Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lap-Band Not as Safe as People Think

More and more people are opting for the lapband procedure for WLS. Most believe it will eliminate the nutritional complications associated with the malabsorption procedures like RNY. They are also under the mistaken assumption that there are fewer complications with this procedure.

Junkfood Science shows us the dark side of this popular procedure.

Junkfood Science: They didn’t want the surgery, but believed it was their only chance to live

It is widely perceived, and widely marketed, that lap bands are completely safe, reversible and result in few complications. The reality, which sadly most patients like this young mother only come to realize after their surgeries, is that the complications far exceed what most people believe. Even the clinical trials for FDA approval of the band, conducted under ideal situations, encountered high rates of complications. In just the first 3 years post-op, Lap Band reported 89% had one or more adverse events, ranging from mild, moderate, to severe. The most common were:

· vomiting (experienced by over half)

· gastroesophageal reflux (regurgitation)

· band slippage/pouch dilatation and stoma obstruction (stomach-band outlet blockage)

· esophageal dilatation or dysmotility (the long-term effects of dysfunctioning esophagus are currently unknown)

· constipation, diarrhea

· dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)

As Lap Band reported, in their study, 25% of the patients had their bands removed during their 3-year follow-up, most after adverse events. Another one in ten needed a second surgery to fix a problem.

Not all it's cracked up to be is it....but this just a sampling of the info in this post...head over there and check out the might just think twice about undergoing this procedure at all.

While you are there, read over more of the posts concerning WLS. It tells you the things the bariatric centers and the WLS support forums don't.


Anonymous said...

Not all of these "complications" are solely the fault of the band. For instance:

1. Vomiting - That is usually caused by not chewing thoroughly, or taking too big of a bite of food. Or it could be by pushing the limits of the band, such as "eating past the full signal".

2. Gastroesophageal reflux - this is usually caused by having the band filled too tight.

3. Constipation/diarrhea - Constipation is usually caused by either not enough water or not enough fiber or the combination of the two. Diarrhea is usually caused by eating the "wrong" food. In my case it is chocolate, which I shouldn't have in the first place!

Out of these 3 complications, I have had them all, as I have have my lapband for over 2.5 years. all of these complications would have been prevented had I done what I was instructed to do, or not to do.
If I had it to do all over again, would I? In a heartbeat.....

Low Carb Band-It said...

I have to agree with the first comment. So many of these are "user errors". I NEVER wear my band tight. I have never thrown up or regurgitated. WHY? Because I don't expect the band to do all the work, therefore I don't wear it tight. I hear of people wearing their bands extremely tight and have problems. People who don't "follow the rules" and drink pop - when they are told explictly not to. That can cause band slippage. I don't get reflux - again, because I don't wear it too tight.

Would I do it again... in a heartbeat too!

George said...

My sister had the Lap Band in 2004 in Georgia. We tried three attorneys and nobody would take the case. However, new information has just been obtained and I just started the pursuit again for litigation. I am hurtful watching her throw up every meal and being embarrassed. She has mentioned suicide and is disabled due to this surgery. Her stomach has mesh poking out from the rot that ate her stomach and her body looks like she was butchered. While she was at the hospital I received at three different times phone calls she would most likely be dead before morning She was in the hospital for almost 2 years as a result of the doc cutting her lower intestine and leaking bowl into her system. She is still bleeding from the surgery 4 years later. She had 2 heart attacks and a stroke while in the hospital. I want them to pay and I am a private investigator who is going to get off his a#$@ and help her obtain the facts. It appears the facts goes deep and we now have an attorney who can see the light and with this new information we will win. If anyone has info that could help us or needs info for their case I can be reached at

Tracee said...

I have to agree with the other posters, the only time I have a problem (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain) is when I fail to follow "the rules." Anyone who has had WLS is well aware of the rules before the surgery is done. I've had my band so tight that I couldn't swallow my own spit, but that was more my own fault for thinking that the tighter the better. Plain and simple, follow the rules and you don't have these problems; eat as you please and be prepared for the consequences. Last time I saw my doctor and told him that I could eat a hamburger, he said, "Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should." I didn't go through this surgery just so I could eat as I please. It was what I wanted. I can lose weight easily by eating according to the rules, or I can actually gain weight by eating chocolate, and other sweet stuff. Yes, I've had my problems, but I wouldn't change it for anything and would happily do it again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other happy feedback. I was banded Dec 2nd, 2008 and have already lost 52 pounds! I, like everyone else, had to go to a seminar 1st to learn the pros and cons and then I did my research (as everyone getting surgery should do). I knew what the complications were before going into it and I knew that this was a "tool" to help in weight loss and not the overall answer to everything. Yes, I have had my fair share of vomitting, regurge, constpation, etc, but it has all been b/c of things that I have done wrong that I was explicitly warned about (such as eating too fast/ too much/ wrong foods- such as some breads). Doctor's are not gods, they are human and they make mistakes just like the rest of us, which is why you need to find a doctor that has ton a ton of these with few complications and that you can trust. My friend was banded a couple months before me and during a fill, the port was accidentally punctured, causing a leak and another surgery to replace the port. We both would do the surgery again in a heartbeat.My heart goes out to the woman who has suffered so much from the leaking bowel and cut intestines, however, that is not a common mishap.

Anonymous said...

Lap Band is a torture device. I have had every degree of fill and unfill and continue to have reflux, and vomiting. I will sometimes wake up int he morning and have to vomit. I know 4 others who have the band and 3 have had major complications including ER visits. I predict there will be some major class action suits in the future with this horrible thing causing esophageal cancer at the worst and dilation at best. I'd like to hear from some of these happy people 3 plus years after they had their band! I have had mine for more than 3 years and I was just approved to get it out! That will be a party day!

Cheryl said...

My mom had her lap band put in 3 years ago.Unfortunately she was diagnosed with lung cancer (unrelated to the band)in March of 09 and had her whole left lung removed in May.After that she started having trouble swallowing,she went back to the doctor who put the band in and he sent her for a swallow study and a stomache emptying study and he told her that the esophagus was tipping into the empty cavity where her lung used to be.and that her band was wide open,and that she would have to get used to it.She just kept getting worse.I just brought her home from the hospital yesterday with a diagnosis of esophageal cancer and the lap band caused a fistula that esentially eroded her esophagus.She now has to dump cans of jevity into a tube in her stomache to survive.I took her to her Cancer doctor today and he has ordered a bunch of tests to see if the band can be safely removed and what treatment if any she can have for the cancer.I am currently looking for a Lawyer who will take this case.Her doctor was negligant in that he should have sent her to a gastroenterologist instead of telling her to get used to it.Even tho this case is rare it can happen because it did to my mom.

rands said...

I too went to the seminar, did my research and thought lap band would be a great weight loss tool. When my insurance said they would cover it I was so excited, I was ready to make a wonderful change, so I thought. Until I found myself in the ER 5 days later with a punctured bowel and being rushed to emergency surgery. I was told by the outstanding surgeon that saved my life if I had waited another 2 hours my life would have been over, leaving my husband a widower and 3 children without a mother. I was in the hospital for a month, unable to work for another 2 months, I still suffer complications 6 months later. This complication was never discussed in the seminars I went too.... because it's never supose to happen.