Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Procedures Involved In Lap-band And Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy

By Joseph Foster

The use of surgery in weight loss is a practice that has continued to attract a lot of interest all over the world. The main reason is that surgical techniques have been refined over time and are associated with very few complications and failure rates. These procedures are broadly known as bariatric surgeries. Examples include lap-band and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. There are a number of things that you should know if you consider having any of these operations.

Surgical weight loss options should only be considered if lifestyle changes have been tried with no success for a considerable period of time. Although the lifestyle modifications tend to take a bit long before results can be appreciated, they do not have any serious side effects. The two main areas where changes can be made are the diet and level of physical activity. Strive to have a healthier diet and to engage in regular physical exercise.

The alternative name for lap band surgery is gastric banding. This term has been adopted because of the use of a silicon band in the procedure. When this band is fitted to the upper section of the stomach, the capacity of this organ is significantly reduced. This operation is usually done laparoscopically. This means that only small incisions are required to gain entry into the abdominal cavity.

With a reduced stomach volume, one tends to fill up rather fast. With filling, comes satiety meaning the overall effect will be a reduction in food intake. Most of the food that is eaten is channeled towards food production and very little is left for storage in tissues. Weight gain is therefore controlled and in a matter of weeks or months, there is net weight loss.

One of the major advantages of this operation over any other of its type is the fact that it is easy to exert control over. This is enabled by a plastic tubing that runs from the silicon tube to an accessible area under the skin. By filling or emptying this tube with a liquid such as saline or sterile water the effective pressure of the ring can be controlled; filling the tube increases the pressure and emptying it reduces it.

Just like the lap band operation, gastric sleeve gastrectomy is a restrictive operation. This means it limits the amount of food that one can eat in one sitting. The stomach is cut along its length to leave just a small portion of the original. Generally, between 75 and 80% of the organ is removed. What is left is a tubular structure that can only hold a fraction of the food held previously. Weight loss is through reduced food consumption and reduced absorption of nutrients.

There are a number of complications associated with these operations. These include nausea, vomiting, infections, esophageal spasms and leakage of food contents (in the case of gastrectomy). Fortunately, these complications are quite rare and can be easily managed if encountered. This notwithstanding it is important that you have a discussion with your doctor to see whether your risk is higher or lower compared to the general population.

Appreciate that results will vary from one person to another. This differences are affected by both patient and doctor factors. Patient factors may include the magnitude of the initial problem, lifestyle after the procedure and genetic factors. Doctor factors include type of technique used and level of skill of the surgeon.

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