Additional Surgeries Common After Gastric Banding: Study

People who have undergone gastric band procedures to help them address obesity-related concerns may find themselves at higher risk for needing additional operations, a recent study concluded. According to researchers, about one in five people who undergo a gastric band procedure end up requiring additional surgery within five years.

The gastric band was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001. The procedure works by placing a band around the upper part of the stomach. The placement essentially decreases the size of the stomach, which means people have less room to hold food. The band’s tightness can be adjusted, which can prove to be a big benefit in some cases, such as if a patient becomes pregnant down the road.

Although gastric bands have helped thousands successfully lose weight, complications are not entirely uncommon. Bands can, for example, slip or erode within the stomach. These issues require surgical intervention to address.

The recent study that concluded the need for additional surgeries in about one out of five patients involved data related to more than 25,000 gastric band patients. The analysis showed that about 18.5 patients ended up needing at least one additional surgery to remove, move or repair their bands.

Although still available, the gastric band has fallen out of favor with many bariatric surgeons. Procedures such as the gastric bypass and gastric sleeve are more readily offered now due to their long-term success rates. Although considered permanent, both procedures have a strong track record for helping people lose weight and keep it off.

People who are considered severely obese are at especially high risk for serious health complications. Taking steps to address weight can lower risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure, among other conditions. To find out more about bariatric surgery, consult with a licensed healthcare provider for case-specific recommendations.


Weight Loss Surgery Products Results, But Demands Commitment

Weight loss surgery can produce tremendous results for people who are obese and are seeking ways to address this concern and the potential health problems that go along with it. This option for addressing obesity does, however, demand a commitment to making major lifestyle changes, former patients and health practitioners warn.

Patients who have undergone gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy procedures, for example, report the need to embrace major lifestyle adjustments is very real. Since both procedures involve permanent alteration of the stomach and its capacity to hold food, former patients warn that there is a need to be willing to only eat small meals, to avoid certain foods and to make adjustments as the body begins to change. The payoff for adjusting to necessary changes in lifestyle habits, however, may include such things as:

•    Ability to attain and maintain target weight – When proper lifestyle changes are put into place to support continued weight loss and/or maintenance following bariatric surgery, many people are able to hit their target weight following surgery. Just how much weight will be lost may vary from patient to patient.

•    Ability to reduce obesity-related health concerns – People who already suffer from obesity-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, joint pain, hypertension and high cholesterol often report marked improvements after surgery. In some cases, conditions such as type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea may completely reserve or demonstrate signs of remission.

•    Ability to reduce risks for life-limiting conditions – People who are obese who take steps to address weight are likely to find their personal risks for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers go down as the weight is shed.

•    Ability to enjoy life more – While bariatric surgery does demand a lasting commitment on the part of patients, many who have undergone such procedure report feeling better, looking better and having more energy and endurance to enjoy life.

Weight loss surgery can produce big benefits for patients, but commitment is required. Anyone interested in exploring this option for weight loss is urged to consult with a licensed healthcare provider.

Gastric Balloon Versus Bariatric Surgery

People who are ready to address obesity medically will find a number of options are now available. While some procedures call for surgical intervention, others do not. Doctors are finding, however, that many patients still prefer surgical intervention over less-invasive alternatives like the gastric balloon despite the unique benefits it can provide.

The gastric balloon procedure involves the insertion of a tiny balloon into the stomach using an endoscope. Once in place, the balloon is filled up with a saline solution to enable it to occupy much of the stomach’s space. This, in turn, promotes a sense of feeling fuller faster, much like a sleeve gastrectomy or bypass might. The difference is the balloon is temporary and only remains in place for about six months. That reason is precisely why some patients and their doctors still prefer surgical intervention, especially if obesity levels are severe or co-morbidities have presented.

While the balloon procedure does provide a viable, non-surgical way to jump start weight loss, patients will find the support it provides is fleeting. That means they have roughly six months to alter lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise routines to gain the maximum benefits.

Patients who undergo surgical procedures generally attain lifelong weight loss assistance. These procedures, however, are considered very invasive and demand an ongoing commitment on the part of the patient to produce maximum results. Patients must learn to eat much smaller, healthier meals to maintain weight loss, comfort and nutritional health. They must also be willing to exercise and take part in other activities designed to support their weight loss journeys.

Surgical and nonsurgical weight loss procedures can and do provide ways to help people address obesity-related concerns. To find out more, it is best to consult directly with a healthcare provider. The best procedure to pursue will hinge on specifics unique to an individual. For some people, the less-invasive balloon can be the perfect fit. Surgical intervention though is often best in cases where health is in imminent jeopardy.

New Weight Loss Options Provide Alternatives to Surgery

People who struggle with their weight may not always find that bariatric surgery is the right option for them. Whether they don’t meet the body mass index requirements for procedures like the gastric bypass or it’s a case of wanting to avoid surgery all together, help is still available. Three relatively new procedures are providing viable alternatives to surgery for those who are obese but don’t fit the criteria for more intense medical interventions. The endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, gastric balloon and Aspire procedures are all providing hope and help for those who find surgery isn’t a good fit.

