Lap Band® is a proprietary name for gastric banding procedures that use the Lap Band® system. In general, gastric banding surgery uses a special hollow silicone ring that slides over the stomach, restricting its size so patients feel full faster and consume fewer calories. The band is adjustable and can be removed.
Dr. Liu uses a minimally invasive procedure to place the hollow silicone band around the upper portion of your stomach, dividing it from the lower portion and creating a smaller pouch that serves as the “new” stomach. The band also includes a small tube attached to a port. Once the band is in place, the port is implanted in your abdomen. The port has a small opening that enables the doctor to adjust the volume of the band – and therefore, the size of your stomach – by injecting saline solution through the port and into the band to decrease stomach size or removing saline to slightly increase stomach capacity.
Unlike the gastric sleeve that removes a portion of your stomach, gastric banding is completely reversible once weight loss is complete or at any time during your weight loss journey. And unlike gastric bypass, the bowel is completely unaffected. The band is also easy to adjust as your needs change over time, and it's associated with a very low risk of complications. The approach is also minimally invasive and healing is typically much faster than with many other types of weight loss surgeries. Of course, any procedure has some risks, and Dr. Liu will discuss the benefits and the risks during your consultation.
Immediately after surgery with the Lap Band® System, you'll need to follow a clear liquid diet to enable your stomach to adjust to its new size. For a few weeks afterward, you'll have a modified liquid diet including soups, shakes, and similar foods, and eventually, other foods will be added. Caffeine and carbonated beverages must be avoided for three months after surgery, and alcohol, spicy foods and fried foods should be avoided indefinitely to prevent stomach irritation and upset. As for work and other activities, most patients are able to return to work and resume normal activities within one to three weeks after surgery.
After surgery, you'll need to see Dr. Liu regularly not just for Lap Band adjustments, but also for regular aftercare and follow-up to ensure your band is working the way it should and to help you stay on track with the rest of your weight loss plan. Dr. Liu will discuss the frequency of your visits so you can plan your schedule.
One of the best things you can do to adjust to the changes required after your surgery is to join a support group. Dr. Liu offers several weight loss support options for patients undergoing Lap Band surgery or other types of weight loss surgery. Connecting with other people dealing with the same issues as well as those who are farther along in the process can help you learn to cope and stay on track. Following your dietary guidelines and seeing the doctor for all regularly scheduled checkups are also critical to your success.
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