Stomach Banding Surgery

Stomach banding surgery is one of the options that those who are obese have that can dramatically reduce a person's weight. Since obesity is called America's new epidemic, with almost forty percent of all Americans having a body mass index of over 30, the interest is this particular weight loss procedure is growing. Stomach banding, sometimes called lap band surgery, is a less invasive procedure than a gastric bypass operation. For many who have gotten to the point of being obese, it is a prison that seemingly cannot be exited. It is much more for many people than just eating more than exercising. It isn't solved by just telling a person to quit eating or trying the shame him into healthier behavior. But once the issue has come to a head and the person has wrestled with the inner issues that may have brought on the obesity condition, stomach banding surgery may be a favorable option to help end the body mass gain and actually bring about significant weight loss.

Since the cause of obesity is a many headed dragon, a weight loss treatment center will first have to make sure that for the patient, the dragon has been dealt with in a firm manner. In many cases, obesity is a person's response to inner emotional turmoil that results in a food addiction. Depression is a leading cause of eating when not hungry or eating when angry or lonely or sad. For many who are obese, eating becomes the one safe place where there is some reward, yet the guilt that the behavior brings just perpetuates the cycle of more eating. Stomach banding surgery will be of absolutely no value to a person who hasn't first dealt with those emotional causes that bring about the addictive behavior. This is why most health insurance companies will demand that before this procedure is approved for payment, a medical weight loss program be undertaken by the patient.

A medical weight loss program, usually lasting between three and eight months, will be comprised of classes on healthy eating; perhaps some support group therapy and regular weigh-ins. Had the person actually gone to an obesity treatment center, there probably would have been some one on one sessions with a therapist using cognitive behavioral interaction with the client. Before stomach banding surgery is approved, cognitive therapy will seek to help the patient identify the negative thought patterns that often brings about self destructive behavior, such as compulsive overeating. In many cases, the therapist can help the patient develop new ways to look at certain negative and false perceptions without having to resort to addictive behavior. For the Christian, there is also another place to turn. "Hear my prayer O Lord, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness. Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me." (Psalm 143: 1, 9)

A Lapband , which is actually a trademark name for a certain kind of stomach banding surgery apparatus, is one of two options open to the person whose body mass is above thirty five. It is a much less involved operation than a gastric bypass operation, usually involving just some incisions in various places around the stomach area. The band is placed around the upper part of the stomach, creating a separate pouch, much smaller than the stomach before. The band has a balloon which allows the stoma, or new stomach opening to be made larger or smaller. Once the band is in place, the procedure is over, usually taking less than an hour to perform.

The patient will have to learn a whole new way of eating and actually looking at food after the operation. No caffeine is allowed during the first three months following surgery as well as any carbonated beverages. For the first six weeks after the operation, the diet is all liquid, with four ounces consumed every hour for ten to twelve hours a day. Following the liquid diet weeks, the next six involve food that has been pureed in a food processor, consisting of meat, vegetables and salad. Bread, potatoes and other starches are omitted. Sadly, many people don't understand that the stomach banding surgery that they are considering having has so many restrictions and often turn it down once all the facts are made clear, and many more are turned down by the medical evaluation because of age, and pre-existing medical conditions.

In many cases, those who have had stomach banding surgery lose between fifty and sixty percent of their excess weight after two years. For those who have had a lifetime of obesity, this is the beginning of a new life, being able to shop for "normal" clothes and perhaps being able to fit into an airline seat. Being able to exercise in simple ways such as walking around the block without huffing and puffing is a miracle in itself for many, but sadly, others who have the surgery cannot overcome the emotional tangled web that brought about the overeating in the first place. The addiction is too strong, too powerful and weight that is lost is eventually put back on and the stomach banding surgery is for naught. Some surgeons who perform this procedure may go ahead with the surgery without having a sense that those emotional tentacles are severed, but it would seem that the best practice is to deal with the inner turmoil first.

