LAP-BAND VIP Bariatric Surgeon Dr. Hooman Shabatian Offers Tips for Weight Loss Surgery Patients for Traveling

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After LAP-BAND surgery, a new diet and exercise program is crucial for successful weight loss. When temptation arises, it’s especially important to be prepared, said LAP-BAND VIP Dr. Hooman Shabatian. Planning ahead for mealtimes can ensure continued weight loss or maintenance while on vacation, both for those who have had weight loss surgery or for anyone who wants to shed excess pounds.

The weight loss journey after LAP-BAND surgery doesn’t take days off, even during vacation. While it may be easy to give into cravings at an open bar on a cruise ship or a quick fast food meal at the airport, following a LAP-BAND surgeon’s instructions is important while traveling in order to maintain weight loss.

“Just like with any other day, it’s important to plan meals in advance and be prepared during vacation and not make excuses or give into temptation,” said Los Angeles LAP-BAND VIP surgeon Dr. Hooman Shabatian. “Even while traveling through airports, staying at hotels or going on a cruise, it’s still possible to stick to your diet plan.”

The LAP-BAND AP System™ surgical procedure is intended for adults who weigh approximately 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight and only after other methods of weight loss such as diet and exercise fail. While losing weight is the main goal, obesity-related illnesses often improve after the operation, as well. The LAP-BAND device, manufactured by Allergan, is an inflatable silicone ring placed around the upper part of the stomach in order to create a small pouch that constricts food intake. With the supervision of a bariatric surgeon and a nutritionist, patients can expect to lose about one to two pounds per week while following a strict diet and exercise program.

Unaffiliated with LAP-BAND VIP, Sandi Henderson is a LAP-BAND patient who co-manages the website Banded with fellow LAP-BAND patient Gloria Samuels. The website is a community for patients, by patients, which seeks to educate, advocate and support people with the LAP-BAND. The website contains information on surgery research, preparation, recovery, transformation and weight maintenance.

Before she had LAP-BAND surgery, Henderson weighed over 400 pounds and suffered from arthritis, sleep apnea, reflux, asthma and hypertension. In 2004, at 55 years old, Henderson took what she said was a life-changing step to get LAP-BAND surgery. She lost 250 pounds within 28 months, went off her medications and has had the ability to move freely since her surgery. She has maintained her weight at 175 pounds over seven years later.

While she said she still faces triggers to overeat, Henderson makes sure to always have a plan. Although it’s easy to make the excuse “the LAP-BAND is on vacation with me,” she said, she comes prepared for mealtimes and includes snacks with her carry-on luggage while traveling. Some of the things she has brought with her on vacation include utensils, empty foldable cold bags, paper plates, salt and pepper, a personal mug and a shaker bottle with protein powder. That way, she said, she won’t be able to justify eating the wrong foods.

“I never leave home for travel without bringing snacks and water and protein powder with me so that I have no excuse for being starving and having to have just one [snack,]” Henderson wrote. “That doesn’t mean I never grab a cookie here or a pretzel there, or a glass of wine with dinner. I am a human being. I do not expect perfection 100% of the time and I am gentle to myself and treat myself kindly.”

LAP-BAND VIP Nutritionist Desiree Nazarian recommends patients take healthy snacks while traveling, such as 100 calorie portions of almonds, protein or Fiber One bars. For eating out at restaurants, Nazarian recommends looking up the restaurant’s nutrition facts online, when available, to be able to make a healthy choice.

“While on vacation it is easy to give into temptations and to think it’s OK to splurge, especially with alcohol which is very high in calories and can cause poor judgment in food choices,” said Nazarian, adding that a blended cocktail can contain more than 500 calories in a 12 ounce glass.

For meal ideas during vacation, visit eHow’s article “Easy Meals to Cook While on Vacation” at

Dr. Hooman Shabatian obtained his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and started his surgical career with an internship at Cornell University associated with Lincoln Medical Center in New York. Dr. Shabatian performed his first LAP-BAND procedure in 2002 under the supervision of LAP-BAND pioneer Dr. Shayani at the Loyola University Medical School. Dr. Shabatian is a Board-Certified Surgeon and a member of the American College of Surgeons.

LAP-BAND VIP has a dedicated surgical and medical staff with extensive training and expertise perfected through years of practice. Our staff provides unparalleled, personalized service for all individuals in their weight loss journey. To learn more about LAP-BAND VIP and to schedule your free consultation, visit or call (800) 561-9000.

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