Adjustable Gastric Banding
Q: Will I be sick a lot after the operation?
A: The adjustable gastric band limits food intake. If you feel nauseated or
sick on a regular
basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well or that you
are not following
the diet rules properly. However, it could also mean that there is a
problem with the
placement of the band so you should contact us if this problem persists.
be avoided as much as possible. It can cause the small stomach pouch to
stretch. It can
also lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band, which
would reduce the
success of the operation. In some cases, it would also require another
Q: How long will it take to recover after surgery?
A: If adjustable gastric banding 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. 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. The band needs to be in the right
position, and you need to be committed to your new lifestyle and eating
habits. Obesity 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 beginning. A weight loss of 2 to 3 pounds a week in the
first year after the operation is possible, but one pound a week is more
likely. Twelve to eighteen months after the operation, weekly weight
loss is usually less. 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: How do the weight-loss results with the
adjustable gastric banding surgery
compare to those with the gastric bypass?
A: You should focus on long-term weight loss and remember that it is
important to lose
weight gradually while reducing obesity-related risks and improving your
Q: Does the Lap-Band require frequent office visits
A: Check-ups are a normal and a very important part of the
adjustable gastric banding surgery follow-up.
Q: Does the adjustable gastric band limit any physical activity?
A: The adjustable gastric band does not affect or hamper physical activity including
aerobics, stretching and strenuous exercise.
Q: How is the band adjusted?
A: Adjustments are usually made during a scheduled
appointment in our office. 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
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 the band be removed?
A: Although the adjustable gastric band is not meant to be removed, it can
be. In some cases
this can be done laparoscopically. The stomach generally returns to its
original shape once the band is removed. After the removal, though, you
may soon go back up to your original weight or even gain more.
Q: Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when
I have lost a lot of weight?
A: 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. Sometimes
the skin will mold itself around the new body tissue. You should give
the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more
Q: Is it true that the adjustable
gastric band seems "tighter" in the
A: This is a fairly common feeling, especially for people with bands
that are tight or just after an adjustment. During the day the water
content in the body changes and this may cause the band to feel
"tighter" some of the time. Some women have also noticed that the
Lap-Band feels tighter during menstruation.
Q: Will I feel hungry or deprived with the Lap-Band?
A: The adjustable gastric 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
adjustable gastric band is a tool to help you change your eating habits.
Q: What will happen if I become ill?
A: One of the major advantages of the adjustable gastric
band is that it can
be adjusted. If
your illness requires you to eat more, the band can be loosened by
removing saline from it. When you have recovered from your illness and
want to lose weight again, the band can be tightened by increasing the
amount of saline. If the band cannot be loosened enough, it may have to
Q: What about pregnancy?
A: 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 band can be loosened. After the pregnancy, the band may be
made tighter again, and you can resume losing weight.
Q: Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
A: You may. It's possible you may not get enough vitamins from three
small meals a day. At your regular check-ups, your specialist will
evaluate whether you are getting enough vitamin B12, folic acid, and
Q: What about other medication?
A: You should be able to take prescribed medication. 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. You should always
ask the doctor who prescribes the drugs about this.
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
Q: What about alcohol?
A: Alcohol has a high number of calories. It also breaks down
vitamins. An occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage,
though, is not considered harmful to weight loss.
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 such
as those recommended in the nutrition section of this booklet and as
advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian. 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
Q: Will I suffer from constipation?
A: There may be some reduction in the volume of your stools, which is
normal after a
decrease in food intake because you eat less fibre. This should not
cause you severe
problems. If difficulties do arise, let us know as soon as possible.