Adjustable gastric bands can be fastened around the stomach during a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure, which can be a highly effective form of weight loss.
The way the LAP-BAND® works is basically the same. Using a minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, Dr. Whittwell fastens the band around the upper part of the stomach. When in place, the gastric band divides the stomach into an upper and lower portion separated by a narrow opening called a stoma. This has the effect of significantly decreasing the amount of food your stomach can hold before it signals that it is full.
Along with not being able to hold as much food as before, your stomach empties more slowly because food has to pass through the narrow stoma before continuing through the rest of the digestive system. The result is that people with an adjustable gastric band feel full sooner and stay full for longer. Since you are now eating less, you begin to lose weight.
The unique feature of gastric bands is that they can be adjusted during an office visit with Dr. Whittwell. You may hear these adjustments referred to as a "fill," which is slightly misleading. In reality, during an adjustment the band can be filled a little to make it tighter or emptied to make it looser. These adjustments provide extra control both for comfort and the speed at which you lose weight.
Patients who have an adjustable gastric band tend to lose weight more gradually than patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. However, many people prefer the adjustable gastric band procedure as it does not involve cutting, stapling, or rerouting of the internal organs and is considered to be a reversible procedure if necessary.
Dr. Whittwell and his staff consider the following criteria to help determine whether gastric band surgery is appropriate for you:
- You are an adult (at least 18 years old).
- You weigh at least twice your ideal weight, or you weigh at least 100 pounds (45 kilos) more than your ideal weight. If you weight slightly less, you may still be considered if you are suffering from serious health problems.
- You have been overweight for more than 5 years.
- Your serious attempts to lose weight have had only short-term success.
- You are not suffering from any other disease that could have caused you to be overweight.
- You are prepared to make substantial changes in your eating habits and lifestyle, and to continue to be monitored by the specialist treating you.
- You do not drink alcohol in excess.
If you’re interested in finding out more about whether gastric band bariatric surgery may be the right choice for you, attend one of our free weight loss surgery seminars. You can also schedule a consultation with weight loss surgeon Dr. A. Enrique Whittwell in Miami, Florida today by calling (305) 665-0100 or requesting an appointment online.