The Difference Between Gastric Bypass and the Lap Band

Medical weight loss birmingham

Going through stagnant times during weight loss is completely normal. In fact, there will be days where it seems like you keep gaining weight no matter how well you eat and how much you work out. But then, all of a sudden, you’ll step on the scale, and BAM- you’ve lost 4 pounds overnight. However, if that has never happen to you and you have tried all the weight loss tips in the book, it might be time to get some professional help. There are several weight loss surgery options but you will want to consult with your doctor to find out which medical weight loss solutions are going to work for you.

The two most popular types of weight loss surgery are gastric bypass surgery and the lap band. While the gastric bypass requirements and the lap band qualifications are similar, the surgeries themselves are very different. Let’s take a closer look at them.

The Requirements
Gastric bypass requirements are as follows:

  • You have had unsuccessful attempts to lose weight with diet and exercise.
  • Your body mass index is at 40 or above.
  • Your body mass index is between 35 and 39.9 but you suffer from weight related health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

Lap band qualifications are as follows:

  • Your body mass index is at 40 or above.
  • You have had unsuccessful attempts to lose weight with diet and exercise.
  • You are not suffering from a condition caused by excess weight.

The Surgery
Once you have met the gastric bypass requirements you will be scheduled for your surgery. The surgery consists of having the stomach stapled and a new pouch being connected to the middle of your small intestine. The procedure should taking about three hours barring any complications and requires three days recovery time in the hospital. Gastric bypass surgery is only done as an inpatient procedure.

The lap band procedure takes less than an hour and you can be out of the hospital within the following five hours. All that is done is the surgeon will go in laparoscopically and inserts the band around your abdomen and sets it in place.

The Recovery
Gastric bypass recovery time is typically six to eight weeks. You have to follow the diet plan you are given and eat and drink slowly. Even though you are in recovery, you should still try to walk about 15 minutes a day, even if you have to stop frequently to rest. However, do not carry or lift anything that is over 20 pounds during that time. You’ll likely not be able to drive for about 10 days because of taking the medication for pain. You may be able to go back t work after about two weeks but you’ll need to be careful and remember your body is recovering from major surgery.

Lap band patients are considered as recovering for only three or four weeks. The only discomfort that you will feel is possible tenderness around the port site. You should be able to return to work almost immediately.

Every patient recovers different from each procedure depending on various factors so if you are taking longer to recover, keep in touch with your doctor but don’t worry, this is completely normal.

The Conclusion
Just because you meet the gastric bypass requirements doesn’t mean that this is what you should do. The lap band has had great results and is much easier on your body. Remember also that with both procedures, it doesn’t matter if you do lose a ton of weight, you will only gain it back if you do not make major changes to your life style. Make sure that you are at least walking and following the doctor’s post op diet. There are also support groups that you can join to help you stay positive. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. There are so many people around you that love you and want to help you, you should accept it. Talking to others can also encourage you. They see the progress you are making even if you don’t. You see yourself every day and so it’s hard to see a difference but those who don’t see you every day will notice and tell you if you are open to talking about it.

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