You may have heard that the LapBand surgery is a great way to lose weight. Yes, it is. After all, the LapBand is one of the fastest growing weight loss surgeries in the United States. So, if you are ready to lose weight and improve your health, you may be ready to get started.
First, you need to determine if you are eligible. Most times, you will do so with your primary care physician. He or she will review the standard eligibility criteria used by most LapBand surgeons. For example, most only operate on those between the ages of 18 and 60 and those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher. If you are deemed an ideal candidate, a referral will be provided.
The best way to find a quality LapBand surgeon is to use the referral of a primary care physician. With that said, you can choose your own surgeon. The internet or local phone book is an easy way to get started. If not using a referral, set up a consultation appointment immediately to determine your eligibility.
The next step is to review all health insurance coverage. If you are insured, coverage may be extended. LapBand surgery is often an optional procedure. This means that if strict rules and restrictions are met, coverage is likely. Speak to your health insurance provider and physician to determine coverage eligibility and amount.
Before getting your heart set on the LapBand system or before going in for the procedure, it is important to arrange payment. On average, the LapBand system costs between $15,000 and $20,000 in the United States. If paying with a debit card, contact your bank to have your daily limit temporarily lifted. If unable to pay the cost upfront, inquire about a payment plan.
Your initial consultation appointment is where you will be deemed an ideal candidate for LapBand surgery. After that, you will still have follow-up appointment. These will be to prepare you for surgery and monitor the strict pre-surgery diet of lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and yogurt. At least one of these appointments should be with the surgeon performing the procedure.
Two to three weeks before the LapBand procedure, patients need to restrict their diet. As previously stated, this diet contains lean meats, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, and other similar foods. Why not get started earlier? This gives you reassurance that you can restrict your diet before and after surgery. It also allows you to experiment and find healthy food that works for you.
One of the many advantages to undergoing the LapBand is the short recovery time. Since the stomach is resized with an adjustable band, as opposed to stomach stapling, hospitalization is usually less than 24 hours. Still, you will need time off from work. Discuss work with your surgeon. Your job duties will determine time needed for recovery.
Preparing your home is another important pre-surgery step. Before undergoing surgery, prepare everything you need at home. This may involve cleaning, rearranging for easy movement, and so forth. If responsible for cooking for other family members, cook and freeze meals ahead of time.
Buying post-surgery supplies ahead of time can ease the recovery process. Immediately following the LapBand surgery, a clear liquid diet is required. A few days later, you will be able to transition to full liquid foods. Stock up on these liquids before your surgery. You will experience a some difficulty getting around, so don’t make unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
Finally, arrange transportation to and from surgery. Patients undergoing the LapBand procedure cannot eat or drink after midnight. This may leave you feeling tired and lightheaded, so do not drive. The same is said for post-surgery. Instead, recruit a friend or family member for transportation.
Most importantly, follow the advice of your surgeon. If your surgeon advises you to restrict your diet before surgery, do it. These rules and restrictions are designed to protect your health and wellbeing. When following the advice of a LapBand surgeon, your risk of surgery related complications decrease.