More and more people are considering lap band surgery in order to address their obesity. While this is a viable option, and one that is increasingly popular, it is important to be well-informed about the pros and cons of this procedure. Lap band surgery is not a quick fix option, but rather a life-changing decision that you must fully stand behind. Below are the disadvantages of this type of surgery, followed by the advantages.
- Lap band surgery doesn’t ‘cure’ obesity. Rather, it is a tool to help you change your life into a healthier one.
- Not everybody manages to lose weight. This is usually because people are not ready to change their lifestyle and to change their unhealthy relationships with food.
- Weight loss is slower than with other procedures such as the gastric bypass.
- You must have very regular follow ups for the best results.
- A medical device will be implanted into your body.
- There are rare complications where the access port leaks. If this happens, you will require further surgery to remedy the situation.
- Effectiveness can be reduced if the lap band slips, which is a common occurrence.
- One in three hundred people find lap band surgery fatal. This means the risk is less than 1%, but it is still there. Deciding whether or not this risk is too high is something only you can decide.
- If the band slips out of place, then it is possible for the band to actually erode into the wall of the stomach.
- You cannot reverse the lap band.
- The mortality rate with lap bands is lower than with other gastric surgery procedure.
- It is a minimally invasive approach, which means less pain, less scarring and less recovery time.
- You don’t have to have your stomach stapled.
- You don’t need to have your stomach cut, which means there is no serious scar.
- No intestinal re-routing is required, which is often used with other types of gastric surgery.
- You can adjust the lap band and the complication rate is very low.
- There is only a very low risk of malnutrition.
- The recovery time is very quick.
- The majority of patients can go home with only minimal stay in hospital.
- The stomach is squeezed by a band filled with saline, which can stop you from being able to consume as much food. If need be, the band can be loosened or tightened.
Clearly, there are some disadvantages to this procedure. However, there are also significant advantages. If you are in a situation where losing weight is something you absolutely need, then the advantages are likely to outweigh the disadvantages. Make sure that you discuss all your issues with a surgeon, however, and that you know exactly what this procedure will mean in terms of your life overall and your lifestyle more specifically. Without a full commitment from your end, there is no point going ahead with it.