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.

Can Bariatric Surgery Address Binge-Eating Concerns?

People who suffer from eating disorders that cause them to put on dramatic amounts of weight may turn to bariatric surgery as a solution. While weight loss surgery can address one facet of a patient’s concerns, many experts agree that more needs to be done to adequately confront eating disorders that may have contributed to obesity in the first place. For example, bariatric surgery by its design may help people resist the urge to binge eat since a smaller stomach capacity may make doing so painful. Surgery, however, will not and cannot on its own address the underlying psychological issues that promote binge-eating behavior.

Since binge-eating and obesity may go hand-in-hand, some weight-loss experts recommend patients with both concerns take a multi-pronged approach. One prong may very well involve the use of bariatric surgery to help patients shed pounds and slim down to a healthier, safer weight. The other, however, must focus on the support necessary to assist patients in confronting the binge-eating behavior, its triggers and methods for overcoming the urge to overeat.

Bariatric surgery on its own can help patients address weight-loss concerns, but it is not a cure all for underlying conditions that promoted weight gain in the first place. With that in mind, it is not entirely out of the question for bariatric surgeons to insist that their patients undergo counseling before surgery. In some cases, practices may have in-house counseling to assist patients in laying the groundwork for long-term success. Post-surgical support groups, counseling and other forms of help may also be available and strongly advised.

Bariatric surgery can help people who are obese lose weight effectively, but it is not a cure for underlying problems. If an eating disorder is at the root of weight-related concerns, it is strongly recommended that patients take a multi-faceted approach. To find out more about eating disorders and weight loss surgery, speak to a qualified healthcare provider.

Gastric Bypass Provides Sustainable Weight Loss: Study

People who are obese and are looking for medical interventions to help them address weight-related concerns will find many options are now available to them. Aside from standard diet and exercise, doctors can now help with medications, nonsurgical procedures and different bariatric surgery techniques. When it comes to sustainable weight loss assistance, however, studies are finding the gastric bypass may offer the biggest benefits.

The gastric bypass is one of the most commonly used bariatric procedures. This surgery enables patients to lose weight and keep it off by taking a two-pronged approach. Much like a sleeve gastrectomy, the first prong involves shrinking the stomach’s holding capacity. This enables people to feel fuller faster, promoting a reduction in food consumption. The second prong involves rerouting a portion of the digestive track to promote reduced calorie absorption. Research has long shown this procedure can have tremendous and lasting benefits to assist with weight loss.

A new study backs up the findings even more over the long-term as opposed to other surgical interventions. To better understand the long-term benefits of weight loss surgery, a multi-part study was conducted. Thousands of patients were included in the study. Some underwent gastric bypasses, others had banding procedures and some had sleeve gastrectomy procedures performed. The researchers ultimately found that gastric bypass patients were able to maintain their weight loss more readily over the course four years than people who underwent different procedures.

Obesity can have ramification that go well beyond appearance. People who are severely overweight are at risk for such health problems as diabetes and heart attacks. Losing weight can dramatically lower the risks for developing life-limiting conditions. To find out more about weight loss options, both surgical and non-surgical, speak with a licensed healthcare provider. Losing weight can dramatically improve health and may even help treat and/or reverse some related medical concerns, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

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.

Tips For Covering the Costs of Gastric Band Surgery

Making the decision to address obesity head on is a great one that can have benefits that ripple throughout life. Not only does shedding pounds help people feel better about themselves, it can improve health while lowering the risks for a long list of serious medical conditions. Footing the bill for gastric band surgery, however, can sometimes be a tricky prospect even when medical insurance is available and there’s a genuine need to have surgery performed to address obesity and safeguard health.

There are some things patients can do to help better position themselves to handle the costs so they can gain the benefits of a procedure like the gastric band. Here are a few tips that may help:

• Know the costs – Get a complete estimate from the bariatric surgeon who will be performing the procedure. The costs range from about $12,500 to $26,000, depending on region, hospital and other factors. The total bottom line generally includes such necessities as access to counselors, medication, supplements and other items.
• Work with doctors and insurance companies – If there is a genuine medical need to address weight, many insurance companies will cover most of the costs associated with lap band surgery. To facilitate this, take time to get appropriate referrals and recommendations. Talk with the insurance company to find out exactly what is covered and what is not. If a second opinion is required, go in for it.
• Consider financing – Finance companies will often help patients cover some or all of the costs associated with surgery. Many bariatric surgeons offer their patients access to such companies. Be sure to ask about this option if insurance coverage isn’t likely.

Lap band surgery can help people get control of their weight while improving their overall health. Losing weight can reduce the risks for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious concerns. If this surgery is deemed necessary, there are ways to make it happen even if insurance isn’t readily available. Be sure to talk with a reputable surgeon for advice on covering the costs.

Revision Weight Loss Surgery: Not Common, But Sometimes Needed

Each year thousands of Americans make the decision to address obesity-related concerns by undergoing bariatric surgery. For most patients who choose this path, a single operation will be all that’s necessary to attain the results needed to promote weight loss and improvements to overall health. That is not always the case though. Some people will find secondary procedures are required.

Revision weight loss surgery most commonly arises as a possibility when primary procedures don’t produce the desired impacts. People who undergo lap-band surgery, for example, may find they need to have the band removed because they cannot tolerate it. In these cases, revision surgery may include simultaneous band removal and performance of such procedures as a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

There are a few other circumstances in which a revisionary procedure might be required. Complications arising from the original procedure, for example, could necessitate a second operation. Surgeon error, such as creating a gastric pouch that is too large, may also demand revisions. In addition, a decision to have a more complex procedure may prompt a second operation.

Most people who undergo bariatric surgery will find the results hold up over time rather well. There are circumstances in which going back in might be necessary or desirable. People who undergo bariatric procedures are urged to talk to their doctors if the results attained are not satisfactory. It is also important to bring up any post-surgical issues, as well.

Obesity is estimated to affect an estimated third of the American population. If left unchecked, this condition can take its toll on health while increasing risks for such serious conditions as diabetes, heart disease and even some forms of cancer. People who are overweight should talk to their doctors about all viable weight loss options. Diet and exercise alone may help some people, but others will find bariatric surgery offers them the greatest hope for shedding pounds and keeping them off.

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.