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When Lap Band Weight Loss Surgery Is the Best Choice
Weight loss surgery may be the best option for overweight people. Although all surgeries carry risks, some people have serious problems with obesity and related conditions but the risks of 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 requires a smaller and more permanent repositioning of the intestine around the stomach, there is an alternative procedure called laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, or “lap band” surgery. Although it is not suitable for all weight loss surgeries, Los Angeles weight loss surgeons prefer it because of its less invasive nature and lower risk than gastric bypass surgery.
During the lap band procedure, a small silicone device is placed on the stomach through laparoscopic surgery. This device, also called a girdle, is used to create a pouch from the upper part of the stomach that can hold about half a cup of food. Compare that to the average 6 cups of food a normal stomach can handle.
Because the pouch fills up so quickly and because the band causes food to move more slowly to the lower part of the stomach, people with the band feel full faster, and for longer. Over time, satisfaction with smaller portions leads to significant weight loss.
In lap band surgery, the stomach is not compressed or reduced in size, and the bowel does not have to be re-circulated. This means that patients can absorb nutrients normally, but gastric bypass surgery patients need to take supplements to ensure they are getting enough nutrients.
With gastric bypass surgery, hospital stays are shorter, recovery times are faster, and scarring is less than with gastric bypass procedures. The band usually requires adjustment after surgery, but this can be done in the office by the surgeon injecting a saline solution into a special access port that is placed under the skin during the surgery. As more saline is added, more pressure is placed on the outside of the stomach, narrowing the path between the pouch formed by the band and the lower part of the stomach.
The band is designed to be tight enough to make the patient feel full faster, but not too tight to make it difficult for food to pass through the digestive system. It may take more than one adjustment to get the band size.
Obese patients are not suitable for lap band surgery, and although 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 procedure, helping obese patients lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. In fact, when it comes to Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, it is considered one of the top places in the United States for medical procedures because of the experienced surgeons there.
Weight loss surgery is a big decision, and anyone considering it should learn about the procedure and consult thoroughly with a surgeon who specializes in this type of surgery.
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