With a healthy diet and regular exercise, patients can expect to lose one to two pounds a week over the course of 18 to 24 months, with the most drastic results occurring during the first few weeks after surgery. Overall, most patients lose 50 to 60 percent of the excess weight, and may also experience relief from weight-related conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure and heartburn.
Gastric bypass is considered to be safe for patients who are ideal candidates. However, no surgery comes without a risk of certain complications, and this procedure is no exception. Some of the risks associated with gastric bypass include bleeding, infection, gallstones, gastritis, dumping syndrome and vitamin deficiencies.
Only patients who fit the candidacy requirements should be considered for this procedure. Other patients who do not fit these requirements may be at a higher risk for complications from gastric bypass.
During the gastric bypass procedure, a small pouch is created in the stomach using staples and then connected to the Roux limb, significantly restricting the amount of food the stomach can hold and bypassing the majority of the stomach during digestion. Bypassing the stomach limits the amount of fat that can be absorbed from food.
This procedure combines restrictive and malabsorptive techniques for effective results with minimal risk of nutrient deficiency.
Gastric bypass takes about two hours to perform, although this time may vary depending on each patient’s individual procedure. Patients with adhesions in the stomach or those that have had previous surgery may require a longer operating time.
After the gastric bypass procedure, patients will be required to stay in the hospital for four to five days, during which time they will be regularly monitored as the stomach heals. Pain medication is available if needed and drainage tubes may be placed to remove excess fluid.
The LAP-BAND procedure involves the placement of a gastric band around the stomach to separate it into a smaller and larger section. As food travels into the smaller section, patients will feel fuller faster. The size of the sections can be adjusted as needed as the patient loses weight.
There is no cutting or stapling involved with this procedure, and the band can be placed laparoscopically, making it one of the most minimally invasive weight loss procedures available.
After the LAP-BAND procedure, patients usually lose one to two pounds a week, which is considered a healthy amount. Weight loss from this procedure can be controlled over time by tightening or loosening the band as needed to allow more or less food through the stomach. In some cases, weight loss with LAP-BAND is slower than with other bariatric procedures, but long-term results are comparable.
The success of the LAP-BAND procedure is contingent on the dedication of the patient to maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle. LAP-BAND surgery requires a lifelong commitment in order to produce long-lasting results.
While the LAP-BAND procedure is considered safer than many other types of bariatric surgery, there are still risks associated with the procedure. Some of these risks may include infection, gastric perforation, hiatal hernia, reflux and others. These risks are considered rare and patients can further reduce them by choosing an experienced surgeon to perform their procedure.
For most patients, the LAP-BAND procedure takes about an hour to perform, although patients can expect to be in the operating room for two to three hours.
Because of its laparoscopic techniques, most patients can return home within 24 hours after their surgery. Patients are encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as they feel comfortable. Most patients can return to work after a week and begin their exercise activities after four to six weeks.
Each procedure has its own unique benefits. The right procedure for one patient may not be right for another. Together with Dr. Naim, patients will decide upon a procedure after a physical examination, medical history evaluation and thorough discussion about the pros and cons of each procedure. It is important for patients to be fully informed about their options and committed to changing their lifestyle in order to achieve successful results.