The rising obesity epidemic in the United States has resulted in a corresponding rise in health risks, and doctors are rising to the challenge of finding solutions. One such solution is gastric banding, a safe and effective bariatric surgery procedure that can help people lose weight and keep it off.
However, doctors have a rigorous procedure for evaluating how willing they are to perform surgeries. The following is a summary of some questions asked to Dr. David Davtyan and other prominent physicians by doctors, and the responses that helped the doctors make decisions about this procedure.
“What is laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding and how does it differ from other bariatric surgical procedures?”
Gastric banding provides the opportunity to restrict the capacity of your stomach, making you feel full earlier and thus maintain healthy eating habits. Laparoscopic means that the surgery is done with only a tiny incision rather than a bigger, more invasive opening, which increases the safety and decreases recovery time. The adjustable element is one of the most exciting advances: using a little reservoir of saline solution under the skin, it’s possible to make the band around the stomach tighter or looser. This band allows for progressive, slow weight loss, rather than the abrupt kind more common in other kinds of bariatric surgery.
“What are the benefits of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding?”
There are a lot of benefits. The band is adjustable and this surgery is reversible in the case that another condition merits removing the band. Conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension often resolve because of this procedure, and if diabetes doesn’t go away entirely, the symptoms and needed interventions do go down. The side effects are minimal compared to other procedures, and even conditions like infertility and asthma can be resolved after the surgery and the gradual, long-term weight loss that results.
“Which patients are candidates for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding?”
People between 18 and 65, with BMIs over 40, or even as low as 35 if some other medical problems are resulting from their obesity. Certain food items may be restricted or removed in your post-operation diet, so a great candidate will also be open to maintaining that diet to experience all the benefits. There are other conditions that can make for poor candidacy, but a doctor can review your medical history to determine if the surgery is right for you.
“What is included in the preoperative evaluation?”
You’ll receive examinations of your chest and torso to make sure that you are safe for surgery, and you’ll speak with both a psychologist and a nutritionist. Losing weight is a mental exercise as well as a physical one, so it’s best to delay the surgery if you are actively experiencing a psychological disorder. The doctors will also help you understand the diet and exercise that will help you achieve the best results after the surgery, which is a key part of its success.
“How much weight loss can be expected following laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding compared with weight loss following other bariatric procedures?”
Because you’ll lose weight over 4 years after, rather than in a quick timeframe, you can see results from 31%-61% of excess body weight lost in the first year, 43%-75% in the second, 56%-72% at three years, and an average of 60% after 4. Other surgeries often achieve similar results, but as seen above, the side effects are far fewer in this procedure.
“What is the usual follow-up regimen after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding?”
You’ll have a diet regimen that transitions you from liquids to soft foods, to solid foods over a matter of weeks and months, and you’ll meet regularly with your physician, often once a month, for evaluation of your progress and occasional adjustments of the band. Symptoms of various conditions may reduce, and your doctor can recommend reducing dosages of medications for hypertension or diabetes.
“What are the most common complications after laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, compared with other bariatric procedures?”
The complications are rare and include gastric pouch dilatation, port-tube complications, band erosion, gastric prolapse, and reservoir leakage; your doctor will monitor for these malfunctions and make sure to advise you if they occur. The positive side of complications is that they occur less than half as often as complications in other common bariatric surgeries like vertical banding gastroplasty. There can be some vomiting, but some people also report no vomiting at all.
As you can see, the development of gastric banding has given qualified candidates a safe and effective procedure for long-term substantial weight loss with minimal side effects and major impacts on other conditions associated with obesity.
If you are ready to lose weight while regaining health and beauty, and you’re interested in bariatric surgery, Dr. David Davtyan and his caring staff can help you pick the surgery that will work best for you.
The offices are located in Beverly Hills, Glendale, Rancho Cucamonga and Fountain Valley, and The Weight Loss Surgery Center of Los Angeles offers some of the best weight-loss treatment in L.A.