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Thinking about weight-loss surgery? Not sure which procedure is best for you? Wondering what life is like after surgery? Search the learning center or ask our bariatric pros to get the answers you need.

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All about LAP-BAND adjustments [infographic]

When an adjustable gastric band is first placed in the body, the band itself is usually empty or only partially inflated. Immediately following surgery, your goal is not to start losing weight, but to allow your body to heal and get used to your band.

Four to six weeks after your surgery, you will return to your doctor to have your first band adjustment. Using the port underneath the skin of your abdomen, your doctor will insert fluid into your band to adjust your restriction, or the degree to which your band allows food to pass into your stomach.

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Adjustable gastric banding

Adjustable gastric banding, also known as gastric band surgery, is a restrictive form of weight-loss surgery in which an inflatable silicone band is fastened around the upper portion of your stomach. The purpose of gastric banding is to limit your stomach’s capacity so you feel full with less food, and lose weight as a result. Gastric banding patients can lose an average of 55% of their excess weight 5 years following surgery.

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Common terms for the LAP-BAND beginner

If you spend time on any LAP-BAND®forums or online communities, you're likely to see seasoned Bandsters using abbreviations and terminology that may be confusing to the LAP-BAND newcomer. Familiarizing yourself with some commonly used terms can help you make sense of the jargon and learn from other patients' experiences.

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After LAP-BAND surgery

After your gastric banding surgery, your bariatric surgeon will place you on a temporary post-surgery diet. It’s important that you follow all instructions carefully to ensure that you experience a safe recovery and heal thoroughly after surgery. In most cases, it may take your body up to two months to heal completely from adjustable gastric banding.

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Making LAP-BAND adjustments

At the time the LAP-BAND is implanted around the upper portion of your stomach, the band will either be empty or just slightly inflated. The goal during the first few weeks is not to start losing weight, but to allow your body to heal and become familiar with the band. During this time period, it’s important that you take it easy and avoid behaviors that could trigger nausea or vomiting, or that put pressure on your abdominal area.

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Comparison of surgical procedures

Three of the most frequently performed bariatric weight-loss surgeries are laparoscopic adjustable banding, also known as LAP-BAND®, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, also referred to as gastric sleeve, and Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB). This table compares the three procedures, touching on topics such as average short- and long-term weight loss.

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LAP-BAND after gastric bypass

Some gastric bypass patients may not achieve their weight loss goals. According to Bariatric Times, the long-term failure rate for Roux-en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass patients is 20 to 35 percent. In patients with a BMI of 50 or higher, the failure rate can be as high as 60 percent.

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LAP-BAND can improve fertility for obese women

Many patients experience fertility issues related to their excess weight. In some cases, people can try for years to conceive with no success, even though fertility tests indicate no clinical problems for either partner.

Doctors have known for years that obese women have an increased risk of infertility. Obesity can cause irregular periods or complete lack of menstruation, a condition known as amenorrhea. It can also lead to a greater risk of miscarriage and complications during pregnancy, including high blood pressure or gestational diabetes. Even if you ovulate normally and have a regular menstrual cycle, obesity can make it difficult for you to conceive.

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Hiatal hernia repair during LAP-BAND surgery

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper portion of the stomach bulges into the opening that connects the esophagus to the stomach, known as the hiatus. Although the cause of hiatal hernias is still largely unknown in the medical world, most healthcare professionals suspect that they occur as a result of having increased pressure in the abdominal area caused by pregnancy, strain during bowel movements, coughing, and obesity.

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Sleep study for LAP-BAND surgery

Obstructive sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that, when left untreated, can lead to loud snoring, cessations in breathing, irregular heartbeat, and low blood oxygen levels. Sleep apnea is a common comorbidity of obesity, and is believed by experts in the healthcare industry to be caused by fat deposits in the neck that obstruct the airway while sleeping.

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Pre-op diet for LAP-BAND surgery

In the weeks leading up to your Lap-Band surgery, your doctor may require you to start a special pre-surgery diet. Your Lap-Band pre-op diet is different than the medically supervised diet that may be required by your insurance company. Even if you don’t have insurance, your doctor may ask you to go on a special diet to help you lose weight and make the surgery safer. The specific requirements for your pre-surgical diet will depend on your individual doctor’s requests.

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