Lap band side effectsIf you’ve tried to lose weight through diet and exercise without success, and you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more, or a BMI between 30 – 40, plus at least one serious obesity-related health risk, you may be a good candidate for Lap-Band surgery. The Lap-Band is a gastric band that restricts the amount of food you can eat. Although it’s not as invasive as a gastric bypass surgery, there are some side effects associated with it. Let’s take a look at some of the Lap-Band complications, Lap-Band side effects, and Lap-Band risks.
Gastric banding changes the structure of the stomach to force you to eat less. It is usually performed laparoscopically, but in some cases, the surgeon may opt to perform an open surgery. During the surgery, the surgeon places the Lap-Band, an inflatable and adjustable silicone band, around the upper portion of the stomach. A smaller area of the stomach remains above the band while the larger area remains below. Food enters the smaller area first. But since this area can’t hold as much, you can’t eat as much. Normally, your stomach can hold about six cups of food. However, the smaller pouch can hold only about a half-cup or single cup of food. That means that after the surgery, you’ll feel full after consuming just a small amount of food. After the food enters the smaller pouch, it moves into the larger portion of the stomach. This helps you to feel full for a longer period of time. Therefore, in addition to reducing how much you can eat, the surgery also helps you to feel less hungry. Your surgeon will tighten or loosen the Lap-Band as needed (through injecting saline solution through a port).
Lap-Band side effects vary from case to case. When compared to other bariatric surgeries, gastric banding carries a lower risk of side effects. Also, this surgery can be reversed. Problems that you might encounter with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. These symptoms usually occur when you eat too quickly or eat large pieces of food. Overeating and consuming water when your stomach is empty can also lead to discomfort. Other Lap-Band risks include problems with the band itself. There is a possibility that the band may slip out of place, which could result in obstruction, saline leakage, and infection. But these risks are quite rare. Most complications can be averted through proper band adjustments and changes in eating habits.