Here is a rundown of the three procedures and the ways in which they help people shed pounds effectively and without surgery:

• Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty – This technique is meant to mimic the sleeve gastrectomy without the need for surgery. It uses an endoscopic suturing device to effectively shrink the size of the stomach. This procedure is available to those who don’t meet the BMI requirements for outright surgery. It works by enabling people to feel fuller faster, much like the surgical gastrectomy.
• Gastric balloon – Also available for people with lower BMIs, this is a temporary measure meant to help kick start weight loss. It involves the placement of a balloon into the stomach to effectively shrink its food holding capacity. The balloon is inserted during a non-surgical procedure and remains in place for about six months.
• Aspire/Assist – This recently approved procedure enables people to lower the amount of calories their bodies absorb. It works by enabling patients to remove about 30 percent of the food from their stomach before it moves into the intestines. Like the balloon procedure, it is not permanent.

People who are concerned about their weight, but are not quite ready for surgery will find that options do exist for them. These three non-surgical alternatives may provide the help needed. To find out more, speak with a qualified bariatric surgeon.

Weight Loss Balloons Can Produce Significant Results

People who are obese, but not considered good candidates for invasive bariatric surgery procedures don’t have to give up hope. A less involved procedure that’s performed on an outpatient basis can help people shed twice as much weight as dieting and exercise alone.

Known as the gastric balloon, this weight-loss method is considered ideal for people who are overweight, but by enough to qualify for surgical intervention. This option is also recommended for those who are severely obese, but who wish to avoid the permanency of procedures like the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass.

The balloon procedure involves the implantation of a tiny capsule into the stomach. This is generally performed by inserting it via a tube that’s sent from the mouth into the stomach. Once the capsule is in place, a doctor fills up the balloon to enable it to occupy space in the stomach. The end result is a mimicking of common surgical procedures in that the stomach’s holding capacity is greatly diminished. With the balloon in place, people feel fuller faster and are less inclined to eat more than they should. Balloons stay in place for about six months.

While not as permanent as the bypass, for example, the balloon offers some advantages. This less invasive option lays the groundwork for a six-month period of major weight loss. During this timeframe, patients generally undergo nutritional and lifestyle counseling to help them develop habits that will sustain the losses after the balloon is removed. Studies have found that people who undergo balloon procedures can lose about 25 percent of their excess body fat during the six-month period. That’s about twice as much as those who attempt to lose weight by diet and exercise alone.

People who are overweight are strongly urged to talk to their healthcare providers about all weight loss options. Losing weight can dramatically improve health while lowering the risk for serious health complications.

Extra Nutritional Attention May Be Needed for Moms Following Gastric Bypass

Women who are obese and in their child-bearing years may discover conceiving isn’t as easy as they’d hoped. With an eye on boosting the odds in their favor, some women pursue bariatric surgery to address weight-related concerns. One of the most popular procedures – the gastric bypass – has been shown to help improve fertility chances. This operation, however, can increase the chances of infant nutritional concerns.

Recent studies have shown that women who undergo bypass procedures are more likely to have infants who are small for their gestational age. The risk also rises for nutritional deficiencies at birth. Nutritional deficiencies may even occur if an expectant mother takes supplements during a pregnancy, one study suggests. The deficiencies mainly involve vitamin A, zinc and calcium, researchers say.

The findings of the study are not entirely surprising, researchers have noted. Other studies have shown women who undergo gastric bypasses may have nutrient deficiencies themselves due to malabsorption. The newest finding, however, may indicate a need for more rigorous supplementation during pregnancy. It is also recommended that babies be evaluated following birth to ensure their nutrient levels are adequate.

Gastric bypass procedures involve a two-step operation that is designed to help people shed pounds and keep them off. The surgery involves both the surgical shrinking of the stomach and a rerouting of the digestive tract. It’s the second step that reduces the body’s ability to absorb calories, which also limits nutritional intake to an extent. People who undergo this procedure are counseled to balance their diets carefully and to use supplements to ensure proper nutrition.

Obesity can have a direct impact on fertility. Addressing the concern may increase chances of conception. For women who undergo weight loss surgery, there may be a need for more careful monitoring to ensure babies conceived and born are properly nourished along the way.

Gastric Bypass Offers Best Long-Term Results: Study

People who are serious about addressing obesity once and for all are likely to find that the gastric bypass procedure offers them the most effective results over the long run. That’s according to a new study that finds this bariatric surgical procedure tends to stand up better over time in the weight maintenance department when compared to less invasive weight loss measures.

To arrive at their findings, researchers took a look at thousands of records associated with veterans who underwent gastric bypass procedures and those who did not. One year out from surgery, the gastric bypass group had lost about 31 percent of their baseline weight. Researchers found the non-surgical group patients had only lost about 1.1 percent of their baseline. Over a period of 10 years, bypass patients were able to maintain about 21 percent greater weight loss than their counterparts in the non-surgical group.

While the study did not look at other forms of bariatric surgery, such as the sleeve gastrectomy, its findings were rather significant. Researchers noted that gastric patients not only shed a tremendously higher percentage of body fat, but they were able to maintain the step in the right direction for years into the future.

