Frequently Asked Questions
What is the belly button approach or single incision Lap band?
The belly button approach for Lap-band System surgery Dr. Ganta pioneered is an exciting new technique that enables the surgeon to eliminate the multiple incisions traditionally made for this procedure and instead perform the entire procedure with a single small incision inside the belly button. This technique most often leaves no visible scars. A single incision Lap band procedure may also be performed with a single small incision away from the belly button in certain patients.
Why should I consider the Belly Button Single Incision Lap band instead of the multiple incision approach?
The main advantage of the belly button approach is that it leaves no visible scars and cosmetically appealing. While it is possible for less pain and a faster recovery it has not been proven medically yet. Please remember that all patients are not candidates for the new approach.
Is the single incision approach for Lap-band safe?
Yes. Safety is our number one priority. We will not hesitate to add an extra small incision during the procedure to maintain the same safety profile as the traditional multiple incision approach, even though it is infrequent to require an additional incision.
Does Insurance cover this procedure?
Several insurance companies and policies cover this procedure. Your individual policy will need to be checked in order to find out your coverage. Please fill out the following form online if you would like our office to check your policy and get back to you for FREE. Click here for details.
What if I don’t have Insurance for this procedure?
We work with our patients to offer financing options with several companies in order to get an affordable monthly payment. Some financing companies are willing to work with patients even with bad credit but the interest rates are higher.
How long will it take to recover after surgery?
LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System surgery is performed laparoscopically, most often as an outpatient procedure. Most patients return to work in about a week, and to exercise in about a month to 6 weeks. In the case of open surgery, or if there are complications, recovery may take longer.
How much weight will I lose?
Weight loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you lose depends on several things. The LAP-BAND® System needs to be properly adjusted, and you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Weight loss surgery is not a miracle cure, and the pounds won't come off by themselves. It is very important to set achievable weight loss goals from the start. A weight loss of 2 to 3 pounds a week in the first year after the operation is possible, but 1 pound a week is more likely. Twelve to 18 months after the operation, weekly weight loss is usually less. Gradual yet steady weight loss with the LAP-BAND® System can be healthy for you.
How do the weight loss results with the LAP-BAND® System compare to those with gastric bypass?
The gastric bypass patients lose weight faster in the first year. At 3 years, however, many LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System patients have achieved weight loss comparable to that of gastric bypass patients.
Does the LAP-BAND® System require frequent visits to my doctor after surgery?
Check-ups with your doctor are a normal and very important part of the LAP-BAND® System follow-up. We prefer to see our patients frequently, usually once a month and perform the adjustments as needed. It is typical for follow-up visits to be scheduled every 3 months during the second and third year, depending on the individual case.
Does the LAP-BAND® System limit any physical activity?
The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System should not hamper physical activity, including aerobics, stretching, and strenuous exercise.
How is the LAP-BAND® System adjusted?
Adjustments are often done in our office under local anesthesia. A fine needle is passed through the skin into the access port to add or remove saline. This process most often takes only a few minutes and most patients say it is nearly painless.
Do I have to be careful with the access port just underneath my skin?
The access port is placed under the skin in the abdominal wall, and once the incisions have healed, it usually does not cause discomfort or limit any physical exercise. If you feel persistent discomfort in the port area, please let us know.
Can other people see that I have a port?
The port is placed under your skin and is generally not noticeable even if that area of your abdomen is exposed.
Can the LAP-BAND® System be removed?
Although the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is not meant to be removed, it can be removed. After the removal, though, patients gain more weight.
Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?
That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery will not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation since the skin will sometimes mold itself around the new body tissue. Give the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery.
Is it true that the LAP-BAND® System seems "tighter" in the morning?
This is a fairly common feeling, especially for people with a LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System that is snug or just after an adjustment. During the day, the water content in the body changes and this may cause the LAP-BAND® System to feel "tighter" some of the time. Some women have also noticed that the LAP-BAND® System feels tighter during menstruation.
Will I feel hungry or deprived with the LAP-BAND® System?
The LAP-BAND® System helps you eat less and feel full in two ways-first by reducing the capacity of your stomach, and second, by 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® Adjustable Gastric Banding System is a tool to help you change your eating habits.
What will happen if I become ill?
One of the major advantages of the LAP-BAND® System is that it can be adjusted. If your illness requires you to eat more, the LAP-BAND® System can be loosened by removing saline from it. When you have recovered from your illness and want to lose weight again, the LAP-BAND® System can be tightened by increasing the amount of saline.
What about pregnancy?
Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the LAP-BAND® System can be loosened. After pregnancy, the LAP-BAND® System may be made tighter again and you can resume losing weight.
Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
Yes. In our office the majority of the patients are recommended to take One multivitamin and two calciums a day. It varies depending on individual patient needs.
What about other medications?
You should be able to take prescribed medication, though you may need to use capsules. Break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water, so they do not get stuck in the stoma and make you sick. Always ask the doctor who prescribes the drugs about this. Your surgeon may tell you to avoid taking aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers because they may irritate the stomach. The problems these drugs may cause could result in LAP-BAND® System removal.
What if I go out to eat?
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.
What about alcohol?
Alcohol has a high number of calories and breaks down vitamins. An occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, though, is not considered harmful to weight loss.3
Can I eat anything in moderation?
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, as advised by our office. 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® Adjustable Gastric Banding System may be greatly reduced.
Will I suffer from constipation?
There may be some reduction in the volume of your stools, which is normal after a decrease in food intake, because you eat less fiber. This should not cause you severe problems. If difficulties do arise, check with your doctor. He or she may suggest you take a mild laxative and drink plenty of water for a while. Your needs will vary, but you should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
One final point: It is important to ask your surgeon all the questions you have about weight loss surgery and the LAP-BAND® System. It is also essential that you follow his or her advice. Several questions and answers were taken from the Lap-Band System website www.lapband.com.
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