If you are considering LAP-BAND® or other bariatric procedures, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Dr. Jason Richardson values patient education, and he will reserve a significant portion of your consultation for answering your specific questions. In the meantime, he shares the answers to some of the questions he is asked most frequently during initial visits at the Tempe, West Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tucson offices of Weight Loss Institute of Arizona.
To learn more about weight loss surgery, request a consultation with Dr. Jason Richardson or call Weight Loss Institute of Arizona at (480) 829-6100.
How do I know a surgeon is qualified to perform LAP-BAND surgery?
When considering LAP-BAND surgery, it’s important to choose a bariatric surgeon who has advanced laparoscopic skills and extensive experience performing weight loss surgery. By choosing a LAP-BAND System certified surgeon, you can be confident that your surgeon has the education and training required to safely perform this procedure. Also, make sure your surgeon is supported by a staff that will help you address weight-related health conditions, and make available dietary support, exercise training, nursing care, and psychological counseling. It is also important that your surgeon participate in the American Society of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Center of Excellence program.
Is LAP-BAND surgery right for me?
FDA guidelines specify that people who are at least 30 pounds overweight, with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30, and at least one existing condition related to their obesity (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease) can be considered for LAP-BAND surgery. People with a BMI over 40, are candidates without the related conditions. There are many other factors to consider before you have any type of weight loss surgery. We perform a comprehensive initial screening process to help you make a sound decision.
What other surgical options do I have?
A bariatric surgeon should be well-rounded and very familiar with most, if not all, bariatric procedures. Dr. Richardson also performs gastric bypass and gastric sleeve procedures, as well as a LAP-BAND with gastric plication procedure as part of an IRB protocol study. You can learn more about these procedures at Weight Loss Institute of Arizona main site. Requirements for other procedures often mirror those for LAP-BAND.
Will my medical insurance cover LAP-BAND or other procedures?
At Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, your health is our priority. For many people, weight loss surgery is the most viable road to a healthy, happy life. Our finance counselors will review your specific insurance coverage with you during your first visit, to help you determine what is covered. Our surgeons and billing department are experienced in working with a variety of insurance companies to help our patients understand their plan’s coverage and what to expect out-of-pocket.
How soon after LAP-BAND surgery can I go back to work?
Recovery after LAP-BAND surgery depends on personal factors and the type of work you do. Most of our LAP-BAND patients go home the day of their surgery and need to recover at home for about 3 days to a week. While we do recommend that most patients get up and walk around soon after their procedure, it can take approximately 4 to 6 weeks before you’ll be able to do strenuous exercise.
How quickly can I expect to lose weight?
Most LAP-BAND patients begin losing weight right away. It is possible to lose about 2 to 3 pounds per week, but it’s more realistic to expect to lose 1 pound per week. Although weight loss is more gradual with the LAP-BAND than with gastric bypass surgery, you can continue to shed pounds for years with periodic band adjustments. Slow and steady weight loss is optimal for your overall health and weight maintenance in the long term.
Will surgery help my heartburn?
For many people, acid reflux, heartburn, or gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by being overweight. Once you start losing weight, it’s likely these symptoms will fade. The LAP-BAND often provides an added benefit by acting like a valve to prevent stomach acid from going back up into the esophagus. A hiatal hernia can also cause acid reflux. If this is the case, the hernia will be diagnosed as part of your surgical preparation and treated as part of your surgical procedure.
What kind of food will I be able to eat?
Immediately after weight loss surgery, you begin with a liquid diet, then transition to soft food, and then to normal solid food. Quality will take precedence over quantity, so you will need to ensure the food you eat is nutritious. If you fill up on food and beverages that are high in fat or sugar, you are denying your body the nutrition it needs to become healthy and help you feel your best. Our dietician will develop a nutrition plan for your specific needs and goals.
Is alcohol off limits?
No. However, alcoholic beverages are usually high in calories and do not provide the nutrition your body needs to help you reach your weight loss goals.