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What's Going To Happen While Having Your Lap Band Surgery

By Kate Jones

Once you arrive in the operating room for your lap band procedure, the nurse will have you move onto the operating room bed. The anesthesiologist or CRNA will start placing monitors on you, and the circulating nurse might be placing SCD's on your legs or feet. After all monitors are placed, the anesthesiologist or CRNA will start having you breath oxygen through an oxygen mask. Soon after, you will start getting medication through your IV to make you unconscious. You will be receiving general anesthesia for this procedure which means you will have a breathing tube placed. Once the medication has taken effect and you are unconscious, the anesthesiologist or CRNA will insert the breathing tube. After the breathing tube is in place, you will be positioned and prepped for surgery. If you are a male, your abdomen will probably be shaved. You may have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine. The circulating nurse will then "prep" your abdomen with a betadine or chlorhexidine gluconate antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleanser.

After your abdominal area is prepared using the skin cleanser, the surgical team will start to put sterile drapes over you. You're going to be covered completely with all of these sterile drapes other than the location of which they'll be making the cuts. Soon after the drapes are on, and all of the equipment the surgeon will be utilizing is connected and operational, the lap band procedure will commence.

The surgeon will begin by making several small incisions in your abdomen. These incisions will be used to put the laparoscope and laparoscopic tools through. Carbon dioxide gas is then pumped in to inflate your abdomen; this is done to make it much easier for the surgeon to see. The surgeon will use the laparoscope to see inside your abdomen without having to make a large incision and open your belly. The surgeon will be looking at a monitor which the video from the laparoscope will be sent to throughout the lap band procedure.

A special adjustable round band will be inserted through one of the small incision sites, and carefully placed around the top part of your stomach using the laparoscopic tools. Once the band has been placed in the correct position, it will be fastened in place. An access port which is connected to the band with special tubing is then placed in the abdominal wall. This access port is placed to where it can be later used to adjust the band. By using a special needle and syringe to add or remove saline, the band will become tighter or looser. After the band and port are secured, the incisions are closed with either staples or suture.

When the lap band procedure has ended the anesthesiologist or CRNA will wake you up. You may hear them requesting that you open up your mouth or squeeze their hand. They do this to ensure that you are alert enough to breath without any help before they remove the breathing tube. They should then take the breathing tube out. You are going to be moved on to a stretcher and they'll wheel you in to the recovery area or PACU (post anesthesia care unit).

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