LAP-BAND® Surgery Results
Weight loss surgery with the LAP-BAND® can help you lose a significant amount of weight safely, maintain weight loss long-term, and improve your overall health and quality of life. These positive effects have been proven in numerous studies and experienced by hundreds of thousands people worldwide.
As you plan for your surgery, it is important to talk to your bariatric surgeon about your weight loss goals and expectations. Getting the best weight loss results will depend on making changes to your diet, eating habits, and lifestyle choices. Make sure you fully understand how the procedure works and what will be required of you as a LAP-BAND® patient.
Some of the results to consider:
- Surgical Outcomes - Is it safe?
- Weight Loss - How much and how fast?
- Health Conditions - What improvements?
- Changes in Quality of Life - Does it get better?
Surgical Outcomes - Is LAP-BAND® surgery safe?
Studies have shown laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (including the LAP-BAND® System) is safer than other bariatric surgeries (including gastric sleeve and gastric bypass), with fewer surgical complications, lower risk of hospital readmission, lower reoperation rate, and a shorter hospital stay.
Any type of major surgery involves risk, however, especially for patients with excess weight and certain diseases. It has been shown that about 1-3% of LAP-BAND® patients experience surgical complications. Most complications are not serious, but some may require hospitalization and/or reoperation. Death is not common (less than 1%), but can occur even if all precautions are taken. Some of the general surgical risks of laparoscopic surgery include: reaction to medications and anesthesia used in the operation, perforation (a tear) of the stomach or esophagus, spleen or liver damage, damage to major blood vessels, lung problems, infection, and blood clots.
It is important for patients to discuss the specific risks and potential complications of surgery with their surgeon during the pre-surgery process. While risk cannot be eliminated, patients can act to minimize the chance of problems by choosing a qualified and experienced bariatric surgeon who specializes in the LAP-BAND® procedure and by following the pre-op instructions given to them by their doctor.
Weight Loss - How fast and how much?
The LAP-BAND® procedure provides weight loss at a gradual and steady rate of about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds per week, although it is possible to lose up to 2 to 3 pounds per week. This is considered a medically safe rate of weight loss. In general, if you lose weight too quickly it can be a health risk. The LAP-BAND® helps you achieve in a healthy and safe manner.
LAP-BAND® patients lose an average of 50 to 60% of excess weight, but outcomes vary - some people lose a lot more than the average and some people lose a lot less. Most of the weight loss occurs in the first 12 to 18 months following surgery, but continues for up to 3 years. The weight loss is able to maintained over the long-term (measured up to 5-years and 10-years after surgery).
Individual results may be more or less than the average amount because weight loss is dependent on a combination of factors including starting weight, diet after surgery, and level of exercise.
Improvements to Health and Quality of Life
Most LAP-BAND® patients find that their obesity related health conditions either improve or disappear completely as they lose weight. If you have medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), sleep apnea, asthma, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or knee pain, it is likely that you too will see your health improve as you lose weight.
In addition to health benefits, the majority of LAP-BAND® patients enjoy a tremendous improvement in their appearance, energy level and ability to participate in physical activities.
Optimizing Weight Loss Results
The best outcomes are achieved by patients who follow dietary guidelines, engage in daily exercise, keep follow-up appointments for monitoring and band adjustments, attend support groups, and participate in other aspects of a multidisciplinary bariatric program, including sessions with a nutritionist and psychologist.
Follow-Up Care. Showing up for your scheduled appointments is important because this is the time your bariatric team will provide you with a personalized diet and exercise plan, monitor your weight loss and nutrient levels, review your eating habits and various symptoms, and make any necessary band adjustments.
Band Adjustments. Often called fills, band adjustments are periodic increases in the amount of restriction caused by the band to further weight loss results. Patients can expect several adjustments within the first six months and then fewer as the optimal amount of restriction is reached to balance weight loss and eating comfort. Adjustments involve adding/removing saline solution to/from the gastric band to increase/decrease restriction with a needle via the access port.
Exercise. Daily exercise is a vital aspect of losing weight and maintaining weight loss results long-term. Starting the day after surgery, your doctor will probably instruct you to start walking. The level of physical activity will start off slow and increase over time as your surgeon advises.
A typical exercise regimen will include aerobic activities (such as walking, swimming and bicycling), resistance training (light weight lifting and sit-ups), and flexibility exercises (yoga). It is important to find activities you enjoy so that you stick to your exercise program. You may also find it helpful to work with a personal trainer or attend fitness classes geared to bariatric patients so that you can learn about the types of exercises, how to do them properly, and to boost your motivation.
Support Groups. Attendance in support groups has been proven to be beneficial in assisting surgical weight loss patients with achieving and maintaining successful outcomes. Support groups can provide emotional support, coping techniques, nutritional information, behavior modification, and personal development, as well as positive socialization.
Comparing Weight Loss Results - LAP-BAND® vs Gastric Bypass and Sleeve
When comparing results, long-term weight loss is significant with all three procedures. The rate of weight loss and weight loss period differs between the procedures.
In the short-term, patients getting gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery tend to drop weight faster and have a shorter weight loss period (12-18 months), but weight regain over time is a factor with these options as the body adapts to the surgical changes.
The initial rate of weight loss with the LAP-BAND® is at a more gradual and healthy pace and the weight loss period can often extend up to three years. In the long-term (5-10 years after surgery), weight loss results are more similar.
Changing your lifestyle is difficult, but if you adopt new eating habits and eat less, which the LAP-BAND® will help you do, and engage in appropriate follow-up care, then the procedure will help you achieve healthy, long-term weight loss success.