Laparoscopic gastric banding, also commonly referred to as Lap Band Surgery, is a type of weight loss surgery that is generally considered the least invasive of the bariatric surgeries. The concept is simple and involves placing a silicone band on the upper part of the stomach. Over time, the band is continually adjusted to make the stomach opening and stomach pouch smaller, therefore limiting the amount of food a person is able to consume.
Weight loss surgery is increasingly being recognized as the most effective way for morbidly obese people with Type 2 diabetes to lose weight and improve their blood sugar control. This is as true in the Dallas and Ft. Worth areas of Texas as it is across the country. Until recently, it was unclear whether or not there was a long-term improvement in the psychological status of patients who choose to undergo this type of weight loss surgery.
That question was answered in a study in which 25 lap band patients (four men and 21 women) participated in psychological testing. The participants of the study, ranging in age between 30 and 58 years, had BMIs (body mass indexes) that put them in the morbidly obese classification. Furthermore, 16 of the participants had Type 2 diabetes, while the remaining nine did not. Prior to surgery, the study’s participants underwent psychological testing that measured areas such as quality of life, depression, social anxiety due to weight and general anxiety. The same tests were completed both six and 12 months after the surgery.
At both the six and 12 month post-surgery tests, Lap Band Surgery patients showed improved psychological scores. In addition to better physical health, participants also reported reduced general anxiety, social anxiety and depression. This study, as well as other studies, shows a decrease in A1C, which is a measure of blood sugar control over a period of time. The results of this study show a parallel improvement between psychological health and physiological health during the year following lap band weight loss surgery.