Will I Need to Lose Weight Before Getting a Lap Band?

I'm going to be having a Lap Band operation and was wondering if there is a certain weight I need to be, before I can have the operation?

Doctor Answers 3

Weight Loss Before Lap-Band

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At our clinic, patients are prescribed a nutritionally complete VLCD meal replacement product for at least two weeks prior to surgery to help lose weight. Studies have shown (Obesity Surgery, 2004) that pre-operative VLCDs will reduce the fat stored in the liver and shrink the liver by up to 25%, which makes the surgical procedure safer and easier.

Mississauga Bariatric Surgeon

Weight loss prior to Lap-Band

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In general the risk of weight loss surgery increases if your BMI is over 60.  Then we would recommend losing weight prior to surgery.  We do not require patients to lose weight prior to surgery unless the BMI is greater than 60.  There is some literature recommending a liquid protein diet for 2 weeks prior to surgery to shrink the liver but this is debatable.

Special diet prior to lap band

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In some cases,  bariatric surgeons would agree that loosing 10% of the pt 's body weight will significantly improve liver size making exposure to upper stomach adequate for safe surgery, there is some literature to suggest a benefit. Most patients with lower BMI ie <45 generally need to be on a low calorie diet prior to surgery rather than a strict liquid diet. 

Ricardo M. Bonnor, MD, FACS
Houston General Surgeon

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