Lap-Band surgery is one the most popular bariatric surgeries recommended in cases of obesity or morbid obesity to enhance weight loss. Surgery is often a last resort after the failure of other medically supervised weight loss methods, and Lap-Band surgery is indicated for adult patients with a Body Mass Index (BMI) higher than 40 kg/m2 or a BMI higher than 30 kg/m2 and at least one other comorbidity.
The Lap-Band System was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011, and features a silicone band, tubing, and an access port. The treatment is based on the connection of the inflatable inner surface of the silicone band to the access port using a thin tube. The system works limiting food intake, which occurs through the adjustment of the amount of fluid in the band.
Recovery from Lap-Band Surgery
The procedure is expected to result in the contraction of the stomach, reducing its size. The Lap-Band has been tested and studied by numerous researchers over the past years, and the system has been shown to be effective in helping 80% of patients with a BMI between 30 and 40 lose at least 30% of excess weight and maintain it for at least a year. However, both weight loss and recovery depend on each case and individual characteristics of patients.
Following the procedure, it is key that the patient starts moving in order to prevent the creation of blood clots. Patients may also be required to use compression stockings during the hospital stay, which can take a day or two. After that, patients will need to stay at home about two weeks before going back to work. Regarding diet, patients will initiate a liquid diet, which will be followed by a gradual introduction of solid foods. Bariatric vitamins may also be included.
After the procedure, weekly doctor’s visits are requested during the first month and monthly ones for a year. During the second year, the regularity of the medical visits are decreased from quarterly to semi-annual, and annual from the third year on. Since the Lap-Band system is a long-term implant, but not necessarily a permanent one, additional surgeries may be required to explant or replace the system.
Lap-Band Recovery Compared to Other Procedures
All surgeries have risks and complications, but there are different types of bariatric surgical procedures and physicians consider a series of indicators before discussing the best option for each patient. Behavior alterations, including a healthy diet and exercise, is critical to the success of all the types of weight loss surgeries, as well as for the achievement of weight loss goals.
The study “Comparison of recovery time after open and laparoscopic gastric bypass and laparoscopic adjustable banding” was published in 2004 and focused on the recovery from two common methods. The researchers concluded that Lap–Band patients are able return to normal activity levels earlier than patients who undergo gastric bypass or open RYGBP, which means that recovery time is decreased with Lap-Band surgeries.