Ten Myths about Lap-Band® Surgery

The Lap-Band® and other gastric banding procedures are relatively new and with that comes miscommunications and sometimes data that is not exactly accurate or is incorrectly attributed to one procedure rather than another. Hopefully this will disspell some of those myths and set the record straight.

Myth #1

People who are very obese cannot use the Lap-Band® surgery

It is another myth that patients who are what is called "super obese" which is a BMI over 50 are better served by the gastric bypass. While this may be the case in some patients it is important to know that the Lap-Band® is extremely effective with patients who have a BMI over 50. In addition because the gastric band method does not have any effect on the nutritional absorption of food patients enjoy a better quality of life and have more health related issues resolved.

Myth #2

If you have the Lap-Band® you cannot get pregnant

You in fact can get pregnant if you have the Lap-Band®, however your doctor may advise you that if you are planning on having children you may want to wait until your weight loss stabilizes and you have lost a good percentage of your weight. This way you have an easier pregnancy and your chances of getting pregnant are potentially increased. Unlike the Gastric Bypass the Lap-Band® does not cause any issues with malabsorbtion of nutrients so mothers to be do not have to worry about reduced nutrition for their child. Also it is important to remember that unlike the gastric bypass, the Lap-Band® is adjustable so that anytime during the pregnancy your doctor can reduce the restriction on your Lap-Band® to allow for additional caloric intake should you require it.

Myth #3

Lap-Band® surgery cannot effectively resolve obesity-related health conditions

Many conditions related to being overweight can be completely resolved by using the Lap-Band®. Conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and sleep apnea have been shown to be reduced or completely resolved after successful weight loss from using the Lap-Band®. In fact a recent study has shown that patients with Type II diabetes in 73% of the cases have achieved full resolution as a result of the decrease in weight. In cases where the patient has asthma over 60% had reduced symptoms and 35% of patients no longer had any asthma symptoms once they achieved their weight loss goals.

Myth #4

The surgery prevents proper nutrition

This is untrue and again is a common misconception and it is because in a gastric bypass, not Lap-Band® surgery there are issues and concerns with the nutrient intake because the gastric bypass removes a big portion of the stomach which is responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. The Lap-Band® does not re-route intestines or cut up the stomach therefore there are no changes to the intestinal tract and as such nutrients are absorbed as they always have been in the past.

Myth #5

With the Lap-Band® weight loss can be rapid and unhealthy.

The average weight loss using the Lap-Band® is just 2-3 pounds a week; this is just a bit above what you may be able to lose on a regular diet. The difference is that the Lap-Band® helps you by making you feel full quicker therefore you are not prone to cheating. Also with the Lap-Band® you are more inclined to lose that same level over a longer period of time as your doctor monitors your progress and continues to constrict your band over time allowing you to continue to be successful in your weight loss goals.

Myth #6

You can only have a liquid diet

Again untrue. However where this myth probably comes from is the fact that many Bariatric surgeons will have you go on a liquid diet for one to two weeks before surgery in order to allow for the liver to shrink and for the actual procedure to be easier to perform. Once you have the Lap-Band® procedure you will be slowly moved from a liquid diet post operatively and then moved back to a regular diet. The difference being that you will feel full sooner and thereby lose the weight.

Myth #7

Follow-up care is not necessary

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Lap-Band® is not a weight loss surgery that is done and then you never have to see the doctor again. In fact after your surgery your doctor may require you to come back monthly to monitor your success and make adjustments to your Lap-Band® in order to allow you to continue to be successful in your quest for your ideal body weight. When looking for a doctor who does the Lap-Band® surgery be sure to inquire about their follow up care program and don't forget to view the section on Questions to Ask when determining who will do you weight loss surgery.

Myth #8

After the Lap-Band® surgery your lifestyle will not need to change.

Incorrect. The Lap-Band® as well as any other weight loss surgery is a tool. A tool that is part of a bigger tool kit that includes exercise, follow up with your doctor and making good choices when eating. Like anything else you can do to lose weight if you are not committed to the process you will not be successful. Consider that the Lap-Band® restricts the intake of solid foods. Surely you could cheat and drink chocolate milk shakes all day as they would pass the Lap-Band® with little resistance. That is why you must be committed to the process and visit you doctor often and attend any support group meetings that he or she may hold as there is always more strength in numbers and you will find that Lap-Band® patients are very supportive of each other.

Myth #9

Lap-Band® patients have a lower quality of life.

Many studies have been performed and they show that Lap-Band® patient and even others who have had some form of weight loss surgery have had an increased quality of life due to their ease of mobility following their weight loss, their reduced illnesses like sleep apnea, diabetes and hypertension. Most importantly Lap-Band® patients have a feeling of satisfaction and satiety after eating so that they do not feel hungry all the time and does not risk stretching out their gastric pouch like gastric bypass patients do.

Myth #10

The Lap-Band® is a dangerous surgical procedure

When talking about weight loss surgery and dieting many facts get confused between the Gastric Bypass and the Lap-Band® system. The Lap-Band® system utilizes minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure to insert the gastric band inside the patient body. This procedure consists of 5 or 6 small one inch incisions. This allows for faster healing and usually allows the Lap-Band® to be done in a "same day" environment whereas the Gastric Bypass requires cutting of the stomach and re-routing of the intestinal tract, the Gastric bypass is statistically 10 times more risky of a procedure than the Lap-Band® or other gastric banding solutions.

Hopefully this clears up many misconceptions about the Lap-Band® system, of course you should contact your doctor with addtional questions or attend a seminar at their office or attend a Virtual Seminar