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Lap Band Surgery

Learn about laparoscopic band surgery

Lap band surgery was invented as an alternative to gastric bypass for those who need to lose a great deal of weight because of health concerns. Gastric bypass had several undesirable side effects, such as post-surgical nutrition loss, hair loss, chronic diarrhea (as a result of food traveling too quickly through the digestive system) and even mortality. These have all been reduced with the lap band technique since it can be adjusted non-surgically and even removed if needed.

All about lap band surgery

Lap band surgery cost can be prohibitive, but there are ways to manage it. First, some insurance companies will cover most, if not all, of the costs associated with laparoscopic band surgery. Second, there are many payment plans available, either through the surgeon or via a loan or low-interest credit card. Plus, if the cost of your procedure is more than 7.5% of your income, you can get a tax credit for it.

Your diet after lap band surgery will be different from the one you've previously eaten. For one thing, you will need to drink six to eight glasses of liquid a day. You will need to eat no more than three small, nutrient-dense meals a day, and you will have to avoid drinking after eating so you don't push the food through the stomach opening too quickly or you'll be hungry again sooner. Another very important change to your diet is that all food must be eaten slowly and chewed well to prevent obstruction in your stomach.

As with any procedure, there can be lap band surgery complications. Most immediate complications can be, and need to be, dealt with by a physician. Directly after surgery, you need to call your doctor if you have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, sudden shortness of breath or chest pain, pain or swelling in one or both legs, severe stomach pain or anything unusual about your incision sites.

The longer-term risk is nutritional deficiencies, but these can be quickly fixed by opening the lap band more to accommodate a greater quantity of food. Like any surgery, the lap band procedure does carry risks, but there is a great chance that it can eliminate your obesity quickly and safely. The side effects are generally less severe than those from gastric bypass surgery, and complications can generally be taken care of quickly. Plus, there are many options for a payment plan to cover the cost of your surgery if your insurance won't pay for it.

You could weigh less and feel better in just a few short months, so if that sounds good to you, consult your doctor about the possibility of lap band surgery for you.

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