What Are the Pros and Cons of Lap-Band Surgery?
Land band surgery or gastric banding is a type of bariatric procedure that involves the placement of a rubber band on the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch at the upper part of the stomach, and a larger remaining part at the bottom. The intention is to slow the intake of food because you feel fuller faster, and this results in significant weight loss.
It is performed on people who have a BMI of 35 and above, on whom other forms of weight loss have proven impossible. Most bariatric surgery patients go for this type of procedure because of the many benefits that come with it. However, it also comes with its disadvantages.
- Less Invasive
Compared to other bariatric procedures that include incisions such as gastric bypass, lap band surgery is the least invasive. Instead of incisions, the surgeon places a rubber band on the upper part of the stomach by the use of a laparoscope. Once in the stomach, the band is inflated with air and this separates the stomach into two parts; the smaller upper pouch and the larger lower part. In case you feel uncomfortable or the band causes some undesirable effects, the lap band is removed the same way it was inserted. The best thing with this procedure is that you will not be left with a wound to heal or those ugly scars on your body.
- It is Reversible
Other bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass involve incisions made on the larger part of the stomach. You are left with wounds to heal and the ugly scars on your stomach are permanent. If anything was to go wrong with the surgery, you have to deal with the side effects and nothing much can be done. The good news with a lap band surgery is that in case you feel some sort of discomfort or experience severe effects, the band can always be removed. The removal is done by the use of a laparoscope and takes just a few minutes.
- No Dumping Syndrome
Dumping syndrome is a condition where the new size of the stomach cannot handle food in the same amount as before. Any small amount of food the patient eats makes them experience nausea and may even vomit. This is a common side effect among patients of bariatric surgeries like gastric bypass. It is caused by the wound that is created after the incision when removing the larger part of the stomach. With lap band surgery, there is no dumping syndrome because no incision is involved.
- Less Stay in Hospital
Lap band surgery takes the shortest time, compared to other forms of bariatric surgery. The surgeon only inserts the band and that is all. The procedure takes the shortest time possible after which you leave for home. This is quite a convenience because hospitals are no fun places to stay.
- It is Effective for Weight Loss
Although the amount of weight loss from this procedure cannot match that of other bariatric surgeries, it is still an effective way to lose excess weight. The amount of weight loss from this procedure is way more than what you could lose through other forms of weight loss like exercise and dieting.
- Less Weight Loss
The main disadvantage of lap band surgery is that it results in less weight loss when compared to other surgeries. The difference comes in because as the larger part of the stomach is removed in other bariatric surgeries, satiety is also suppressed. With lap band surgery, the hormone that causes the need for more food is still there, hence less weight loss.
- Chances of Weight Regain
The fact that no part of the stomach is removed in this surgery, hormones that control satiety are not affected in any way. If the procedure is not followed by physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle, the patient can get used to the new size of the stomach. When this happens, the patient can eat the same amount of food they used to eat before the surgery, and this will lead to weight regain.
It is very important to note that most complications and side effects of bariatric surgeries are due to the negligence on the part of the patient. The FDA has approved gastric band or lap band surgeries as a measure to combat the skyrocketing cases of obesity in the United States. Strict adherence to the guidelines given by your doctor, coupled with exercise and a healthy lifestyle, is key to the success of this type of weight loss surgery.