Bariatric surgeons are often asked about the myths surrounding lap band surgery, or gastric banding, by potential patients.
That should not be too surprising considering the procedure is relatively new, having only been available to patients in the United States since 2001. But its popularity and patient success stories are testament to its effectiveness and safety as a weight loss solution under the right circumstances. Perhaps one of the first things to understand is that the procedure is just one piece of a comprehensive program in helping you achieve your weight loss goals. As with any other weight loss surgery, it will be combined with counseling and support on nutrition, exercise and your emotional well being as you take on the weight loss challenge. Here are some of the most common myths surrounding lap band surgery:
Myth: Lap band surgery is dangerous.
There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, and patients should fully inform themselves of all risks with any procedure. Each patient’s situation is different and requires a full evaluation for the weight loss procedure that is right for them. Taking current weight, weight loss goals, health conditions, patient compliancy and other aspects into consideration, a bariatric surgeon will evaluate each patient individually for the procedure that is right for them. With proper evaluation and selection of gastric banding as a weight loss solution, lap band surgery can be as safe as any other weight loss surgery solution. The gastric banding procedures are done laparoscopically which can provide quicker recovery than open procedures.
Myth: Lap band surgery is not as effective at resolving obesity related health conditions.
Technically speaking, no weight loss procedure itself resolves health issues. It is the resulting weight loss that improves health. Recent studies have shown that weight loss resulting from gastric band surgery has been effective in reducing or eliminating asthma conditions, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and other chronic obesity related conditions.
Myth: You will be on a liquid diet forever after lap band surgery.
This myth likely comes from the fact that patients are put on a liquid diet briefly before and immediately after surgery, but this is only temporary. The liquid diet before surgery is to help reduce the size of your liver to aid in the procedure. After surgery, your stomach will only tolerate liquid until it has had time to heal. You doctor will gradually move you to a solid food diet after several weeks as you heal.
Myth: Lap band surgery is not suitable for the super obese.
What is suitable for each patient will be different considering a number of factors. Gastric band surgery is suitable for the super obese under certain circumstances that depend on other factors such as other medical conditions caused by obesity. A bariatric surgeon will evaluate each patient’s condition and make suggestions to the options that are right for you. Patients who are considered super obese may not lose weight as quickly over the short term with gastric band surgery, but over the longer term some can have very successful outcomes.
Myth: Women cannot get pregnant after lap band surgery.
Many doctors will advise their patients who wish to become pregnant that they wait until their weight has become stable and they have reached their weight loss goal. Though this could take a year or longer, pregnancy is not a contraindication, or a condition that increases the risks, for gastric banding.
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About The Author:
Dr. Mitchell Roslin has been performing bariatric surgery in New York City since 1994. Dr. Roslin attended medical school at NYU. He was appointed Chief of Obesity Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2000. He has been on Castle Connelly and New York magazine’s best doctor lists and part of clinical trials of lap band. More info on New York lap band surgeon Dr. Roslin, visit www.nycbariatrics.com