For patients considering the pros and cons of a gastric band procedure, there are several factors that could affect their decisions. Ultimately, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages independently, as well as with your weight loss doctor, to determine whether it is the right step to take.
A quality weight loss doctor will only suggest that patients consider the gastric band as a part of a comprehensive plan to lose weight. Otherwise, those patients run the risk of needing a medical negligence solicitor from a firm like Irwin Mitchell. Before you decide to get a gastric band, you should know how it will affect your lifestyle. Here are the facts.
What is the gastric band?
The gastric band, which may also be referred to as a “lap band”, is a laparoscopic adjustable band placed around the stomach to reduce the amount of food a person can ingest. This method is used for weight loss in severely overweight patients because it helps them control the amount of food they eat by giving them the sensation of getting full faster.
The gastric band is the result of much trial-and-error in the medical weight loss profession, therefore, it boasts several advantages over operations like gastric bypass. The most important difference to note is that with a gastric band in place, your body is still able to absorb nutrients from the food that you eat and digest. This is because a gastric band doesn’t interfere with your intestines like other weight loss methods.
Gastric band patients also have a shorter recovery period, which means that the likelihood of discomfort, while still a very probable factor, is less. This kind of operation doesn’t involve making incisions into the stomach or intestines, so patients can usually be released after a day or two. In addition, the less intrusive nature of the surgery means that it is a safer alternative to gastric bypass; in fact, some studies show that gastric band nearly ten times safer than gastric bypass.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any disadvantages to this kind of procedure, however. The primary con associated with the gastric band is the possibility of complications, such as vomiting or nausea, which usually occur as the patient’s body becomes accustomed to having a smaller stomach. There are also the risks that are associated with any kind of surgery, such as infection. These routine risks are sometimes elevated by the fact that gastric band patients are severely overweight or obese. Though rare, some patients also report their bands slipping out of place, resulting the need for another surgery to correct it.
Another, much less-discussed drawback of getting a gastric band is the possibility of neglecting the emotional and mental battle that many weight loss patients have with food. It is important for a doctor to insist on the use therapy as a tool to change a patient’s relationship with food before getting a gastric band, or he or she may risk putting all the weight back on once the band is removed.