How Much Weight Can You Lose With Lap-Band Surgery?

Lap-Band surgery is a variety of bariatric surgery to help obese patients achieve weight loss, sometimes up to 50% of their original excess weight.

How Much Weight Can You Lose With Lap-Band Surgery?
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Overview
Millions of Americans try to lose weight each year. Most of the time, people can achieve their goal weights by diet and exercise. For some people, however, it's not so simple. These people have medical problems or are simply carrying too much weight that makes it difficult to lose with diet and exercise. In those cases, it's necessary to enlist the help of a doctor and bariatric surgery. One popular type of bariatric surgery that has helped millions of Americans lose large amounts of weight is lap-band surgery.
History
Lap-band surgery was developed by European doctors in the mid-1980s as a laparoscopic surgery designed to reduce the size of the stomach and the amount of food that can pass through it over time by using a Silastic band.
How the Surgery Works
The procedure requires surgeons to create a small incision in the abdomen. Once the incision is created, an area is cleared at the top of the stomach for passage of a lap band. The lap band is then secured around the small stomach pouch by an interlocking mechanism. After the lap band is secured, a small plastic access port is placed just under the skin. The lap band contains a plastic ring lining that can be filled with water to narrow the stomach opening, limiting the amount that can pass through it. The amount of water in the plastic ring is adjusted by placing a needle into the access port and increasing or withdrawing fluid amounts as necessary.
Advantages
As with any surgical procedure, there are advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that since the procedure is laparoscopic, there is no need for large incisions in the abdomen. In addition, the lap band can be adjusted according to a patient's needs and the procedure is completely reversible.
Disadvantages
Disadvantages of lap-band surgery include the potential for infection due to a foreign body (the lap-band.) Also, most patients will need to have their lap band adjusted several times post-procedure
Expected Weight Loss
According to bariatric surgery professionals at the Mayo Clinic, patients can expect to lose 50 to 60 percent of their excess weight after undergoing lap-band surgery. It's important to note that the amount of weight loss varies from patient to patient and is dependent on a patient's adherence with the dietary and nutritional instructions prescribed by their physician.
Special Considerations
Lap-band surgery is recommended primarily for patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher and for obese patients who suffer from medical conditions, like diabetes or sleep apnea, that can be alleviated with weight loss.
Resources
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Banner Health Center
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Mayo Clinic
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Mayo Clinic
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Duke University Health System