(Gastric band surgery, Lap Band Surgery, Weight Loss Surgery Abroad, Bariatric Treatment in Poland)

1. General Treatment Information

a) Expected results, benefits

What are the advantages of using adjustable gastric band?

If exercising, changing your lifestyle to more healthy, using restrictive diet are not leading to a satisfying result, and what is more, you are suffering from obesity with BMI (body mass index) above 35, you may be a good candidate for adjustable gastric band surgery. This procedure reduces the amount of food that is held in the stomach; it also helps in weight loss of 40 – 50 %. Your stomach does not have to be cut, what results in shorter recovery and stay in the hospital. The procedure is reversible and has the lowest intraoperative rate of complications among other bariatric surgeries. It is also recommendable due to lowest risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

b) About the procedure

The procedure is an effective way to significant weight reduction. The band makes your stomach smaller, and eating the just little amount of food can already satisfy your hunger. The size of your band can be adjusted (the doctor fills it up with sterile saline using injection port placed under your skin). During the surgery the band is not filled – your stomach needs to get used to the foreign body. During first two months, you should not eat foods that are hard to digest, as the stomach cramps may dislocate the band. Despite the band, food will be digested and absorbed normally. The whole surgery process takes about 90 minutes.

c) Treatment Schedule

On the surgery day, you will not be able to eat or drink. You will get IV (for anaesthesia, antibiotics and fluids) and compressions stockings, to prevent blood clots. You will get some medication to relax and get rid of anxiety, and after wheeling you into the operating room, you will be put under general anaesthesia. The surgeon will insert the band over your stomach and prepare the subcutaneous port. You will wake up half an hour after surgery, and the nurse will make sure, that you feel comfortable.

d) Potential side effects

What are the side effects of adjustable gastric band?

The gastric band surgery is considered as safe and efficient, but as with all types of surgical intervention, it carries the risk of complications. Some of them are severe such as internal bleeding, blood clots (risk of blood clots is decreased by wearing compression socks or receiving an anti-blood-clot injection). For patients with BMI above 50, the risk of complications increases, not only caused by the procedure itself, but also with general anaesthesia. There is also a possibility that the following may occur: mechanical problems with the band, band slippage or erosion, the band requires strict adherence and diet what may also be difficult to maintain.

e) Full Recovery Time

Right after the procedure you will feel pain at the site of the surgery, which should pass within a few days. For the first day, you will be allowed only to drink small amounts of liquid. Gradually small portions of more constant food will be added to your diet. You can get back to your normal activities within four to six weeks. After this time your stomach should be healed enough to adjust the band by injecting the saline. Sometimes the band may be too tight (and may cause vomiting) or too loose (you may not lose weight), and it may take a number of sessions until the perfect adjustment is reached. An average weight loss by the Patients with stomach band is approximately 0.5 -2.2 Pounds a week.

2. Patient’s preparation

The most important step in your weight loss surgery preparation is changing your habits, about how to eat, exercise and about your lifestyle. Patients who started to lose weight before the surgery are more likely to lose more after, and to experience fewer complications during the procedure. After making a decision about undergoing the bariatric surgery, you should try to begin eating for your health, and not for pleasure. You should get used to smaller portions, and prepare your body for less food – that is why you should plan them carefully, to supply your body with necessary minerals and vitamins. Make sure your daily diet contains lots of proteins. Eat slower, watch the portion sizes, and chew bites carefully. Reduce the amount of coffee, stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Remember about the importance of physical activity, try to exercise more. Two weeks before surgery you should eat like you have already had the procedure done. The day before, you will be probably asked not to drink or eat anything.

3. Diagnostics

To diagnose if the Patient can be qualified to a bariatric surgery following tests should be done:

  • Blood group and RH factor
  • Complete blood count
  • Biochemical tests (sodium, potassium, glucose, creatinine, coagulation APTT, INR, total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, calcium, iron, AST, ALT, total bilirubin, TSH, fT4, HBsAg, HCV)
  • Urinalysis
  • Measurement of height and weight – BMI rating (you should have BMI index above 40, but if you are diagnosed with another serious health condition like high blood pressure or diabetes BMI 35 will be enough). Adults with diabetes type 2 can be considered with bariatric surgery with BMI over 30.
  • EKG, Spirometry, Panendoscopy, UKG, abdominal ultrasound.

Also, consultations with specialists should be done:

  • Internal medicine doctor
  • Psychologist (psychiatrist)
  • Laryngologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Dentist
4. Qualification for the procedure

If the patient is unlikely to lose weight despite a long time of implementation other methods like diet, exercises, pharmacological treatment, and still with BMI index strongly exceeded, he/she may be a good candidate for the bariatric surgery. Before giving consent to this procedure, Patient should be well informed about how life may change after the operation – limited food choices, side effects, lifelong healthy lifestyle and physical activity, intake of vitamins, minerals.