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Disadvantages: Adjustable Gastric Banding

Adjustable Gastric Banding is one of the latest procedures in bariatric surgery. The procedure has already received renown for its safety and effectiveness, along with the fact that it does not require major reconstruction of the internal organs.

A Gastric Band (lap band) surgical procedure is a purely restrictive approach to reducing the capacity of the stomach by which a band is placed around the upper most part of the stomach giving it the shape of an hour glass. This band divides the stomach into two portions, one small and one larger portion. No stomach stapling is required.

The Lap Band induces an early feeling of stomach fullness, thereby decreasing food intake. You naturally feel the need to eat less. Any food you eat will be absorbed by your body at least as well as before the operation, as your digestive system is not altered in any way.

Weight reduction will instead be achieved by the fact that you will simply feel the need to eat less. This is because it only takes a small amount of food for the Lap Band to give you a true feeling of appetite satisfaction.

There are, however, some disadvantages that come with adjustable gastric banding. One of the most common downfalls includes slippage and erosion. Others include: Scar tissue can build up around the band and reduce the outlet, the band can loosen and fail to restrict eating, and in rare cases, the band can penetrate the stomach

As a consequence of these side effects, a person can experience repeated vomiting or failure to lose weight. This may require another surgery to correct the problem.

Patients are usually able to leave the hospital the day after surgery, but this depends on your surgeon’s recommendation about your specific case.

You should return to your surgeon for routine postoperative care about a week after you leave the hospital.

At that time you should also contact your bariatric physicians to schedule your weekly follow-up meetings. Typically, after three months, your weekly meetings will become monthly. These meetings provide you with support from others who have had the same type of procedures and information from clinical dietitians and other weight management professionals.

In an effort to improve the reliability of adjustable gastric banding, several North American surgeons have started to use a combination of a laparoscopic gastric bypass with an adjustable gastric band. Because of concerns regarding a possible negative outcome, expert meetings were organized to evaluate the current situation and future application. The overall complication rate was acceptable, but the percentage of the band erosions was still too high (close to 7%). The potential advantages (adjustability, maintained access to the stomach and biliary tree, and reversibility) do not always compensate for this complication rate. Based on the results and the opinion of the surgeons experienced in this technique, it is concluded that the combination of gastric bypass with an adjustable gastric band to form the pouch is not recommended.

Despite these restrictions, Adjustable Gastric Banding is still considered a very safe alternative to bariatric surgery that requires the reworking of major intestinal organs and tissue. The LapBand is adjustable and can be removed if complications arise of persist, leaving tissue and organs intact. Adjustable Gastric Banding is quickly becoming the clear choice for controlling weight and bettering the overall health for the morbidly obese.