To treat obesity, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band or lap band surgery involves placing a silicone device around stomach’s top portion using laparoscopic surgery. This surgery is usually performed in obese patients having health problems including diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and osteoarthritis, among others.
Typically, the long term results of lap band surgery involve more than 60% loss of excess body weight in the first 3.5 years. The overall results of lap banding and bypass surgery are almost equal in a span of 7 to 8 years. The average weight loss in patients undergoing lap band surgery is about 1-2 pounds per week and rate of weight loss may even higher in extremely obese patients.
Resolution of Diabetes
The lap band surgery also benefits the obese people dealing with diabetes. The long term effects of lap band surgery in these patients may include remission of diabetes symptoms. Studies have shown that the 80% patients with type II diabetes who underwent lap band surgery reported remission of their diabetes symptoms. Improvement in high blood pressure (hypertension) has also been seen after lap band surgery.
However, according to American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery, lap band surgery is not an easy alternative for people dealing with obesity, as it carries increased risk of continuous pain and other complications. Moreover, long term results of lap band surgery in younger patients are found to be less promising because of sub-optimal weight loss and high rate of complications in these patients.
Band slippage is also observed in significant proportion of patients after lap band surgery. Band slippage involves slipping up of the stomach wall through the band causing an hourglass effect due to extra stomach tissue within the band. Band slippage may be mild and intermittent, or it may turn out to be severe and not resolved without second surgery. The symptoms of band slippage may include vomiting, nausea, and decreased ability to take liquids or foods. To correct this defect, the patient may require a second operation or even removal of the band. Leakage is another problem but it can easily be corrected with minor intervention.
Moreover, in order to maintain the weight reduction, the patient needs to follow guidelines relating to exercising, diet, and implanted band maintenance. These patients may need to work a little harder in the first few years after surgery, but long term results of lap band surgery are promising in terms of weight stability. The lap band surgical procedure encourages the patients to improve their eating habits thus help them in maintaining their optimum weight.