Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), commonly referred to as Lap Band, because of the brand name of the most popular version, used to be one of the most popular bariatric procedures worldwide. Nowadays is not a recommended procedure because several studies have shown that LAGB is not an effective bariatric procedure in long term observation, and often lead to medical complications. Still, 6% of All Bariatric procedures in the world still involve Gastric Bands. That is too many, this is why is important to explore why Lap Band Surgery has been outdated.
For those who don’t know how it “works” let’s explain a little about it. Its a device implanted in the esophagus that restricts the amount and size of food that can reach your stomach. The Lap Band seems to be a safer weight loss surgery option, because unlike the Gastric Sleeve does not involve cutting or rerouting as in a Gastric Bypass. And the fact that is reversible makes it very attractive for various patients.
Now, that several large scale studies and our own stats have shown the complications presented after lap band surgery, the very low effectiveness in the long term, and the poor quality of life reported by patients after Lap band Surgery, it is the normal conclusion to regard Lap Band Surgery as an obsolete and outdated bariatric surgery option. Some even consider that Gastric Band coverage by insurances should be reconsidered. And as a matter of fact, some countries (Canada and new Zealand for example) have already taken Gastric Band out of their public health coverage.
Common Complications after Gastric Band
Common Complications reported after Gastric Band Surgery can happen due to a device mal function like when the band erodes the stomach or when the band slides out of place and causes a bowel obstruction. Other complications related to the device can be infection of the band. And these can happen several years after the Gastric Band was placed.
When compared to other bariatric procedures Gastric Band is proven to be the least effective. A comprehensive analysis of 48 studies (published in JAMA Surgery) compared the gastric band with either Gastric Bypass or a Gastric Sleeve at 1, 3 and 5 year follow-up and the gastric band was the least effective in achieving EWL (Expected Weight Loss).
Quality of Life After Gastric Band
Gastric Band doesn’t cause any physiological or hormonal changes like other bariatric procedures. So patients feel the same hunger as they did before the surgery. Since there aren’t physiological changes in the body, is harder for the body to switch to a healthier diet which should be the ultimate goal. And, the fact that the Gastric Band needs to be refilled and readjusted periodically, is something that is worth mentioning.
Safer and More Effective Bariatric Surgery Options
Today, I wouldn’t recommend Gastric Band Surgery to anyone. Is not effective and represents a high risk of complications. And also, there are other safer and more effective Weight Loss Surgery Options. If you are considering Weight Loss Surgery contact us or schedule your free bariatric virtual assessment and we can guide you and help you choose the right bariatric procedure for you.