In the last few years, I’ve known several people who’ve had adjustable gastric bands or lap bands fitted, looking for a ‘quick fix’ weight loss program. As I’ve seen how they adapt to life with a lap band as well as the adverse effects and complications, I’ve realized how dangerous adjustable gastric bands can be. Not the ‘miracle weight loss’ program doctors will sometimes tell you they are, having a 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, and choose the diet and exercise program before the ‘quick fix’ of an adjustable gastric band.
Internal Bleeding – 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, 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 too, 1 out of every 2,000 people die as a result of having a gastric band fitted.
Digestive and Gastrointestinal Problems – A big reason why you should not have a gastric band fitted are the myriad of digestive problems you’ll 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 then 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.
Infection – 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. Once fitted, it can never be removed, not if you want to lose weight and keep that weight loss off. 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 long-term health will thank you.
Dangers of Lap Band Surgery Exposed – ABC
Lap Band Questions – Mark A Pleatman MD