Obesity is one of the fastest growing health concerns in Australia, with nearly half of the country’s adult population exceeding the threshold of a healthy height to weight ratio. Ironically, on one hand, a lot of people don’t regard being overweight as a problem, on the other, even those who do are usually unable to follow their weight loss plans. That’s when procedures such as laparoscopic gastric banding provide an effective alternate. Also known as Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB), the procedure is commonly advised to children who have not completed their growth or women who want to lose weight before falling pregnant. Let’s take a look at the finer lines.
Understanding Gastric Banding
Gastric banding is restrictive procedure that reduces the food intake of the person without affecting absorption rate. As illustrated in the image, the size of the stomach is reduced by tying a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. The band decreases the size of the stomach, and therefore, the patient eats less, which ultimately results in weight loss. The band can be adjusted by the surgeon according to the desired calorie intake and the weight a person wants to lose.
Although those who undergo gastric banding are not required to consume any nutritional supplement, they must follow a strict eating regime and exercise regularly, for the surgery to pay off to the fullest.
What to Expect
Laparoscopic gastric banding can help a person lose up to 50-60 percent of the body weight, in the first year after the surgery. The process slows down in the second year and eventually reaches a stable level. The body’s metabolism adjusts to the reduced calorie level and regulates the body weight. Banding is a reversible low risk procedure, often recommended for people suffering from sleep apnea, heart diseases, Type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and even weight induced fertility problems. Those who opt for lap band surgery take less time to recover after the procedure, compared to other obesity surgery options.
Contrary to common notion, not everyone is eligible for gastric banding. To qualify, the person must meet be at least 18 years of age, with a BMI of 40 or higher. However, those with a obesity induced health issue, such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, diabetes or heart disease, may also be advised gastric banding, even if their BMI is between 30 and 40. On the flipside, people who are on certain drugs, drink alcohol regularly, or take aspirin frequently, are usuallydiscouraged from undergoing a gastric banding surgery.
Gastric banding is a long-term procedure and requires the person to have a healthy lifestyle. They need to quit smoking, drinking, discuss their medical history with the doctor, and provide the details of any prescribed medication they take. The person undergoing the surgery needs to maintain a low-fat, low-carbohydrate diet for a week or two before the procedure. The surgeons explain the procedure, recovery process, benefits and risks involved in the process, so that the patients can take an informed decision. In all cases, the patients must follow a healthy diet and start exercising to cope with the lifestyle changes after the surgery.
Last Few Words
After undergoing gastric banding, patients need to follow the aftercare recommendations provided by the doctor, which include a pre-arranged diet and exercise plan, to get the desired results from the procedure. The diet plan not covers the quantity and the type of foods to eat, but also guide the patients on what to eat when. In addition to exercise and diet changes, it is necessary to follow-up with the doctor to monitor the progress and get adjustments made to the band, if required. Should you wish to learn more about gastric banding or have any question, feel free to consult the experts at Perth Surgical and Bariatrics.