9 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon for Lap Band Surgery in Columbus, Ohio


In 2017, 40% of American adults and 19% of children were obese. These rates are the highest recorded in the United States.

Increases in obesity can cause increases in obesity-related illnesses like hypertension and heart disease, the number one cause of death in the USA. Weight loss surgery has improved the quality of life and health in many.

Continue reading and we'll tell you everything you need to know about Lap-Band surgery in Columbus, Ohio.

A Breakdown of Lap-Band Surgery

Lap-Band surgery helps patients with morbid obesity lose weight when an adjustable band is placed around the top part of their stomachs to restrict food intake. During the laparoscopic procedure, the surgeon will insert a small device called a port underneath the skin of their abdomens.

The port is connected to the Lap-Band by a tube. This allows the surgeon to alter the tightness of the band during follow-up visits by injecting saline water into the port. These adjustments can be made many times during the patients' first 6-7 months after surgery to increase weight gain with fewer side effects.

Do I qualify for lap band surgery?

Obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more are considered excellent candidates for bariatric surgeries. If your BMI is 35, you can still qualify if your obesity has caused other health problems such as sleep apnea, hypertension, gout, and diabetes.

Although it doesn't happen often, a surgeon may perform a bariatric procedure on you with a BMI of 30 if your weight is causing severe medical problems.

What are the risks?

Lap-Band surgery is very safe, but there are some risks. After the band has been inserted, you can:

  • Become nauseous
  • Experience vomiting
  • Have dehydration, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Develop acid reflux
  • Have trouble swallowing
  • Have gas bloat

A small amount (1-3%) of patients have had:

  • Blood clots
  • Abdominal infections
  • Liver damage
  • Excess bleeding

If the Lap-Band slips out of place or deflates over time, a second surgery will be needed to replace or remove it.

How long is the recovery time?

Most patients return to work within a week or two unless their jobs require heavy lifting and bending. During your recovery from Lap-Band surgery, you are usually advised to take it easy and walk often to reduce the risks of developing blood clots in your legs.

Usually, you will be on an all liquid diet for the first two to four weeks before graduating to soft or pureed foods afterward. You will most likely be able to eat solid foods 6 weeks after that.

What lifestyle changes do I need to make to get the best results?

When you've recovered from surgery and have gotten back to eating solid foods, you will notice you're unable to eat the same portion sizes you ate before. This realization can cause mental frustration in patients and it's completely normal.

Included on our team are qualified dieticians and psychiatrists to help you work through the emotional and physical changes you're going through.

Will my insurance cover the surgery and aftercare?

Lap-Band surgery can cost a patient anything between $17,000 and $30,000 depending on where they're located. Fortunately, more insurance companies are beginning to cover all of or part of the expenses when you meet the National Institutes of Health insurance requirements.

We have financial experts on staff who will help you with submitting paperwork and getting approval from your insurance carrier. All costs (if there are any) will be clearly communicated before you make a commitment.

How soon will I see weight loss?

This is a question most patients are anxious to hear the answer to.

The amount of weight you lose after surgery will depend on your commitment to your new diet and healthcare regimen. On average, patients will 2-3 pounds each week within the first year of surgery.

This can translate to a BMI that's roughly 15 points less within the first 2 years. Speak to your doctor about the specifics regarding your body.

Will I be able to get pregnant?

Women who want to start families after their surgeries shouldn't see any additional risks or complications. In fact, weight loss surgery can make for a healthier baby and mother.

When an expecting mother is obese, she and her baby are at higher risks for the following complications:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage

If you have a Lap-Band, the fluids are often removed during the first trimester. This way if you are nauseous and vomit often during that part of your pregnancy, the band doesn't slip.

Is this surgery reversible?

This procedure is reversible. Removing your Lap-Band will take the surgeon about an hour and there are rarely any difficulties.

Reasons a patient would have the surgery reversed are:

  • Lack of weight loss
  • Band erosion (band grows into the stomach)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Band infection (an infection that isn't healed by antibiotics)
  • Esophageal Dysmotility (stops the esophagus from doing its job)

Patients are able to maintain their weight loss by using another weight loss procedure if they have their bands removed.

What is your experience?

As a patient, you should always feel confident in your doctor's ability to safely get you through a procedure. When deciding which questions you should ask prior to your surgery, never forget your doctor's skills and abilities.

More detailed ways of asking your surgeon about their experience include:

  • How often do you perform this surgery?
  • How do you deal with complications?
  • Can I see real patient before and after photos?

Your doctor's answers to these questions should ease any worries you have about going under the knife.

The Best Place for Lap-Band Surgery in Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Custer has completed over 1,000 weight-loss surgeries and will help you choose the procedure you'll benefit from the most. Because we care about our patients' recovery in all aspects of their lives, we have nutritional, psychological, and long-term support available.

If you're seeking a supportive program that will help you change your life in the most positive ways, give us a call. We're happy to answer your questions about your Lap-Band surgery in Columbus, Ohio.