – 6 weeks following operation & thereafter every 3 – 6 months. In order to maintain health benefits of LAGB procedure, it is important that patients maintain regular contact with the dietician & the healthcare team members. This will eventually help them achieve all health related benefits of the adjustable gastric banding procedure.
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