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LapBand Surgery and Its Alternatives

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The LapBand surgery is a weight loss procedure that has increased in popularity in the United States. Those suffering from severe to morbid obesity, turn to the LapBand to lose weight and improve their health. Unfortunately, the LapBand isn’t the best option for most. If you need professional help losing weight, it is important to examine all of your options. This includes the LapBand surgery, as well as alternatives.

The LapBand System

As previously stated, the LapBand system has increased in popularity in the United States. This is due to its high success rate, low recovery period, and low risk of complications. With the LapBand system, an adjustable gastric band is just to decrease the size of the stomach. This, in a way, forces patients to eat less, which results in weight loss.

Although the LapBand surgery is known for its low complication rate, complications do occur. Surgeons have a strict set of criteria they use to determine surgery eligibility. Those who are between the ages of 18 and 60 and who are in relatively good health are ideal candidates for the LapBand system. Due to the risks, surgeons prefer to operate on those who are severely obese. This translates into an average Body Mass Index (BMI) rating of 40 or higher. Most importantly is a clear understanding of the surgery and what is expected of the patient.

In terms of expectations, diet restrictions are a must. Due to a smaller stomach pouch, diet restrictions are necessary not only to lose weight, but to reduce post-surgery complications. Eating too much food can result in band slippage, acid reflux, and regurgitation. In the weeks following surgery, patients work through various stages, which include clear liquids, full liquids, pureed foods, soft foods, and solid foods.

Gastric Bypass Surgery

In many instances, gastric bypass surgery is similar to the LapBand procedure. The post surgery diet is similar. Instead of using an adjustable gastric band, stomach cutting and stapling is involved. In the United States, there are two main types of gastric bypass surgery; Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Biliopancreatic Diversion.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass is the most commonly performed gastric bypass procedure in the United States. The stomach is stapled to create a smaller stomach pouch. Next, the small intestine is rerouted to the pouch. This process allows food to bypass the jejunum and duodenum. Although successful, in terms of weight loss, the rerouting of the small intestine has been known to cause a decrease in nutrient and calorie absorption.

Biliopancreatic Diversion is also known as extensive gastric bypass. This is the most complicated form of weight loss surgery. Unlike the LapBand system and the Roux-en-Y because the stomach is not just reduced in size, but the lower portion is removed. This procedure is not only permanent, but risky. For that reason, it is less common in the Untied States, but still available to select patients.

Diet and Exercise

Those suffering from extreme obesity opt for weight loss procedures. While a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise is needed to see success with all weight loss surgeries, patients always have the option to rely just on it.

Due to risks and complications, not all patients are deemed ideal candidates for weight loss surgery. Those patients are encouraged to lose weight through diet and exercise. Although it will be a long and stressful process, it is a natural and safe way to lose weight. Professional help can come from a personal trainer and nutrition expert.

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