How Much Does Lap Band Surgery Cost?

August 26, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery · Comment 

If you’re thinking about getting lap band surgery after trying and failing to lose weight for any reason, one of your first considerations will be to find out how much it will cost? Prices vary and this article will give you an idea of what the costs will be for this adjustable gastric banding surgery and what additional or associated costs to consider also.


The cost of lap band surgery depends first of all on whether you plan to have it done in the United States or whether you plan to travel to another country. But more so before you investigate you want to make sure you’re qualified for the lap band procedure because it’s not an elective surgery. The National Institutes of Health have certain guidelines that weight loss or bariatric surgeons use to determine whether you’re a qualified candidate or not.


Lap band surgery won’t even be considered if you aren’t 18 years of age or older or don’t have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 40 and 60. The exception is if it’s 35 or greater with co-morbid, obesity-related or associated conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, infertility, metabolic syndrome or high cholesterol among others. The list includes many other diseases that are often associated with obesity.



You must also have made a significant effort to lose weight by weight loss programs that are supervised by physicians or other authorized weight loss programs over an extended period of time without achieving a sustainable weight loss.


So if you meet the NIH criteria and your doctor certifies you then your health insurance should cover it but if you don’t qualify you may have to pay for it yourself if you can get a bariatric surgeon, perhaps in Mexico or another country to agree to perform the surgery.


When determining the cost of the surgery you must consider all the other associated costs. These costs include lab tests, your surgeon’s fees and the hospital expenses. After surgery you’ll have follow up tests, doctor visits perhaps psychological support and food, diet and nutritional counseling.


If you have the surgery in the United States the cost of lap band surgery has been steadily going down over the past few years. Perhaps because more weight loss surgeons are performing it and there is more emphasis in the news and/or from increased competition from weight loss surgeons in Europe and Australia and countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India, and Canada. There may be more competition, making lap band surgery cheaper, in popular gastric banding cities like Houston, Chicago, and Dallas and in states such as Texas, Florida, Illinois, and California.


Cost of lap band surgery in the US can cost from $13,000 on up, not including any of the associated costs that you’ll have before or after surgery. It would be difficult to estimate all the costs you’ll have prior to surgery. Complications may occur following surgery that would drive the cost up also. If you have health insurance coverage this may be less of a concern.


Cost of lap band surgery can be as little as $8000 in Mexico and has been going down considerably in the past few years. But you must make sure that you add on all your travel costs – airfare and airfare for any return visits if necessary, hotel stays, rental cars, etc. The procedure itself is usually a one-night stay or less. The actual hospital costs will be less. Surgery outside the United States will probably not be covered by your health insurance company.


If you’re covered by your health insurance policy then it would be better and safer to have your lap band surgery in the United States. Plus if medical complications arise you will be better protected legally. If you’re not covered then make sure to weigh all the costs of the surgery – the costs to have gastric banding procedures in the US compared to Mexico for example, where your travel costs may be considerably less and you may be close to home or in Canada if it’s closer geographically to you. Many lap band procedures are done there as well. Canada has free health benefits that you may be eligible for.


In any case make sure to weigh all the pros and cons of the surgery as well as the cost of lap band surgery. Even though the lap bad can be removed (it’s reversible) you want to be aware of all the risks and side effects besides the weight loss benefits.

For more nurse’s tips and info on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications go to http://www.Lap-Band-Surgery-Info.com for tips on lap band surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, medical travel for low cost lap band surgery and cost of lap band surgery

What You Should Know About Lap Band Surgery And Weight Loss

August 8, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery · Comment 

One difference in the early days between the Lap Band system and the Swedish adjustable lap band is that the SAGB didn’t have a self-closing mechanism and had to be closed with sutures. An American company, INAMED Health, designed the BioEnterics Lap-Band Adjustable Gastric Banding System, which was introduced in Europe in 1993. The Swedish adjustable gastric band differs from the Lap-Band because it wasn’t designed for use with keyhole laparoscopic surgery.


An allergic reaction to materials contained in the band or for people who have exhibited pain intolerance to implanted devices are contraindications for lap band surgery. Failure of dietary or weight-loss drug therapy for more than one year can make one eligible for the adjustable gastric band procedure. In order to be considered one must have the comprehension of the risks and benefits of the gastric band procedure and willingness to comply with the substantial lifelong dietary restrictions required for long term success.


Inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract like ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease don’t make one a good candidate for lap band surgery. It’s usually contraindicated if the surgery or treatment represents an unreasonable risk to the patient.


As the upper part of the stomach believes it’s full the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and this sensation helps the person to eat smaller portions and lose weight over time. The surgeon uses a specialized needle is to avoid damage to the port membrane. When fluid is introduced into the stomach the lap band expands, placing pressure around the outside of the stomach; this decreases the size of the passage in the stomach and restricts the movement of food.


The band is inflated and adjusted by way of a small access port placed just under the skin subcutaneously; then radiopaque isotonic solution or saline is introduced into the band via the port. Lap band or gastric band placement, unlike the traditional malabsorptive weight loss surgery (Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, biliopancreatic and duodenal switch) does not cut or remove any part of the digestive system. The adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the top portion of the stomach using keyhole laparoscopic surgery.


