Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
Many health professionals feel that Laparoscopic gastric banding (otherwise known as LAP BAND surgery) is much safer than standard gastric bypass surgery, but there are still risks. If you are going in for this type of surgery, these are things that your doctor should have discussed with you. If you are considering this, but have yet to get much further, think about the pros and cons of the procedure. Understanding what can go wrong can help you decide if this is something that is right for you or not.
Though death is a risk with LAP BAND and traditional bypass surgery, the number of in hospital deaths from this type of surgery is under one percent. There is always a risk with any type of surgery, and that may be where the one percent comes from. You can not have invasive weight loss surgery without some type of risk of infection – which can lead to infection and death. However, that one percent can shrink even more with a qualified and practiced physician.
The band used in LAP BAND surgery is a foreign object in your body. No matter how safe the materials used, the body can reject this. The band can also cause erosion of the stomach tissues on the outside, leading to infection and pain. If this happens, the band may have to be removed, or at the very least readjusted after a period of healing. Erosion usually happens with band slippage, which is usually a problem when the band is adjusted, but not always.
Laparoscopic gastric banding can also cause what some health care professionals refer to as an unacceptably high rate of heartburn and vomiting. As you know, only a small section of the stomach can hold food, which means any food eaten is of vital importance to the patients health. If vomiting is not put under control (especially with a mostly liquid diet that comes right after surgery), the patient is going to suffer nutritionally and can become very sick.
The dangers of laparoscopic surgery may be very real, but the risks obesity are probably worse. Let your doctor decide if this is worth the risk for you, while you take the time to put in your thoughts and think about what you truly want for your life. There are other options for weight loss, but if you are thinking of any bariatric surgery, you may have already exhausted them. The best thing to do, for any patient, is to take time and be informed so the decision is not one of regret.