Friday, April 23, 2010 at 2:42 AM |  
As LAP-BAND surgery represents a relatively new procedure in comparison to gastric bypass which has been performed for more than 30 years, there are some misconceptions about the safety and success rates of this surgery. While the LAP-BAND procedure will not be right for all patients, the surgery can provide its patients a remarkable number of benefits. If you don't know what to believe about the procedure or are unsure how the LAP-BAND compares to gastric bypass, here you will find candid responses to many of the most common myths regarding LAP-BAND surgery.
Myth #1 - LAP-BAND surgery is a dangerous procedureWhile there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, LAP-BAND surgery has been shown to be a remarkably safe procedure with a very low rate of complications. In fact, patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery typically experience a higher rate of complications because the procedure is far more complicated and invasive. As gastric bypass requires the cutting and stapling of the intestines and stomach, treatment of such post-operative complications is also more difficult. Whereas the most common complications associated with LAP-BAND surgery can be treated quite simply, some of the gastric bypass procedure's complications can result in lengthy hospital stays and even death. Not surprisingly, gastric bypass surgery has been proven to carry a mortality rate approximately 10 times greater than the LAP-BAND procedureIt should also be noted that because obesity and its associated health conditions pose such serious threats to the health of many Americans. Mortality risk of remaining obese is actually greater than any risk or complication attributed to LAP-BAND surgery. Of course, before LAP-BAND surgery, you will have a chance to meet with a weight-loss surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for the surgery, what effect your health might have on the success of the procedure and what types of risks would be involved.
Myth #2 - Women cannot get pregnant after LAP-BAND surgeryFor women, one of the biggest concerns about weight-loss surgery rests in the ability to get pregnant after surgery. While it is safe for LAP-BAND patients to get pregnant, many weight-loss surgeons advise their patients to wait at least 1-2 years after surgery to have children. As patients experience the majority of their weight loss during this period, waiting to get pregnant until body weight has stabilized is believed to be a healthier choice for prospective mother. Likewise, because the LAP-BAND is not a malabsorptive procedure, mothers do not need to worry about the comprised nutritional intake that accompanies other weight-loss surgeries. It should also be noted that while the LAP-BAND does not adversely affect a woman's ability to get pregnant, only the LAP-BAND can be adjusted throughout pregnancy or deflated to assist expectant mothers. After pregnancy, the LAP-BAND can be re-inflated to help women with postpartum weight loss. Most importantly, the LAP-BAND does not need to be removed before getting pregnant or giving birth.
Myth #3 - LAP-BAND patients experience a lower quality of life than gastric bypass patientsNumerous studies have already demonstrated that LAP-BAND patients can enjoy the same quality of life as gastric bypass patients and may even experience fewer side effects during periods of considerable weight loss. Much like gastric bypass, the goal of LAP-BAND surgery is to improve each patient's quality of life by reducing overall body weight, treating associated health conditions and improving body image.
However, by allowing for more balanced weight loss, LAP-BAND patients often have an easier time transitioning into post-surgery life and making long-term lifestyle changes. Such long-term success is a guided by LAP-BAND's adjustability, as patients are more likely to feel content and satiated in comparison to gastric bypass recipients. Additionally, LAP-BAND prevents the incredibly uncomfortable condition known as dumping syndrome, a common side effect of gastric bypass surgery
Myth #4 - LAP-BAND surgery cannot effectively resolve obesity-related health conditionsBoth gastric bypass and LAP-BAND are effective tools in treating obesity-related health conditions. As the improvement or resolution of conditions such asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea is contingent on successful weight loss, patients of both surgeries have experienced positive results.
However, a number of recent studies show that the LAP-BAND procedure can be very effective in resolving obesity-related health conditions. For instance, LAP-BAND has been shown to improve asthma conditions in 60% of patients, while 35% of patients experienced complete resolution of the illness. Likewise, 65% of patients with diabetes have seen resolution of their condition after LAP-BAND surgery, while 95% of patients successfully resolved their sleep apnea.In addition to long-term weight loss, such patients can also expect to experience an improved quality of life and reduction or resolution of obesity-related health concerns. Lastly, as such patients are often at increased risk when undergoing invasive surgery, LAP-BAND represents a safer method than gastric bypass for individuals beginning the journey towards a healthy lifestyle and long-term weight loss.
Myth #6 - LAP-BAND surgery is not an option for sweet-eatersContrary to popular belief, LAP-BAND surgery is an excellent long-term weight loss treatment for sweet-eaters. In fact, numerous studies have shown that sweet-eaters are able to achieve long-term weight loss with LAP-BAND as well as any other patients. Therefore, by following a routine of diet and exercise after surgery, any LAP-BAND patient - even a longtime sweet-eater - can achieve long-term weight loss and an improved quality of life
If you are still unsure if the LAP-BAND procedure is a good option for you, simply make an appointment for a consultation with a weight-loss surgeon. An experienced bariatric surgeon will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for weight-loss surgery and help guide you toward the right procedure and a healthier way of life.

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