It’s important to understand gastric banding complications and risks to be aware of before undergoing this weight loss procedure. Gastric Banding, or Lap Band, is the process of placing a band at the top of the stomach that has an inflatable balloon in it. This translates into a small stomach opening allowing less food to pass through to the stomach. The stomach size is also decreased in the surgery allowing for less food to be held. This combination typically leads to weight loss.
One of the first things to consider is whether you are healthy enough for bariatric surgery. To minimize the risks involved your physician will want to go over your complete medical history and look at your current health. They will then give you recommendations regarding gastric banding complications and risks.
Possible Risks and Complications with Gastric Banding
There are several potential risks and complications to be concerned about when it comes to gastric banding. Some of these are as follows:
- Excessive bleeding
- Band slippage
- Erosion of the band in the stomach
- Deflation of the balloon on the band
- Enlargement of the stomach pouch
- Stomach outlet (stoma) blockage
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GER)
- Death (1 out of 2,000)
Mental Risks Related to Gastric Banding
Individuals that lose weight dramatically with gastric banding might find themselves feeling extremely overwhelmed by the many life changes. This can often result in a need for dealing with the pressure felt. You might find that friends and family are very supportive, or they may not be. Adjusting your lifestyle can be very complicated and requires dedication. You will want to make sure that you are careful to get help with the process if necessary. Seek help in finding a plan that works for you with relation to what you eat, how much you and how you exercise. Individuals that don’t stick with a good plan often find themselves regaining weight. This can cause many medical complications including breaking the band or stretching it, stretching the stomach and even causing a hernia.
Gastric Banding Considerations
Once the lap band procedure has been completed and the weight begins to come off you will find that there is a great deal of excess skin. This can be difficult to live with and cosmetic surgery might be an option for you. Take the time to discuss this with your primary care or surgeon if you are concerned. For some, this is a big complication and can provide them with difficulty in clothing. It can also cause some difficulty with the mindset and make it difficult to stay on the path set for good health.
Although there are a few gastric banding complications and risks, it has been proven to be an excellent weight loss option for many. Going over the facts with your family and physician is the key to making a sound decision for your weight loss efforts. Get all the facts and make sure you are prepared for life changes.