Thank you for spending some time with us to further increase your bariatric education. Our weight loss surgeons offer an advanced surgical option called the REALIZE® Band that can be very effective for the right patient. Both LAP-BAND® System and REALIZE® Band surgical procedures are restrictive. This means they restrict the size of the stomach and decrease the amount of food that is consumed before feeling full.
About the REALIZE® Band
The REALIZE® Band creates a small egg sized pouch by gently compressing the top part of the stomach. This pouch is easily filled with less than four ounces of food, helping a patient feel satisfied and full. The rate at which food enters the upper part of the stomach from the upper pouch — and thus the amount of food consumed before an individual feels full — can be adjusted. This adjustment is made by adding saline into a port that connects to the band. The band itself is made of plastic bio-compatible materials. The inside of the port is essentially a soft inner tube reservoir for saline. As saline is injected, the inner tube fills, the band expands, and the stomach becomes more restricted. The port is implanted on top of the muscle, underneath the skin, and it can not be seen. The REALIZE® Band procedure performed by our experienced bariatric surgeon typically takes about 30 minutes to perform. It is done so under general anesthesia and the patient is discharged later the same day.
The REALIZE® Band procedure has been performed for approximately 10 years. While first being used in Europe the procedure was known as the Swedish Adjustable Gastric Band, which was actually the first adjustable restricting device. Over 100,000 of these bands have been implanted world-wide.
Physically, the REALIZE® Band is the widest of all bands. The band’s manufacturer, Ethicon, feels this feature helps improve hunger control when compared to other bands. It is a high volume (9ml total capacity) and low pressure band. This allows for a patient to feel full with less chance of experiencing swallowing difficulties. The REALIZE® Band is a very safe and durable device. We are happy to provide our patients with this procedure as it has been very effective in helping people lose significant amounts of weight. Patients can often expect to lose one to two pounds per week with this treatment.
Risks of the REALIZE® Band
When considering weight loss surgery, our team will carefully review with you the risks of the procedure, the risks of living with obesity, and the health benefits associated with weight loss so you can make an informed decision. One thing is certain; morbid obesity (defined as a Body Mass Index of 35 or greater) is a dreaded disease. Patients with morbid obesity have a 400 percent greater chance of developing Diabetes Type II than non-obese individuals. They also have a 300 percent greater chance of developing heart disease, a 167 percent chance of suffering a stroke, a 50 percent greater chance of developing breast cancer, and other types of cancer, than individuals who do not have weight problems. This equates to a shorter life and a diminished quality of life.
With this in mind, you should be aware that, as with any surgical weight loss procedure or surgery of any kind, there are risks involved with the REALIZE® Band procedure and the LAP-BAND® System procedure. They include:
- Slippage of the adjustable gastric band along the stomach
- Leakage of the adjustable gastric band
- Damage to organs
- Nutritional deficiency resulting from liquid dieting
- Reaction to anesthesia and/or medication
- Pulmonary embolism
You should also be aware that there are a number of candidacy requirements for patients to undergo the REALIZE® Band procedure. You can get a general idea of necessary qualifications for weight loss surgery by viewing our Am I a Candidate? page. Our skilled weight loss surgeons will make every effort to minimize risks. They will also answer all of your questions during the initial consultation and go over all aspects of the adjustable gastric banding procedure.
Costs and Financing
For patients who do not have insurance coverage, price is also an important consideration. The REALIZE® Band System is half the price of gastric bypass surgery. Many patients can finance the procedure for around $354 a month.
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REALIZE® Band Success Rate
With very high success rates, REALIZE® Band patients at the DFW Bariatric Institute can lose weight and change their lives. The statistics regarding the REALIZE® Band procedure are impressive. If we look at just the cure rates of diabetes alone after banding, many patients can be cured. Our team also believes that depression is a dreaded disorder that impacts the every day lives of many patients. 90 percent of morbidly obese patients suffer from depression. This is compared to only 10 percent of the general population. When depression is related to a person’s weight, a complete or significant improvement can be achieved through weight loss.
The REALIZE® Band also has some additional features that are quite interesting. Their software program allows you to track your weight, for instance. It also allows you to enter daily food diaries to measure the calories, grams of protein, fats, and carbs that you are consuming. Some of our patients have found this to be an attractive feature that causes them to choose the REALIZE® Band over other banding procedures. If you desire, our bariatric surgeon can follow your progress as well. Of course, the software allows this only with your permission.
Learn More by Contacting Our Practice
We are a committed team of professionals whose only mission is to see you succeed. Utilizing education for sound nutritional principles and state-of-the-art band fills performed in the office, we are able to achieve high success rates. Together, we will give you detailed diet and exercise instructions. If you would like to learn more about the REALIZE® Band, or other weight loss procedures, contact our Dallas, Fort Worth, and Frisco area practice today.