The gastric banding procedure can be helpful for many people, but it is not suitable for everyone. Most candidates for weight loss surgery must consider whether or not they are best for the gastric banding procedure. Most patients should be over the age of 18, obese with a body mass index (BMI) in excess of 40 or in excess of 35 with one or more co-morbid conditions. The best candidates are also those that have tried traditional weight loss methods, but have not had any success. Individuals who are severely overweight may often be suffering from several conditions associated with obesity. These conditions can present an obstacle when deciding whether a patient is best for the gastric banding procedure.
Gastric banding is a form of restrictive surgery in which the stomach is restricted in size to limit the quantity of food that can pass through the stomach and digestive system. This surgery is not suitable for individuals with abnormal esophagi, stomachs, or intestines. Problems within the esophagus or stomach may result in bleeding if the gastric banding procedure is performed; it may also cause injury, scarring and gastric perforation at the site where the band is placed. Patients with gastrointestinal ulcers, esophagitis and Crohn’s diseases are also not advised to have the gastric banding surgery. Gastric banding is also unsuitable for pregnant women or for women contemplating pregnancy.
If pregnancy occurs after the gastric banding surgery, the band will be deflated to allow for the increased nutritional requirement, but loosening the band is not totally sufficient; it must be removed. Although the stomach is made smaller, it is possible for patients to regain weight if they begin to use the smaller stomach incorrectly by eating high calorie foods every day.
The doctor assesses a prospect’s candidacy for the procedure based on certain health criteria, such as their weight, heart condition, whether the patient has sleep apnea, and whether they’ve had previous abdominal surgery. The best candidates should be able to follow the doctor’s diet and exercise instructions, following surgery.
Prospective candidates for the lap banding procedure should also meet the psychological requirements. The potential patients will be evaluated by the surgeon, and by a psychologist before the gastric banding procedure. Candidates should be mentally stable with realistic expectations of their surgery. The suitable candidates should also be able to handle losing weight, and should be willing to put in the effort to effectively slim down. Some counseling may also be necessary after the surgery; patients without realistic expectations may not be as successful as others.
Patients that are not willing to conform to the diet and exercise instructions may also achieve less desirable results. Any weight loss procedure is a lifetime commitment, and prospects should be sure of their candidacy before taking any steps toward the gastric banding procedure. The procedure is not right for every obese person, but it is very effective for the proper candidates. Obesity is a serious problem, and gastric banding is one of the most effective ways of treating this common condition.