Weight loss surgery may be the best option for people who are severely overweight. Though all surgery carries risks, some people have a severe enough problem with obesity and its related conditions that the risks of the surgery are more than offset by the benefits of weight loss. Generally those considered for weight loss surgery are those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more, or those with a BMI between 35 and 40 who have additional medical conditions such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
While gastric bypass surgery involves re-routing the intestines around a stomach made drastically and permanently smaller, there is another procedure available called laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, or “lap band” surgery. Though it is not suitable for all weight loss surgeries, it is lap band Los Angeles weight loss surgeons prefer due to its less invasive nature and lower risk profile than gastric bypass surgery.
During the lap band procedure, a small, inflatable silicone device is placed around the stomach through a laparoscopic incision. This device, also referred to as a lap band, is used to create a pouch out of the top part of the stomach that will hold about half a cupful of food. Compare this to the average 6 cups of food a typical stomach can hold.
Because the pouch fills quickly and because the lap band causes food to progress more slowly to the lower part of the stomach, the person with the lap band feels full more quickly, and for a longer period of time. Over time, the satisfaction with smaller portions leads to significant weight loss.
With lap band surgery, the stomach is not stapled or reduced in size, and the intestines do not have to be re-routed. This means that the patient can absorb nutrients normally, whereas gastric bypass surgery patients have to take supplements to ensure they absorb sufficient nutrition.
With gastric banding, the hospital stay is shorter, recovery is faster, and scars are smaller than with gastric bypass procedures. The lap band generally requires adjustment after the surgery, but this can be done in-office by the surgeon injecting a saline solution into a special access port that is placed just under the skin during surgery. When more saline is added, more pressure is placed on the outside of the stomach, decreasing the passage between the pouch created by the band and the lower part of the stomach.
The band is adjusted so that it is tight enough to cause the patient to feel full faster, but not so tight that food has difficulty making its way through the digestive system. It may take more than one adjustment to get the band just the right size.
Not all overweight patients are suitable lap band surgery, and though it is less invasive than gastric bypass, it is still surgery and carries risks. Many surgeons in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills area are highly qualified and experienced in performing this surgery, helping seriously overweight patients lose weight and adopt a much healthier lifestyle. In fact, when it comes to lap band Beverly Hills and Los Angeles are considered among the top places in the United States for the procedure due to the highly experienced surgeons there.
Weight loss surgery is a major decision, and anyone considering it should learn about the procedure and have a thorough consultation with a qualified surgeon specializing in this type of surgery.