Lap Band Surgery Sounds Like A Risky Business
If you have read through the list of possible risks and complications from lap band surgery then you will know that it is a very long list. But, is this really such a risky business or do we need to put this list into perspective?
Most of us pop into our local drug store from time to time and pick up some form of over-the-counter medication for a simple everyday illness or ailment, but have you ever sat down and read the accompanying information leaflet tucked inside the box? If you have then you will know that the list of risks is generally very long and often contains some very serious conditions that would require immediate hospitalization.
The problem of course is that we live in a society in which lawyers lurk around every corner just waiting to pounce and manufacturers of everything from a pair of socks to life-saving medicines have to cover themselves against being dragged into court.
This also applies of course to the manufacturers of gastric banding systems and to bariatric surgeons. So, faced with upcoming lap band surgery they will naturally have to present you with a long list of possible complications so that, in the event that you are unlucky enough to come across one of them, they will be able to say, "Well, we did warn you".
Any form of surgery carries risks and when you are considerably overweight then these risks do increase. But just how serious are the risks and what in reality is the likelihood that you will succumb to them?
Weight loss surgery is undoubtedly getting safer everyday but, nevertheless, traditional forms of gastric bypass surgery do carry some significant risks and does from time to time result in death. Thankfully this is becoming rare, but it does still happen. However, when we turn to lap band surgery we see that this risk is considerably reduced and many people would say that your risk is no worse than that of being run over by a bus.
Lap band surgery has only been approved for use in the United States since 2001 and so it is still a little early to talk in terms of long-term risks but, as far as short-term risks are concerned, the evidence is very encouraging.
In initial US studies there have been no cases of death directly associated with lap band surgery and the risks of major complications, such as stomach perforation, have also been very low, at under one percent.
Lap band surgery is however far from a minor procedure and most patients will run into some sort of complication either during, or more often following surgery. Indeed, it is currently estimated that nearly ninety percent of patients will run into a problem of some description. However, in the vast majority of cases these problems are wholly treatable and often quite short-lived.
Common problems include such things as nausea and vomiting, regurgitation, slippage or deflation of the lap band and obstruction of the stoma (a blockage of the newly created stomach outlet). In some cases these problems can be cleared with careful control of the patient's diet or with medication, while in others the solution is to simply remove the band; something which is fortunately possible in this form of weight loss surgery which is totally reversible.
Just like the patient's information sheet in your pack of over-the-counter pills we could produce a huge list of complications here, together with all their accompanying statistics, but this would really miss the point.
You buy and take your over-the-counter medication because you want to feel better and because you know that, in many cases, if you don't treat your ailment it won't get better by itself and will probably end up making you feel a whole lot worse than you do now. Yes, of course there are risks, but they are really not that high and you are more than willing to take the chance to get better.
Lap band surgery is no different. Your obesity makes you feel lousy and you know only too well that if you do not treat it things are only going to get worse and obesity will end up being just one of a whole host of health problems you are facing. And yes, it is probably going to be something of an uphill struggle and it will probably make you sick at your stomach and give you gas, but is that really such a high price to pay to get your old self back again and to hopefully give yourself many more years of a happy, fulfilled and healthy life?
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