Post surgery the patient should consider eating less, eating more slowly and chewing food thoroughly. The patient may be prescribed a liquid-only diet, followed by soft foods and then solid foods for a varied length of time; each surgeon and manufacturer will vary. The lap band may remain deflated during pregnancy and once breast feeding or bottle-feeding is completed the band may be gradually re-inflated to help with postpartum weight loss if essential.


The World Health Organization recommendation for monthly weight loss is approximately 1.1 to 2.2 pounds per week and an average gastric banded patient may possibly lose this amount. Weight regain can happen with any surgical weight loss procedure including the more radical procedures that initially result in a rapid weight loss.


Complications of gastric band surgery include: ulceration and irritated stomach tissue. Some mechanical malfunctions that can occur post-surgery are port leakage, cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, port site pain and port displacement.



Some of the adjustable gastric band post-surgery digestive complications are nausea, vomiting, gastroesophageal reflux, stoma obstruction, constipation, dysphagia, diarrhea, and abnormal stools. Occasionally, the narrow passage into the lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of unchewed food.


The amount you pay for your surgery will vary; there is not one set price for lap band surgery. It’s important to discuss post-surgical care and diet plans with your weight loss doctor if you are considering adjustable gastric band or lap band surgery. Mexico is one of the top destinations for adjustable gastric band surgery outside of the United States, where the cost for lap band surgery is usually about $8,000 to $10,000.

For more information on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications visit http://www.Lap-Band-Surgery-Info.com a nurse’s website offering tips and information on lap band surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, medical travel for low cost lap band surgery and cost of lap band surgery

Is Lap Band Surgery The Weight Loss Solution For You?

August 7, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery · Comment 

If you’re thinking about undergoing weight loss surgery, it’s not only an important medical decision but a significant financial decision too. Lap band surgery or adjustable gastric band procedure is usually used in dire circumstances and is performed with laparoscopic instruments, which means the surgery is minimally invasive and has a short time for recovery. The American company, INAMED Health, designed the BioEnterics LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System, which was first introduced in Europe back in 1993.


Gastric banding, including the Lap Band procedure and weight loss system is usually indicated for people whose Body Mass Index is above 40. Or for those people who are 100 pounds (45 kg) or more over their estimated ideal weight according to the 1983 Metropolitan Life Insurance Tables (still used today). Or for those people between 30 to 40 who have co-morbidities (high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, arthritis), which may improve with weight loss. Those who are eligible to have it must be between ages 18 and 55 years, although there are doctors who will perform surgery outside these ages, some may be as young as 12. It should not be performed when severe cardiopulmonary diseases or other conditions are present, which make them poor candidates.



Inflammatory diseases of the g. i. tract like ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease don’t make a person a good candidate. In order to be considered one must have a good comprehension of the risks and benefits of the procedure and have a willingness to comply with the substantial lifelong dietary restrictions that are required for long term success.


Unlike people who have procedures such as the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, duodenal switch or biliopancreatic diversion surgery, it’s unusual for gastric band patients to experience any nutritional deficiencies or malabsorption of their micro-nutrients. So as the upper part of the stomach perceives that it’s full, the message to the brain is that the stomach is full and this sensation is what helps the person eat smaller portions and lose weight over time. Calcium supplements and Vitamin B12 injections are not usually required as they are with the Roux-en-Y and other types.


The adjustable gastric band or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone prosthetic device which is placed around the uppermost section of the stomach using the preferred keyhole laparoscopic surgery. The placement of the band creates a small pouch right at the top of the stomach which holds about 50 ml. The pouch ‘fills’ with food quickly and the passage of food from the top to the bottom of the stomach is quite slowed down. This surgery, unlike the traditional malabsorptive weight loss type (Roux-en-Y, biliopancreatic and duodenal switch) doesn’t cut out or remove any part of the digestive system.


After surgery the patient should eat less, eat more slowly and chew food thoroughly. Initial weight loss is slower than with Roux-en-Y but statistics show that over five years the weight loss outcome is pretty much similar. Some patients may find that before their first ‘fill’ they’re still able to eat large portions.


The band may remain deflated during pregnancy and once breast feeding or bottle-feeding is completed it may gradually be re-inflated to help with postpartum weight loss if necessary. Many physicians make the first adjustment between six to eight weeks following surgery to allow the stomach adequate time to heal. Then after that the fills are done as needed.


A common occurrence for patients is regurgitation of swallowed – acidic food from the upper pouch, which is commonly known as productive burping and is not normal. Other complications include ulceration and irritated stomach tissue.


On occasion, the narrow passage into the lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of food that is unchewed. Mechanical malfunctions can occur including port leakage, some cracking of the kink-resistant tubing or disruption of the tubing connection from the port to the band, pain at the port site and port displacement.


Lap band surgery and gastric banding if compared to other weight loss surgeries have shown a much lower mortality rate, the stomach returning to normal if the band is removed, there’s no cutting or stapling of the stomach, the band is adjustable without additional surgery and there are no malabsorption issues because no intestines are bypassed. There are also fewer life threatening complications. And the psychological effects of any weight loss procedure also should not be ignored. Be aware that some people have died undergoing this surgery.

For information on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications go to http://www.Lap-Band-Surgery-Info.com a nurse’s website for tips on lap band surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, medical travel for low cost lap band surgery and cost of lap band surgery

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