Survival Guide for Lap Band and Bariatric Surgery in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Bariatric Surgery and Lap Band procedures

Bariatric surgery, also known as  gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve procedure or more popularly as the Lap Band procedure- is being performed at an unprecedented rate.  The typical indication for this procedure is when obese patients do not respond to lifestyle changes, dietary measures and/or medications.  The sheer increase in the number of these procedures being performed annually warrants a closer look at the complications and risks involved in Lap Band surgery.  There are also several steps that can be taken during patient preparation that are indispensable in reducing the risk of complications.

 There are a few variances in the field of bariatric surgery, but that would be beyond the scope of this particular discussion. In brief, many surgeons have chosen the laparoscopic (hence the term Lap Band) approach over the traditional open surgical approach.  The rationale behind this choice is to simplify the number of external incisions as well as shortening the recovery time. Let’s now take a closer look at the risks and complications involved with gastric bypass surgery and then propose some measures that can be taken to reduce these risks.

Complications with Los Angeles Bariatric Surgery

  • Strictures and bowel obstruction

Severe formation of scar tissues and the kinking at specific sites of the intestine can lead to narrowing or blockage of the intestine.  This can manifest as inability to hold down foods and fluids.  Signs and symptoms include:  vomiting, abdominal distension and pain.   Complications related to bowel obstructions and strictures need to be corrected as soon as possible to avoid any further complications.

  •  Bleeding

Bleeding is a common complication with many types of surgery.  This may occur immediately post-operative to several days after the bariatric surgery.  Depending on the severity of the bleeding, the signs and symptoms manifest differently.  Also, the bleeding may not even be noticeable to the untrained eye.  Monitoring of vital signs in the field during a Non-Emergency Transport and having on site clinicians perform a post-op hemoglobin level check can often help early detection of any major hemmoraghes at which point surgeons can seal off any oozing area and avoid major complications.

  •  Leakage through anastomosis

Bariatric surgery basically links up parts of the stomach with portions of the intestine and this invovles anastomosis. Stapling devices are used the majority of the time and in some cases these linked connections can give way. Whenever a leakage of this type occurs there is the risk of intestinal content spilling into the abdominal cavity.  This spillage can lead to serious and in some cases fatal infections like peritonitis and sepsis. Patients should always have a full assessment performed both pre and post-op. Signs and sypmptoms to be on the lookout  for include: elevated temperature, shortness of breath, abdominal pain greater than 6 on the pain scale, abdominal distension and pulsating masses. Often times a careful palpation of all four abdominal quadrants can help detect leakage and internal bleeding early.

  •  Pulmonary embolism

 In some cases, patients have developed blood clots in the lower limbs.  This is largely dependent on patient susceptibility to clots and their individual medical history.  The biggest danger with clots is their ability to dislodge and travel towards the lungs. When clots travel to the lungs, this can lead to respiratory distress and failure. This condition can be fatal without early prevention, diagnosis and mobilization.  Also the clinical use of blood thinning agents in susceptible patients has been shown to be of great aid.

  •  Nutritional deficiencies

In some cases, gastric bypass surgery may lead to deprivation of certain nutrients.  In this case the clinician can work closely together with a properly certified dietician to prescribe special supplements.
Above and beyond any previously discussed risks and complications, some patients are also susceptible to increased incidence of gallstones, ulcers and other infections. Of course close follow-up can help in avoiding these manifestations.

In House Solutions

The truth is that there is no way to absolutely guaranty a perfect outcome.  Patients and providers alike are encouraged to research and then research some more.  Providers are urged to thoroughly explain the demystify complications of bariatric surgery.  Patients are likewise encouraged to follow the surgeon’s instructions for proper care before after the surgery – To a “T”. Doing research and finding an excellent surgical center is half the battle. Patients and providers are both expected to take extra special care after the surgery to avoid as many complications as possible, and to ensure proper healing. Even if all advice has been heeded on occasion a complication will occur. This is the nature of any surgical procedure. Any information to the contrary is completely erroneous.  A competent and ethical surgeon will be forthright in regards to complications but will thoroughly explain the proper planning and care that MUST be taken  Also, patients should consider hiring a private duty nurse.   Any surgeon should have access to a reputable nursing agency, or Surgical Aftercare Center.

Post Operative Solutions

The newest trend with Los Angeles Bariatric surgery is for surgery centers to arrange Non-Emergency Luxury transportation for their patients.  This service is often reserved for the day of surgery and for follow-up appointments. Non-Emergency Luxury transportation companies are traditionally chauffeur driven  services that have seasoned and certified EMTs behind the wheel and are often equipped with Medical Grade Oxygen and a fully stocked trauma kit.  Transportation of patients includes those coming out of bariatric procedures, plastic surgery, pain management, Dr. appointments, even retirement communities. A&E Worldwide Limousine is a private for-Hire Chauffeured Service based in Los Angeles. They provide luxury transportation services in over 350 cities worldwide. For a complete list of services and rates visit them online at aeworldwidelimo.com or contact info@aeworldwidelimo.com For faster service call the Los Angeles office directly at 818-324-0607.

Special Thanks: Dr. Pandula

image: bandingcentersofamerica.com

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