Q: Does the LAP-BAND work as well as other weight loss operations?
A: The LAP-BAND is safer than other weight loss operations, and is
effective with two important points: having a practice that is dedicated to the LAP-BAND, and available, and the willingness of a patient to follow up as needed for adjustments and support.
Q: Will I feel hungry or deprived with the LAP-BAND?
A: The LAP-BAND makes you eat less and feel full in two ways – by
reducing the capacity of your stomach and increasing the time it takes food to get through the digestive system. After a small meal, the amount of which varies from person to person, you should feel full. If you follow the nutrition guidelines when you choose your food and then chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived. Remember that the LAP-BAND is a tool to help you change your eating habits.
Q: How long will it take to recover after surgery?
A: If LAP-BAND surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients typically spend less than 24 hours in the hospital. It takes most patients about a week to return to work and a month to six weeks to resume exercising. Most patients are driving within a few days. Many patients do not require narcotic pain medication. In the case of open surgery or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.
Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: Weight-loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you may lose depends on several things. Primarily, you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Obesity surgery is a tool for weight loss. Our program will help you determine reasonable goals for your weight loss. A weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week in the first year after the operation is common. This translates to 50 to 100 pounds in the first year, although patients can lose more. Remember that you should lose weight gradually. Losing weight too fast creates a health risk and can lead to a number of problems. Your main goal is to have weight loss that prevents, improves, or resolves health problems connected with severe obesity.
Q: Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?
A: There are no restrictions based on the access port. It is placed
under the skin in the abdominal wall, and once the incisions have healed it should not cause discomfort or limit your movements or any physical exercise. The only sensation you may have from the port is when you go in for adjustments. If you feel persistent discomfort in the port area, let us know as soon as possible.
Q: Can I eat anything in moderation?
A: After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients and we will provide you with menu plans and recipes for these. If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of “empty” calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the LAP-BAND may be greatly reduced or canceled.
Q: How is the band adjusted?
A: Adjustments are often carried out in our office or sometimes in the X-ray department. When X-rays are used, your reproductive organs should be shielded. Local anesthesia may or may not be needed. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract saline. This process most often takes only a few minutes. Most patients say it is nearly painless.
Q: What if I go out to eat?
A: Order only a small amount of food, such as an appetizer. Eat slowly. Finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much.
Q: Does the LAP-BAND require frequent office visits after surgery?
A: Check-ups are a normal and a very important part of the LAP-BAND System follow-up. We see the patient one week following surgery to check the wounds. Then we see the patient at six weeks post op where we consider the first fill. We will see our patients as often as needed for fills, advice, encouragement, and classes. We also see our patients monthly at the support group meetings.
No staples are used on the stomach. This means: faster recovery, safer surgery, no malabsorption of calcium leading to osteopososis, no need for B12 injections. No staples also mean that the surgery can be reversed.
Q: Is it true that Dr. Simpson trained Dr.Nirmal, or the www.trueresults.com surgeon?
A: Yes, Dr. Nirmal was both proctored by Dr. Simpson on behalf of the company, Allergan, that makes the band. When AIGB (American Institute of Gastric Banding also known as trueresults.com ) was determined to come to Arizona they first attempted to sign Dr. Simpson. We have nothing but respect for AIGB (trueresults) and the company. But we welcome them to the Valley, and appreciate that they are working to make the band known to all patients throughout the area. We believe that at a live seminar you should meet your surgeon, ask him/her questions, and we believe that the safest place to have your operation is an outpatient surgery center.
Q: Are there people who would do better with the RNY or DS or the Sleeve Gastrectomy?
A: No. The primary method of weight reduction is restriction. The RNY, Sleeve gastrectomy, and DS start you out with maximum restriction, and as time goes on the patients stomach, or pouch enlarges. In fact, we have placed bands on top of patients who have had the RNY (gastric bypass) and patients with the Sleeve Gastrectomy, and patients who had the DS (duodenal switch). If a patient’s pouch enlarges with a LAP-BAND we simply remove the fluid, and allow the pouch to return to its normal size. The effect of malabsorption with the DS or RNY is lost after several years.