Should I reconsider having a Lap band Surgery?
Bariatric Surgery procedures are a very powerful tool to help obese people lose weight along with a proper diet, physical activity, and lifestyle changes. According to the latest annual estimates from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery, 196,000 bariatric procedures were performed in 2015.
Lap Band (Adjustable gastric band surgery) was a very popular procedure and commonly performed less than 10 years ago in the United States. Since then, other surgeries such as Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass have emerged as stronger bariatric options, with far fewer complications and better results.
Therefore, Gastric Lap Band is now in a sharp, steady decline. Gastric Lap band dropped from 35% of the procedures done in 2011 to less than 6% in 2015, making this procedure nowadays considered as an old technique performed by a few surgeons only, Dr. Hidalgo from Hidalgo Bariatrics, doesn’t recommend this procedure, instead, the gastric sleeve or the gastric balloon could be a better option depending on the patient’s needs.
In Lap Band surgery, the surgeon places a band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a pouch to restrict the food the stomach can hold, making you feel full sooner. It is said that this kind of procedure does not have the same effective and successful results as compared to other Bariatric procedures, as it is a restrictive procedure and it is putting too much control in your hand as a patient and has a very high failure rate. Lap Band was perceived to be a safe and even a simple bariatric procedure. Despite that, patients’ complications became more apparent over time, causing a high rate of patients to have another procedure done such as the gastric sleeve.
The main objective of Lap Band surgery is to restrict the amount of food patients can eat but making a simulation of what does the gastric sleeve does, but this purpose was found of to be failed because of the food funnels in the remaining stomach let the patient to not have control over their eating habits and they would eat what they like as soon as they figure out how to trick the Lap band, compared to the actual bariatric surgeries, such as the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass, you have several restrictions on the food you are able to eat which is more easy to have success on because of the removal off the gastric fungus or malabsorption techniques. Besides, some patients have experienced and suffered lots of complications with the Lap band or the medical device growing into the stomach causing erosion inside the body.
Knowing all the information above, we can understand why surgeons need to remove the Gastric Lap Band due to inadequate weight loss or complications after 7 to 10 years as the studies have shown. They say that only 2 out of 10 Lap band patients still have their bands in place and the rest of the patients have their bands removed because they could not tolerate it anymore or they had very bad side effects such as severe nausea, vomiting, erosion, heartburn, esophageal dysmotility, among other issues. The Lap Band surgery has since been supplanted by more effective techniques as mentioned above…
It is important that if you are looking for bariatric surgery, you should learn that there are 3 main types of weight loss:
- Restrictive: The amount of food you can eat will be now restricted by the “new” size your stomach will have.
- Malabsorptive: The amount of sugars, fats and nutrients will not have the same absorption as before because of the digestive stages they skip.
- Both: A combination of restriction and malabsorption.
You might be a patient who may do very well with a restrictive bariatric procedure, so the Gastric Sleeve would be the most recommended instead of the Lap Band. If you might need not only a restrictive bariatric procedure but one that includes a malabsorption component to be effective to lose weight; in that case, your best options instead of a Lap Band would be a Gastric Bypass or Mini Bypass.
Nowadays, there are other Bariatric Surgeries widely recommended by surgeons and specialists instead of Lap Bands. However, the success of any option you decide to take is not only the bariatric procedure itself; it is your reluctance for lifestyle changes such as restricting diet, exercise routine, good sleep, etc.
In case you have had a lap band and are experiencing any kind of discomfort or want to remove it please feel free to reach us as experts, we will help you to make the best decision depending on your goals, needs and the most important, your health.