The gastric bypass is a two-part surgery that involves the shrinking of the stomach’s holding capacity. This is achieved by creating a smaller stomach pouch, generally through stapling. In addition to reducing stomach holding capacity, the surgery also reroutes digestion to ensure people absorb fewer calories from the meals they eat. The end result is a procedure that enables people who are considered morbidly obese to lose weight steadily while providing a means for maintaining the loss.

People who are obese or are concerned about becoming so are urged to talk with their doctors. Obesity has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and a host of other life-limiting conditions. Losing weight can dramatically lower risks for complications.

Why Informational Seminars Matter Before Weight Loss Surgery

When the decision is made that weight loss surgery offers the best chance to shed pounds and beat obesity once and for all, many people are taken aback when their surgeons put on the brakes for a time. It’s not that they want patients to change their minds. They simply want to make 100 percent certain that people who choose this path know their options and exactly what to expect down the road.

To that end, many weight loss surgeons will recommend their patients attend workshops, classes or seminars related to surgery. In addition, they might be asked to attend a few counseling sessions before a date for an actual procedure is even put on the books.

Why all the pre-surgery fuss? Here are just a few of the things patients stand to learn about if they attend informational seminars before making their final decision to undergo bariatric surgery:

• Basics about all the options – Weight loss surgery isn’t a one-size-fits-all option. There are a number of surgical procedures available that can help patients shed pounds. Some choices are more invasive than others and some have proven themselves better at maintaining long-term results. Seminars generally go over the main options, how they are performed and what patients can anticipate as far as weight loss is concerned.
• The potential side effects – Weight loss surgery is a highly popular option for shedding pounds, but it is still surgery. Each procedure has its share of potential side effects that surgeons want their patients to be fully aware of.
• What to expect – Life after weight loss surgery can change rather dramatically. This is especially so for those who undergo more intense procedures, such as a gastric bypass. Counseling and information sessions are also staged to be certain patients know how their lives are likely to change.
• To provide support – The weight loss journey can be a long, tedious one that people should not walk alone. Oftentimes, seminars and counseling sessions are also designed to ensure people choosing this route have the support they need.

If you’re contemplating weight loss surgery, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for information about seminars or counseling. The better prepared you are, the more successful your journey is likely to be.

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery Permanent?

Weight tends to go on easy over time, but it doesn’t necessarily come off quite as fast. When it’s time to get a handle on extra pounds, diet and exercise often play a critical role. If these traditional means, however, don’t produce the desired results, bariatric surgery may be indicated. For those looking into weight loss surgery, there are options that are permanent and some that are not.

Gastric sleeve surgery falls into the permanent category. This surgical procedure cannot be reversed as is the case with lap band surgery, for example. The results, however, can be rather dramatic over time and they can help those who have struggled with weight over the course of a lifetime end the struggle once and for all.

Sleeve surgery is considered permanent because it involves the removal of a large section of the stomach and the gland that produces the hormone responsible for feelings of hunger. Once the procedure is performed, it cannot be undone since roughly 75 percent of the stomach will be removed from the body entirely.

While it is permanent, gastric sleeve surgery delivers a number of benefits that can help greatly with the weight loss journey. Not only does the procedure reduce the appetite permanent, it also lowers the holding capacity of the stomach rather dramatically. This, in turn, enables people to eat less while not feeling like they are starving, promoting permanent weight loss and control.

A sleeve gastrectomy is a serious procedure that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. If it’s time to consider more permanent solutions for weight loss, this procedure, however, can deliver the benefits without all the risks that might go along with gastric bypass or other surgical interventions.

Be sure to consult with your doctor about the best options for weight loss and control in your personal case. Your medical history, weight loss history and personal preferences will play a role in determine what, if any, weight loss surgery would be most beneficial in your case.

Eating Smart is Tasty with Cilantro Lime Chicken and Avocado Salsa

Eating healthier with an eye toward losing weight or keeping it off doesn’t mean having to give up on great tasting foods. If it’s time to add a healthy – and easy – recipe to your menu, this tasty treat is sure to please those with a flavor for spices and a passion for cooking.

Cilantro Lime Chicken With Avocado Salsa
This dish with a little bit of a kick has a recommended serving size of one chicken breast half and about a ¼ cup of salsa.

What You’ll Need for the chicken

4 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbsp of minced fresh cilantro
2.5 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1.5 Tbsp of olive oil
¼ tsp salt
Cooking spray
Here’s what you’ll need for the salsa
1 cup of chopped plum or grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp finely chopped Vidalia onion
2 tsp fresh lime juice
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped


For the chicken, combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl to create a marinade. Just toss the items together and place the chicken inside. Let this stand for at least 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle the ¼ tsp of salt evenly over all the pieces. Heat up a grill pan over medium to high heat. Coat the pan lightly with cooking spray and then cook chicken until done. (Approximately 6 minutes on each side).

For the salsa, combine the tomato and the next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Add avocado and stir gently. Serve fresh salsa over the chicken.

This recipe has about 289 calories a serving, 13.2 grams of fat, 35.6 grams of protein, 6.6 grams of carbohydrate and 383 mg of sodium.