Gastric Band Operation

Candidates for a gastric band operation are seeking a less drastic surgical answer to a serious weight loss question. As with other types of bariatric surgeries, the goal of this operation is to shrink the size of the stomach and therefore limit the amount of food that a patient can consume. Obviously, consuming less food will result in weight loss, hopefully a significant amount of weight. A potential candidate for bariatric procedures will generally need to be eighty pounds overweight or more. A more extensive procedure, the gastric bypass will involve surgically reducing the size of the stomach and bypassing a section of the small intestine. The benefits of this surgery are twofold. Not only will the stomach hold far less food than before the operation, but the patient will end up absorbing less of the food that they eat due to bypassing a portion of the small intestine.

The effects of bypass surgery can be profound, but it will require a much longer recuperation period than the gastric band operation. Another feature of these bands is that the surgery is completely reversible. However, most patients will end up keeping the band permanently following surgery. Removing it could result in the patient regaining any lost weight. However, if there is a medical reason to reverse the surgery, this can be easily accomplished, in some cases through a keyhole or laparoscopic procedure. After the gastric band operation has been completed and the patient has recovered, a plan of sensible eating and exercise should be followed. A diet that is low in simple carbohydrates and sugars, yet higher in fiber should be very effective. High fiber food will include lots of whole grains and rice. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also important. It is also vital to eat on a regular basis and not skip meals, especially breakfast. Regular exercise will help the body by building muscle mass and burning fat. Exercise can also help to tighten up the loose skin that can accompany significant weight loss. However, in some cases, plastic surgery may be necessary to remove extra skin.

A gastric band operation will cause many changes that a patient should be prepared to deal with. It is not just anatomical changes in the stomach that the patient will be facing, but other significant changes as well. The digestion and absorption of food can change drastically. These changes will usually necessitate changes in the diet as well. Becoming educated on the traditional side effects, as well as any dietary changes that a patient will need to make is crucial. Of course, some patients sail through a gastric band operation with minimal side effect aside from the intended diminished appetite. But knowing what to expect can be very helpful even if negative side effects are minimal. The Bible explains that God wants believers to treat others the way that they themselves would like to be treated. "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." (Luke 6:31)

With a gastric band operation, an adjustable band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. This action will create a small sac that will hold far less food than the stomach was capable of holding previously. Of course, the lower part of the stomach will not be pinched off entirely. The food will remain in the upper section of the stomach for a longer period of time and then will trickle slowly into the lower area of the stomach. Once there, the food will continue to digest and will pass through the intestine and the rest of the digestive system the way that it normally does. But the fact that it is contained in the top of the stomach temporarily will give a sense of fullness much more quickly than before the gastric band operation. Consequently, the patient will end up eating less food and loosing weight. Most insurance policies will require that patients exhaust all other methods of weight loss to no avail before they will approve this surgical option. Whether or not to choose this option over full bypass surgery is a choice that a patient should discuss with their physician. Understanding all of the available options and side effects is important. Responsible medical professionals will provide all of this information to the patient as part of the decision making process.

Before undergoing a gastric band operation, a patient's physician may ask the patient to change certain habits. For example, it the patient is a smoker, they will most likely be asked to stop smoking before the surgery occurs. The reason for this is that smokers may tend to be more susceptible to infection. Recovery time for smokers may be longer as well. Surgeries of this nature will usually require an overnight hospital stay, although there are some facilities that are able to complete these procedures on an outpatient basis. The patient will be put under general anesthesia during surgery. This will usually mean that the patient will not be able to eat or drink anything for six hours or more prior to surgery. A patient's vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure will be checked by a medical professional prior to surgery. Since each patient will be different, the adjustable band will need to be fitted to the individual patient's stomach. This fitting is accomplished by a surgeon through a keyhole incision. What ever choice an individual might make, the help and advice that is provided by medical professionals is very valuable.

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