Philip L. Leggett, MD
Houstonlaparoscopic surgery

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Health Information

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band for Weight Loss

Congratulations upon your decision to alter your lifestyle and to improve your health. As you are aware obesity is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Millions of adult are overweight and obese thus increasing the risk for health problems such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems.

The Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band system can help you obtain your goal of sustained weight loss. The adjustable gastric band, in combination with diet and behavior modification, can lead to long lasting weight loss. However, this is not a miracle cure and still requires work on your part. The "LAP-BAND" system is an adjustable silicone band that is surgically placed around the stomach to limit food intake. There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach involved during the lap band. The procedure requires a general anesthesia. The band may be adjusted to fit your individual needs and also removed if deemed necessary. The adjusting of the band reduces how much your stomach can hold and by increasing your feeling of being full. This is accomplished by creating a small stomach pouch. The band controls the opening or stoma of the stomach. The size of the pouch may be changed by adding or taking away fluid in the band. This is called inflating and deflating. This procedure does not require additional surgery and is often done in the doctor's office or an outpatient surgery center under x-ray. The amount of weight loss depends on how motivated and committed you are to changing your eating habits and altering your life to a new lifestyle. There is an average of approximately a 36-38 % weight loss of excess weight over a 2-3 year period after surgery. Keep in mind that some people do not lose any weight and some gain more weight after the surgery. Weight loss with the lap band may be slower and more gradual than with other weight loss procedures. Personal motivation and commitment plays a very important role in the success of your weight loss!

Prior to surgery you will be required to do some testing which may consist of lab/blood work, chest x-ray, EKG, ultrasound of the gallbladder, and a gastroscope. You will be required to see a nutritionist, a psychologist and other specialists as deemed necessary by Dr. Leggett. These specialists and tests will be ordered based on your medical history and/or co-morbidities. Should you be on any blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medication please, refrain from taking this medication as indicated with your pre-op instructions.

Unfortunately, no surgical procedure is without complications. The Laparoscopic procedure offers a faster recovery, less scarring from large incisions and less pain. However, it still carries the risk if any major surgery, which includes: infection, bleeding, chance of converting to an open procedure and death. Complications that are related to the band may include: nausea & vomiting, reflux, band slippage/pouch dilation, stoma obstruction (blockage of the stomach opening), difficulty swallowing, inflammation of the stomach, gastric ulcers, dehydration, constipation, weight gain, erosion of the band, infection, and death.

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