OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center

Rockford, Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if I am eligible for Lab Band® surgery?
    1. You must be at least 18 yeas old
    2. You must have a body mass index of at least 40 or 35 with two serious health conditions, such as diabetes, or hypertension. Check your BMI online.
    3. You must have been overweight for more than five years
    4. You must have had serious weight loss attempts with only short-term success
    5. You are not suffering from any disease which would have caused your excess weight
    6. You must be willing to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes
  • Will my insurance pay for surgery?
  • Many insurance companies will pay for the surgery. Each individual plan is different. Some insurance companies have their own requirements which you must meet before they will approve surgery. When you come in for you initial consultation, we will work with you to determine your individual course of action to become qualified for surgery. However, some insurance plans will not cover the procedure.
  • How much weight will I lose?
  • Weight loss varies from patient to patient. The goal is about one to two pounds per week or about 50 to 100 pounds in one year. Gradual continual weight loss is the goal. 
  • How long is the recovery time?
  • Most individuals return to work and light exercise in about one week. However, the time table is individual and will be discussed when your surgery date is set.
  • Will I feel full?
  • The gastric band works through a combination of portion control and elimination of hunger. As a result, despite eating very small amounts, a person should not battle hunger throughout the day. One of the components of "healthy eating with a band" is to never "deprive" yourself.
  • How do you adjust the band?
  • Adjustments are typically done in the office and often take less than 10 minutes. Occasionally, your physician may require the assistance of an x-ray in order to fill your band properly.  A fine-gauge needle is typically used  by passing it through the skin to the port where saline can be added or removed.
  • What about pregnancy?
  • Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual cycles may become more regular. Many patients who have failed to become pregnant before losing weight find themselves becoming pregnant after unprotected intercourse. As a general rule, it is not healthy for a patient to gain or lose a  lot of weight during pregnancy. Accordingly, the decision to empty the band might have to be individualized. It is very important for a patient to let us know if and when they know about her pregnancy so we can closely monitor weight and overall health.
  • Will I need to take vitamins?
  • Since the amount of food you will be eating is decreased, we encourage our patients to take a multivitamin and calcium on a daily basis.
  • What happens if I become ill?
  • If an illness requires you to eat or drink more, the band can be loosened by removing the saline. When you are feeling better, the band can be tightened again.
  • Can the band be removed?
  • Although the Lap-Band(R) System is not meant to be removed, it can be removed laparoscopically in some cases. Following band removal, the stomach generally returns to its original shape. It is important to note that after the removal of the band, many patients may gain back some or all of their lost weight.