Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ's
Click on the desired question to find out more.
Q: Will I be sick a lot after the operation?
A: The LAP-BAND® System limits food intake. If you feel nauseated or sick on a regular basis, it may mean that you are not chewing your food well or that you are not following the diet rules properly. However, it could also mean that there is a problem with the placement of the band so you should contact us if this problem persists. Vomiting should be avoided as much as possible. It can cause the small stomach pouch
to stretch. It can
also lead to slippage of part of the stomach through the band, which
would reduce the
success of the operation. In some cases, it would also require another
Q: How long will it take to recover
A: If LAP-BAND surgery is performed laparoscopically, patients
typically spend less than 24 hours in the hospital. It takes most
patients about a week to return to work and a month to
six weeks to resume exercising. In the case of open surgery or if
there are complications, recovery may take longer.
Q: How much weight will I lose?
A: Weight-loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount
of weight you may
lose depends on several things. The band needs to be in the right
position, and you need to
be committed to your new lifestyle and eating habits. Obesity surgery
is not a miracle cure,
and the pounds won't come off by themselves. It is very important to
weight-loss goals from the beginning. A weight loss of 2 to 3 pounds a
week in the first
year after the operation is possible, but one pound a week is more
likely. Twelve to eighteen months after the operation, weekly weight
loss is usually less. Remember that you should
lose weight gradually. Losing weight too fast creates a health risk
and can lead to a number
of problems. Your main goal is to have weight loss that prevents,
improves, or resolves
health problems connected with severe obesity.
Q: How do the weight-loss results with
the LAP-BAND compare to those with the gastric bypass?
A: You should focus on long-term weight loss and remember that it
is important to lose
weight gradually while reducing obesity-related risks and improving
Q: Does the LAP-BAND require frequent
office visits after surgery?
A: Check-ups are a normal and a very important part of the LAP-BAND®
Q: Does the LAP-BAND limit any
A: The LAP-BAND does not affect or hamper physical activity
including aerobics, stretching
and strenuous exercise.
Q: How is the band adjusted?
A: Adjustments are often carried out in the X-ray department. They
are done there so the access port can be clearly seen. When X-rays are
used, your reproductive organs should
be shielded. Sometimes adjustments can be done in an outpatient clinic
or office. Local anaesthesia may or may not be needed. A fine needle
is passed through the skin into the access port to add or subtract
saline. This process most often takes only a few minutes.
Most patients say it is nearly painless.
Q: Do I have to be careful with the
access port just underneath my skin?
A: There are no restrictions based on the access port. It is placed
under the skin in the abdominal wall, and once the incisions have
healed it should not cause discomfort or limit
your movements or any physical exercise. The only sensation you may
have from the port
is when you go in for adjustments. If you feel persistent discomfort
in the port area, let us
know as soon as possible.
Q: Can the band be removed?
A: Although the LAP-BAND System is not meant to be removed, it can
be. In some cases
this can be done laparoscopically. The stomach generally returns to
its original shape once
the band is removed. After the removal, though, you may soon go back
up to your original weight or even gain more.
Q: Will I need plastic surgery for
the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?
A: That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery will not
be considered for at least
a year or two after the operation. Sometimes the skin will mold itself
around the new body tissue. You should give the skin the time it needs
to adjust before you decide to have more surgery.
Q: Is it true that the LAP-BAND seems
"tighter" in the morning?
A: This is a fairly common feeling, especially for people with
bands that are tight or just after
an adjustment. During the day the water content in the body changes
and this may cause
the band to feel "tighter" some of the time. Some women have also
noticed that the LAP-BAND feels tighter during menstruation.
Q: Will I feel hungry or deprived
with the LAP-BAND?
A: The LAP-BAND makes you eat less and feel full in two ways - by
reducing the capacity of your stomach and increasing the time it takes
food to get through the digestive system. After
a small meal, the amount of which varies from person to person, you
should feel full. If you follow the nutrition guidelines when you
choose your food and then chew it well, you should not feel hungry or
deprived. Remember that the LAP-BAND is a tool to help you change your
Q: What will happen if I become ill?
A: One of the major advantages of the LAP-BAND System is that it
can be adjusted. If
your illness requires you to eat more, the band can be loosened by
removing saline from it. When you have recovered from your illness and
want to lose weight again, the band can be tightened by increasing the
amount of saline. If the band cannot be loosened enough, it may have
to be removed.
Q: What about pregnancy?
A: Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your
menstrual cycle may become
more regular. If you need to eat more while you are pregnant, the band
can be loosened.
After the pregnancy, the band may be made tighter again, and you can
resume losing weight.
Q: Will I need to take vitamin
A: You may. It's possible you may not get enough vitamins from
three small meals a day. At
your regular check-ups, your specialist will evaluate whether you are
getting enough vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron.
Q: What about other medication?
A: You should be able to take prescribed medication. You may need
to use capsules, break
big tablets in half or dissolve them in water so they do not get stuck
in the stoma and make
you sick. You should always ask the doctor who prescribes the drugs
Q: What if I go out to eat?
A: Order only a small amount of food, such as an appetizer. Eat
slowly. Finish at the same
time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or
hostess know in advance
that you cannot eat very much.
Q: What about alcohol?
A: Alcohol has a high number of calories. It also breaks down
vitamins. An occasional glass
of wine or other alcoholic beverage, though, is not considered harmful
to weight loss1.
Q: Can I eat anything in moderation?
A: After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that
don't cause you discomfort.
However, because you can only eat a little it is important to include
foods full of important
vitamins and nutrients such as those recommended in the nutrition
section of this booklet and
as advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian. If you eat foods that
contain lots of sugar and fat
or drink liquids full of "empty" calories, such as milkshakes, the
effect of the LAP-BAND may
be greatly reduced or cancelled.
Q: Will I suffer from constipation?
A: There may be some reduction in the volume of your stools, which
is normal after a
decrease in food intake because you eat less fibre. This should not
cause you severe
problems. If difficulties do arise, let us know as soon as possible.