The Risks and Possible Dangers of Lap Band Surgery
Surgery itself is an insult to your body. Because is it controlled injury to the body, there are risks as with any injury. Infection is typically the biggest risk: Infection of the surgical wounds or abdominal infection because of manipulation of the bowel and organs. An added potential can be damage to your bowels which may result in them releasing contaminated contents into the abdominal cavity.
Danger from the anesthetic is also something to be aware of. Again, although very precise and usually harmless, there are risks of allergies as well as the potential for creating a condition known as malignant hyperthermia: An unpredictable and uncontrolled spike in body temperature.
Damage to Stomach From the Band
There is always a possibility of an injury or damage in the stomach from the insertion of the band or from inflation of it. The danger is that the band, when inflated, “squeezes” the stomach to create the desired diameter of the opening for food to pass. It’s normal for some level of inflammation and swelling of the stomach to occur at the site of the band insertion. The risk is that too much swelling occurs, which can create blockage to the stomach and so food is unable to pass through. Because the band is foreign material attached to the stomach, the risk of erosion of the band through the stomach is always present.
Nausea and Vomiting
Leaking of the saline solution from the gastric band or the port tube can cause nausea. Nausea can also be caused by eating too much food or the wrong types of food. Due to the small size of the stomach pouch, the stomach can not digest certain foods like it once did. According to the Maine Medical Center, fatty meats and certain raw fruits and vegetables are examples of foods the stomach can not tolerate. Fruits with skins, such as apples, and raw vegetables, such as broccoli that has a tough stalk, are difficult for the smaller stomach to handle. When the stomach can not digest food properly, nausea occurs. Another common cause of nausea is dehydration. With the smaller stomach size, fluid intake is often neglected. The nausea from dehydration and excess food often leads to vomiting.
In addition to nausea and vomiting, there are several other intestinal side-effects that have been associated with Lap Band surgery. Gastric reflux, the entrance of stomach acid into the esophagus, can cause heartburn. Constipation often occurs as a result of the lack of fibrous foods in the diet. Without high fiber foods to make waste elimination easier, fecal matter can remain in the colon for longer periods of time. Possible dehydration, a side effect mentioned above, can also lead to constipation and bloating.
Slippage of the Band After Implantation
Until sufficient healing has occurred after Lap Band surgery, there is a risk of the band slipping from its original and intended location. If such a thing occurs, you will need follow-up surgery to restore the normal positioning of the band.
Infection of the Port
The “port” is a small reservoir that is connected to the lap band ring by a length of very small tubing. Its responsibility is to allow remote filling of the band from a location away from the surgery site. The port is surgically placed in the subcutaneous tissue, where it can be accessed with a needle by the surgeon for the purpose of either instilling additional fluid (tightening the band) or removal of fluid (loosening the band), since it is adjustable according to the patient’s needs.
Often, the biggest danger of having a lap band procedure is the misconception that the band will do all the work of weight loss, and no effort on the part of the patient is necessary. In fact, one of the more common reasons for weight loss failure is the notion that a lifestyle change is unnecessary. The band does force you to eat much less food and in significantly smaller amounts. However, it is not a substitute for intelligence and common sense as to what to put into your mouth. People have been known to actually gain weight with a lap band, purely based on the types of foods eaten and frequency. The Lap Band is not the answer to your weight loss problems.
In the last few years, there have been thousands of people who’ve had adjustable gastric bands or lap bands fitted, looking for a ‘quick fix’ weight loss program. But they were not made aware of all the adverse side effects and complications that could possibly happen.
What many people don’t realize how dangerous these adjustable gastric bands can be. Not the ‘miracle weight loss’ program that some doctors told their patients. Having a surgical lap band fitted completely changes your life – permanently, and not always in a good way.
If you have a choice of losing weight with diet and exercise (which most people do, if they’re honest with themselves), or having a lap band fitted, think carefully before the ‘quick fix’ of an adjustable gastric band.
Here are Some More of the Problems of Surgery:
One of the problems with having gastric band surgery right from the outset is internal bleeding, which happens as a result of the surgery and it can be dangerous, even fatal. Some patients don’t realize having an adjustable gastric band fitted is major surgery, and there can be and likely will be side effects.
If you have the lap band surgery, and then experience internal bleeding, you’ll be whisked back into the operating room and operated on again, leaving your recovery time much longer. Be aware that 1 out of every 2,000 people die as a result of having a gastric band fitted.
For 76% of people, they will experience late complications associated with the surgery. Some people experience gastric reflux, vomiting, digestive disease. Incidences of cancer of the esophagus, respiratory disease and psychological health problems have also been reported.
Digestive and Gastrointestinal Problems
A big reason why you should not have a gastric band fitted are the myriad of digestive problems you could experience. Most people who have a lap band fitted experience mild to severe digestive or gastrointestinal problems. From small problems like heartburn to bigger problems like vomiting constantly, developing ulcers, constipation, nausea, dehydration and even acid reflux disease – all of these and more are a possible side effect of getting an adjustable gastric band fitted and are signs of your body telling you there’s something wrong.
Getting an Obstruction
Every year, people die from eating something that gets stuck in the narrow pencil-sized opening the food has to get through. This causes an obstruction, which if not treated correctly, can cause infection and death. The treatment for an obstruction is usually more surgery, so back again to the operating room and increased side effects every surgery causes.
Another side effect and one of the dangers of a lap band is infection. This can happen where the lap band is attached to the stomach as it causes friction and, after a while, an infection sets in. You can also get an infection at the location on your stomach where the lap band was inserted, so make sure you keep these incisions clean and see your doctor if any inflammation happens.
The Lap Band Can Slip
A slipped lap band, due to either the band itself moving or your stomach slipping up or down through the band, can cause severe nausea, vomiting, acid reflux and a whole host of other digestive symptoms. Again, it must be taken care of at once as it can be dangerous if not treated.
A Lap Band Is Permanent
Many patients forget, a lap band is permanent. If you want to lose weight and keep that weight loss off it can never be removed. For the rest of your life, your lap band will impact what you can eat, how much you can eat and when you can eat.
Your lap band will also have to be replaced every few years and, as doctors still don’t know what side effects can happen long-term from having a gastric band fitted, you may experience other side effects, mild and dangerous, as the years go by.
Many Foods Are Off-Limits
For the rest of your life, you will not be able to eat certain foods or you’ll have digestive problems or get sick. You have to chew everything for much longer than you’re used to, most junk foods are completely off-limits and high fat and high sugar foods should never be eaten. If you can live a life without eating things like chocolate, cakes, cookies, pies, jam, syrup, honey, french fries, fizzy drinks and even drinks like orange and apple juice, and caffeinated coffee then a lap band might work for you. If you can’t, it probably won’t.
The Lap Band is the ‘Lazy’ Way To Lose Weight
Although most gastric band users say they’ve “tried everything” to lose weight, they really haven’t. It’s extremely rare for a person not to be able to lose weight with diet and exercise but, in today’s ‘quick fix’ society, many would rather do what they think is the ‘quick fix’ of lap band surgery without realizing it’s a life-changing surgery and often not for good reasons. Stop thinking about easy ways to get thinner, stop eating as much and start exercising. Almost everyone can do it. You can too.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should not have a gastric band or lap band fitted. Most people can lose the weight they need to lose by simple diet and exercise, rather than with the ‘quick fix’ they think the gastric band is, so choose that option before you choose this expensive and potentially dangerous, life-threatening surgery. Your body and your long-term health will thank you.
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