If you’re overweight or obese and want to lose weight, you’ve probably tried things like fat diets, weight loss pills, and home exercise programs. It’s possible to lose weight this way, but research suggests that this approach is a formula for yo-yo dieting and only 20 percent keep the weight off after losing it.
The Suffolk area may be a wonderful place to live and work, but if you have a serious weight problem it can have a negative impact on your quality of life, mobility, and overall health. It’s a major risk factor for other health problems, which is why the American Medical Association recently classified obesity as a chronic disease.
We know how challenging it can be to lose weight. Diet and exercise isn’t enough for some people, and that can be incredibly frustrating. However, you may be a good candidate for one of several minimally-invasive weight loss surgeries. Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS) has made weight reduction surgeries like the Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy, easier, safer, and more effective.
How Does Lap Band Work?
In most cases, one small incision about an inch across is made inside the belly button. Tools equipped with tiny cameras and equipment like the Lap Band are inserted through this small incision. Then the entire weight reduction surgery is performed with the help of the video cameras and monitors. Surgeons can see your stomach from multiple angles to apply the Lap Band or reshape your stomach. SILS has made weight-reduction surgery safer for people who need help with weight management.
The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, a nationally-recognized medical association, recommends SILS because it’s safer and results in:
Minimal scaring –SILS makes it possible to perform weight reduction surgery with minimal scaring that’s often hidden from view.
Less pain involved – From a patient’s perspective, more incisions means more pain. SILS makes it possible to perform weight reduction surgery through one small incision with less pain for the patient.
Lower infection risk –The one small incision used in SILS for weight reduction helps minimize the risk of infection during and after surgery.
Health improvements – Weight reduction procedures like the LapBand performed with Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery have an immediate impact on hunger control following surgery. But that’s just the beginning. Research shows that weight reduction surgery helps people lose about 50 percent of their excess body fat. And instead of yo-yo dieting, patients who receive SILS weight reduction surgery lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off.
Other health benefits of weight reduction surgery include:
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Risk reduction for heart disease
- Improvement in sexual function
- Better self-esteem
- Overall quality of life improvements
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Lap Band patients typically spend a week in recovery following surgery, before returning to work. After about six weeks, Lap Band surgery patients often feel good enough to resume their normal routines.
In a study published in the Journal of Minimal Access Surgery, researchers looked at 114 weight reduction surgeries. They found that only one patient experienced an infection associated with surgery. Infection is an important risk to be aware of, but it’s rare.
Other complications that can occur include:
- Allergic reactions to medication
- Internal bleeding
- Stomach cramps
- Changes in bowel health
- Unexpected complications linked to other health problems
- Lap Band: slipping or band misalignment
- Sleeve gastrectomy: leaking, abscess, poor circulation
Doctors are trained to look for and treat any complications, and fortunately less than 5 percent of patients who undergo weight reduction surgery experience complications, according to data collected by the Obesity Action Coalition.
Your Diet After the Procedure
After SILS weight reduction surgery, patients recognize changes in appetite almost immediately. Lap Band and sleeve gastrectomy are both highly effective surgeries that help control hunger.
At first, you’ll be limited to a liquid-only diet for the first one to two weeks following surgery. Pass the initial recovery phase, and you’ll be able to eat soft foods like mashed potatoes, baby food, and yogurt. After about a month, you’ll reintroduce more solid foods like eggs, lean meats, beans, and some seafood.
If you’ve been used to eating huge meals and thousands of calories a day, it’s going to take time to get used to your new appetite and way of eating. However, learning how to eat healthier and control portion sizes is a key factor in helping you lose weight and keep it off.
Care After Surgery
Following SILS for weight reduction, you’ll meet with your doctor on a regular schedule based on the type of surgery you received.
If you receive the Lap Band, you’ll typically visit your doctor every couple of months after surgery. In many cases, the Lap Band requires a couple of adjustments in the beginning to restrict the stomach in the right way. After that, most Lap Band patients meet with their doctor once every six months.
Sleeve gastrectomy patients usually meet with their doctor a couple weeks after surgery, and again about one to two months after surgery. After that, you’ll meet with your doctor every few months to review your progress.
If you live in the Suffolk area, and you’re tired of yo-yo dieting, weight reduction surgery may help you lose weight and keep it off for good. For more information, contact the New York Bariatric Group to talk to a member of our team.