There are three main types of weight loss surgery that people undergo to help with weight loss: gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and lap band surgery. Of all of the bariatric surgical procedures performed each year, almost 40% of these are lap band surgeries.
But what exactly is lap band surgery? Why do some people choose lap band surgery over other types of weight loss surgery? How much weight will you actually lose after getting lap band surgery?
We are going to answer all of these questions in this article to give you all the information you need about lap band results and surgery. Keep reading to learn more.
What is Lap Band Surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, lap band surgery is a type of surgical procedure to help bariatric patients lose weight easier than with diet and exercise alone. Usually, patients who get this surgery are usually at least 45 kg (~100 pounds) overweight or have a BMI higher than 40 kg/m?.
During the surgery, a band is placed where the stomach and the esophagus meet. This will create a sort of smaller stomach section above the band that will fill up quicker and easier when you eat. This will make you feel fuller sooner even when you eat less food.
This band is adjustable and is usually placed laparoscopically.
How Does Lap Band Surgery Help With Weight Loss?
The placement of the lap band at the top of the stomach will create a sort of "pocket" above the band. This section of the stomach is where the food will go when you eat.
Because this section of the stomach is smaller compared to the full stomach, it will fill up quickly when you're eating. This will make you feel full even when you eat less food.
As a result, you will be eating less food overall but still feel full and satisfied. This allows you to eat less than you normally would be, which will help you lose weight.
Many bariatric patients struggle with weight loss because of an expanded stomach size and capacity that causes them to keep eating to fill their stomach. The lap band essentially restricts your stomach size, which will help control how much you eat to feel full.
Advantages of Lap Band Surgery
Lap band surgery has some unique advantages compared to other types of bariatric surgical procedures.
First of all, the lap band procedure is usually a less extensive surgical procedure compared to gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve. It is usually performed laparoscopically and it has less of an intense effect on the GI tract.
Lap band surgery is also technically reversible. Since you aren't changing the GI tract, simply placing the lap band around the stomach, it can be adjusted and even removed at a later date.
Other types of bariatric surgical procedures can put you at risk for certain hormonal changes and nutritional deficiencies, B12 and iron deficiencies being among the most common.
But because of how lap band surgery works, this is less likely to occur.
Weight Loss from Lap Band Surgery
Now that you know exactly how this type of surgery works, let's look at the weight loss you can expect after surgery.
The main thing to keep in mind that weight loss after any bariatric surgery will vary greatly depending on both the individual and the time. Some months you might feel like you aren't doing anything and the weight melts off like magic. Other months, you might actually see a slight gain or simple maintenance.
Average Weight Loss
Compared to other types of weight loss procedures, lap band results are usually less drastic, more gradual, and more variable. On average, lap band patients will lose 40% to 60% of excess weight (where current weight - ideal weight = excess weight).
This provides quite a range that patients can fall under. So while half of the patients can lose 50% of their excess weight, there are also patients who lose significantly more, and some who lose significantly less (or none at all).
In terms of pounds lost, you can expect to lose (on average) two to three pounds per week for the first year after surgery.
As we mentioned earlier, the timeline of weight loss for lap band surgery is often slightly longer and more gradual compared to other types of weight loss procedures.
On average, it can take 18 to 24 months to lose ~15 points on the Body Mass Index scale. This timeline will depend on the individual as well as your dedication to maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-surgery.
Weight Loss Difficulties
Weight loss after having lap band surgery isn't going to be easy. Despite the help you'll get from the smaller stomach capacity, you'll need to be dedicated to eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
High-calorie liquids, like soda, milkshakes, fruit juices, slushies, etc, can still be drunk in excess even with a small stomach. These won't fill up the small stomach pouch, which will allow you to consume far too many calories.
In general, you should avoid foods that are higher in calories and that are unhealthy. This surgery isn't a magical cure: you can still eat high fat, high carb, unhealthy foods and gain weight.
Avoid fast food, ice cream, candy, cake, and foods like that. These foods will impair your weight loss. You should follow a strict low-fat diet post-surgery.
Try to also maintain a fitness routine to help you lose weight. This could be taking daily walks or even following a home workout routine. As you lose weight, you'll find it easier to do more intense workouts like running, yoga, or cycling.
If you've tried diet and exercise to lose weight and just can't seem to maintain your weight loss, then a bariatric procedure might be for you. The lap band technique is a common one that can help you lose weight.
However, getting the lap band results you want will entirely depend on you as an individual and your dedication to eating right and staying healthy. If you have any questions about the procedure, feel free to contact us.