Weight loss surgery works by decreasing appetite-allowing people to eat less and utilize their fat stores more efficiently. What successful weight loss surgery DOES NOT stop you from eating anything.
Whenever a patient says they don’t “feel restricted” it means they want the operation to do something that they won’t do for themselves. In this case, they want the operation to keep them from eating too much, or eating something. Successful patients DO NOT describe appetite suppression in that manner.
This became clear when several groups showed that food remains above a well adjusted Lap-band for only a minute or less, not longer. It is not that the device keeps food from going through it – it is the act of food going through the Lap-band that allows the satiety mechanism to go into effect. The study was simple – take a patient who is losing weight, and feels their Lap-band is at a good point. Give them food that they say satisfies them for a long time, and label the food with something we can see on an x-ray.
We were shocked, and others repeated this experiment. But, then it all made sense. Whether they have a Lap-band surgery, a gastric bypass, a Gastric Sleeve, or a DS – all of the operations allow a smaller amount of food to provide appetite suppression. Without that, appetite suppression does not occur.
This is revolutionary in all aspects of patients – it is not “restrictive,” and having the Lap-band tight is not helpful. The bottom line is simple: solid food, slowly eaten, provides prolonged appetite suppression. This can be all overcome by: eating too fast (for Lap-band patients this leads to esophageal dilation, erosion, or slips or by drinking liquid calories, or soft food.
What works for our patients who have had long term success:
- Measuring the food they eat
- Not depending on the Lap-band to tell them when to stop
- Not depending on the device to tell them when they are too full
The Lap-band will NOT tell you when you are “full”
The device will NOT stop you from eating “more” food
So the latest revolution in weight loss is not in a new tool, it is in those four simple words that will keep your tool sharp: eat small portions slowly.