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Gastric Band – Lap Band

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric band (Lap Band), Gastric band, Lap BandGastric Band or Lap Band is a least invasive surgery for weight loss and obesity patient.

The procedure involves placing a soft silicone ring with an expandable balloon in the center around the top part of the stomach. It creates two compartments of the stomach, with a much smaller top part above the band. A person eats enough food only to fill the top part of the stomach. Over time, after the meal, the food passes through the opening of the band into the rest of the stomach. It makes digestion occur normally. This procedure is adjustable and even reversible.

Who need Gastric Band Surgery

Weight loss surgery is an option for obese patients who are unable to lose weight through diet and exercise.

Doctors often use the following body mass index (BMI) measures to identify people who can have benefit from weight-loss surgery. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 25. This procedure is for those who have:

  • A BMI of 40 or more. It means a man is 45 kg overweight or a woman is 36 kg over their ideal weight.
  • A BMI of 35 or more and a serious medical condition that could improve with weight loss. Some of these conditions are sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Gastric Band Procedure

Firstly, the surgeon will make a small incision (typically less than 1.25 cm or 0.5 in.) near the belly button. To create a work space the surgeon will introduce carbon dioxide (a gas that occurs naturally in the body)  into the abdomen. Then a small laparoscopic camera is placed through the incision into the abdomen. The camera sends a picture of the stomach and abdominal cavity to a video monitor. It gives the surgeon a good view of the key structures in the abdominal cavity. A few additional small incisions are made in the abdomen. The surgeon works through these small incisions using instruments with long handles to complete the procedure. The surgeon creates a small, circular tunnel behind the stomach, inserts the gastric band through the tunnel, and locks the band around the stomach.

The placement of the band creates a small pouch at the top of the stomach. This pouch holds approximately ½ cup of food, whereas the typical stomach holds about 6 cups of food. The pouch fills with food quickly, and the band slows the passage of food from the pouch to the lower part of the stomach. As the upper part of the stomach registers as full, the message to the brain is that the entire stomach is full, and this sensation helps the person to be hungry less often, feel full more quickly and for a longer period of time, eat smaller portions, and lose weight over time.

Gastric Banding Adjustments

As patients lose weight, their bands will need adjustments, or “fills”, to ensure comfort and effectiveness. The silicone band has a plastic tube that extends just below the skin through which sterile water can be introduced. Injection of water into the band makes it tighter. Thus, the band can be adjusted (tightened or loosened) to improve weight loss and reduce side effects.

Clearly, if the band is too tight, food may not pass and regurgitation results. If the band is too loose, no restriction is experienced and so no reduction in eating occurs. The aim of band adjustment is to have the band at the right level of tightness so that regurgitation is minimized but portion control is achieved.

Diet after surgery

  • For the first few days, you can have only water and fluids, such as thin soups.
  • Until the end of 4 weeks, liquids and blended foods, such as yogurt and puréed vegetables can be eaten.
  • From 4 to 6 weeks, soft foods are introduced.
  • After 6 weeks, the person can resume a normal diet.

Gastric Banding Advantages

  • Limits the amount of food that is eaten at a meal with a feeling of fullness and a reduction in hunger
  • The surgery is reversible
  • No part of the stomach is stapled, cut or removed – your normal anatomy has not been altered and the food is absorbed by your body exactly as it was before surgery
  • Usually only involves an overnight stay and rapid recovery
  • Good weight loss (about 50% of excess weight)
  • Extremely low risk of operative complications

Gastric Band Surgery Cost

India is the most preferable destination for patients who are looking for low cost obesity surgery. The cost of Gastric Band in India is typically a fraction of the cost for the same procedure and care in the US and other developed countries. The cost can vary depending on type of surgery and other medical conditions of a patient.

USA              $14,500
UK                $11,500
India          $4,500
Thailand     $11,500
Singapore   $9,200

Mexico        $6,500

Malaysia     $8,150

Gastric Band in India is a great option to a medical tourist from abroad. The hospitals for gastric band in India offer attractive packages to medical tourists, which enables them to save thousands of dollars. These packages include gastric sleeve cost, and all the costs that a foreign medical traveler would otherwise incur including boarding, hotel booking, traveling accommodation and food costs.

Dietetic requirements of Gastric Banding

  • The key to success with Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding is to be consistent in eating good, healthy nutritious solid food. You have to learn to eat slowly and chew very well with a focus on portion control.
  • In general, your surgeon will advise you to have a very low-calorie diet (VLCD) e.g. Optifast for 10-14 days prior to surgery
  • We recommend nutritional supplementation of vitamins and minerals such as Iron, Folate, Calcium and Vitamin D with a daily multivitamin to prevent deficiencies
  • At least 6-12 monthly review of nutritional adequacy (including annual blood tests) to ensure maintenance of adequate nutritional health
  • It is important to understand that liquids are not restricted by the band so only low-calorie drinks should be consumed. Beware that foods such as chocolate and ice cream are effectively high-calorie liquids which the band simply will not stop.
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