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The Pros and Cons of LapBand Surgery

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60 and around 100 pounds overweight, you may be the ideal candidate for LapBand surgery. The LapBand is a successful weight loss surgery that has been used in the United States since 2001. Most patients who undergo the procedure see results. With that said, all surgical procedures have their pros and cons.

So, what are the pros and cons of undergoing LapBand surgery?

Weight loss. Weight loss is the most significant advantage to undergoing the procedure. For many patients, the LapBand system is not only used to improve their physical appearance, but their health. In many instances, the LapBand surgery is considered a lifesaving procedure. Weight loss will depend on surgeon preference, band size, healthy eating choices, and exercise.

Improvement in health. As previously stated, many patients who undergo the LapBand surgery are doing so to save their lives. With severe cases of obesity, the early onset of death is likely. When properly inserted, the LapBand should lead to a longer and healthier life. If that wasnt enough, the weight loss associated with LapBand surgery can lead to the disappearance of diabetes and other weight related health problems.

Freedom. In a way, most LapBand patients are provided with a certain level of freedom; freedom they never had before. By following all doctor recommendations, weight loss is all but guaranteed. Whether you lose 50 pounds or 100 pounds over the course of time, you will have more freedom to live your life. It will likely be the simplest things, such as walking up a flight of stairs without losing your breath, that will leave you with the most joy.

Short recovery. The LapBand system involves the insertion of an adjustable gastric band. There is no cutting or stapling of the stomach pouch. This means a shorter recovery time. In fact, most patients spend less than 24 hours in the hospital. Not only is the recovery shorter, but there are less risks of complications. The LapBand surgery is safer than gastric bypass surgery.

Adjustable. The greatest benefit of the LapBand system is that the band is adjustable. Not all bodies react to surgery or the LapBand the same way. For that reason, adjustments are common. Even better is the fact that adjustments can be made without surgery. Adjustments are made with band slippage, regurgitation, acid reflux, and no weight loss.

Reversible. Since stomach pouch cutting and stapling is not involved with the LapBand system, the procedure is 100% reversible. Unlike adjustments, surgery is required for band removal. When removed, your stomach will return to its normal size. Reasons for removal include time where the band is no longer needed to assist in weight loss or complications in which adjustments do not assist.

Eligibility requirements. Unfortunately, the LapBand system tends to come with many eligibility requirements. Qualified surgeons will not operate on just anyone. Even if you are overweight, you may not qualify for the LapBand surgery. In most cases, patients need to have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of around 40, be between the ages of 16 and 60, be in good health, and have a clear understanding of the commitment required to lose weight.

Costs. Very few medical procedures are affordable, but you may be shocked with the cost of LapBand surgery. On average, the procedure costs $15,000 to $20,000 in the United States. If you are covered by medical insurance, contact your provider. Some insurance providers cover the cost of bariatric surgery. If not, save money by cutting expenses, look for an affordable surgeon, and inquire about payment plans.

As you can see, the LapBand system has many pros and cons. In most cases, the pros easily outweigh the cons. So, if you are suffering from severe or morbid obesity, schedule a consultation appointment with a LapBand surgeon. If you are deemed an eligible candidate, a healthier lifestyle is just a few months away.


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LapBand Surgery: Common Risks and Complications

Those who suffer from severe or morbid obesity often opt for the LapBand surgery. With surgery, an adjustable gastric band, known as the LapBand, is used to reduce stomach size. This can assist with weight loss. Although deemed a successful and relatively safe way to lose weight, there are risk and complications.

When researching the LapBand system, you will see safety as an advantage. Yes, this is true. With that said, it is important to remember that the LapBand procedure is a surgery. Although no stomach stapling is involved, like with traditional gastric bypass surgeries, there are still risks. All surgical procedures, no matter how large or small, carry some dangers.

Unfortunately, those who suffer from obesity are more likely to experience surgery related complications. This seems like a lose lose situation. You are obese. After all, that is why you are seeking weight loss surgery. It is important to follow all doctor recommendations and choose a quality and certified surgeon. When you do so, your risks of LapBand complications are drastically reduced.

In terms of complications, most occur in the days or weeks following surgery. One complication or side effect of the LapBand system is regurgitation. This is caused by the blockage of food. Luckily, it is easy to avoid. Take small bites, wait before eating a second bite, eat slowly, chew food, and stop eating when full. These steps can reduce the risk of regurgitation; however, it may be due to surgical complications. If regurgitation occurs, no matter what steps you take, speak to your doctor. Your LapBand may be too tight.

Another complication of LapBand surgery is band slippage. Slippage is rare, but it can occur. In most cases, you will notice pain and discomfort. You may even find it difficult to sallow liquids, let alone eat food. As previously stated, slippage of the LapBand is rare, but contact your doctor immediately if you feel it may be an issue. If not treated, complete obstruction can occur.

Acid reflux is another common side effect of the LapBand system. Acid reflux leads to the production and buildup of acid in the stomach. The most common sign is heartburn. Although many individuals experience bouts of heartburn, including those who havent had surgery, acid reflux should not be ignored. It is a sign that your band may need adjusting.

Although not necessarily considered a dangerous complication, no weight loss is a complication of surgery. It has to do with band positioning. It is common for adjustments to be made following surgery. If you are not experiencing the weight loss anticipated by your surgeon, speak to him or her. An adjustment to the LapBand is needed. Luckily, this should not involve surgery. A thin needed and saline is used for LapBand adjustments.

As previously stated, LapBand adjustments are common. For that reason, they are not technically considered a risk or complication. Each patients weight loss needs vary and changes overtime. For that reason, expect to have your band adjusted. Do not fret when it is suggested.

As a recap, all surgical procedures have some form of risk and complication. With that said, you may take comfort in knowing that many studies have shown the LapBand is a relatively safe weight loss surgery. The risk of morality, minor and major complications is lower than with alternatives.


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