Why does the lap band often involve multiple operations?

lap band revision
For more than a decade, lap band surgeries have been popular with people looking to slim down.

But a new study from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has found that people who undergo surgery to have lap bands placed around their stomachs often need one or more new operations to move or remove the device.

Here’s what you need to know about lap bands and Dr. Dirk’s expert opinion of them.

What are lap bands?

Laparoscopic gastric banding (also known as lap bands) work by placing a band around the upper part of the stomach, which a little pouch that holds about 1 ounce of food. The food from the small pouch then empties into the closed-off portion of the stomach and continues the normal digestive process.

The band limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating a small amount of food. After the surgery, the band can be adjusted to make food pass more quickly or slowly through your stomach.

What are the findings of the new study?

The University of Michigan study found that one in five people who had a lap band procedure needed more surgery within five years of the procedure.

Lap bands can cause a variety of complications. They can erode into the stomach or slip down and cause a blockage. Problems can also happen if the stomach pouch gets bigger.

The study followed more than 25,000 people with lap bands and found that 18.5 percent of patients (4,636 patients) needed at least one more surgery to fix problems.

Those 4,636 patients required more than 17,500 surgeries for their lap bands. That’s an average of nearly four additional surgeries per patient!

Doctors have known about these risks for a few years, which is why lap bands have grown less and less popular in recent years.

What is Dr. Dirk’s professional opinion of lap bands?

“This study shows what we have known for almost 10 years,” Dr. Dirk says. “The adjustable gastric band is not the fantastic solution everyone thought it was going to be.”

According to Dr. Dirk, the fact that lap bands can have as high as an 80 percent failure rate, plus the new data about multiple follow-up operations, means that lap bands are a not a good idea.

“Lap bands involve placing an artificial device right next to the stomach,” says Dr. Dirk. “The stomach moves hundreds of times a day, so the device moves with it. Add to that coughing, sneezing, lifting and getting in and out of the car, and the band is constantly moving about.”

That’s where the problem happens. Bands end up slipping, and this is the most common cause of re-operation.

While less invasive procedures like this may seem like a good idea, Dr. Dirk says the lap band has had a long track record of failure.

“Don’t be swayed by gimmicks or fancy advertising promising a ‘less invasive’ option,” says Dr. Dirk. “In the long run, they don’t work.”

Instead, he recommends making real lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet and exercising every day. If these solutions don’t help, weight loss surgery — not the lap band — can be an effective solution.

 


What foods should I eat after bariatric surgery?

15667114_mThe dos and don’ts of eating a balanced diet are fairly well-known: lean proteins, nutrient-packed veggies, low-fat dairy products and whole grains help maintain a balanced diet that keeps you trim and gives you the energy you need. From grab-and-go yogurts to single-serving packages of nuts, healthy foods are easy to incorporate into your routine.

But what about those who have recently undergone bariatric surgery? As your body heals from weight loss surgery, a balanced diet becomes more important (and, at first, more overwhelming) than ever. Luckily, with the help of expert advice and a few specially formulated supplements, following your post-op diet will become second nature.

Gastric Bypass

The Gastric bypass procedure reduces the size of your stomach and other parts of the digestive system, making portion control crucial to recovery. Shortly after surgery, you’ll be limited to clear liquids and broths that will ease your digestive system back into its functional role. Sip slowly and drink only 2 to 3 ounces of liquid at a time.

As you begin to tolerate clear liquids, you’ll be able to introduce thicker liquids or pureed foods. How can you meet your dietary requirements for protein, calcium and more? Try options like non-fat yogurt, cottage cheese or protein powders before gradually introducing items like hot cereals, lean ground meats or fish or pureed veggies. As you gradually add more to your diet, remember to keep meal portions small, and eat often throughout the day. Dr. Dirk’s own nutrition store offers a series of post-op calcium kits that ensure you’re getting what you need to keep up your bone density as you recover from surgery.

Gastric Sleeve

What’s life like after gastric sleeve surgery? While the timeframe for your post-operative diet may vary, the general principle behind the foods that you’re advised to eat remains the same as above: begin with clear liquids, and introduce thick liquids or pureed foods slowly. You’ll likely start with clear liquids, and move to liquids plus protein in the form of fat-free yogurt, thin applesauce or strained cream soup. As your body begins to tolerate more and different foods, you’ll begin to add soft vegetables, mashed fruit, scrambled eggs and other items like hummus. Finally, after about four weeks, you can expect to move towards a diet that includes solid foods in small amounts. Dr. Dirk’s post-op calcium kits are recommended for patients recovering form sleeve surgery, as well.

Lap Band

Eating after Lap Band Surgery is not as not as difficult as it seems. Once again, gradual introduction of new foods and tight portion control is the name of the game. A diet of clear liquids will progress to a “full liquid diet,” including protein shakes and soups. Soon, you’ll be working your way up to pureed foods at around two weeks post-op, a stage that will continue until you’ve recovered for about a month.

Finally, it’s on to soft solids (think fish, beans and other nutrient-dense foods), carefully introducing new foods one at a time. Be sure to include your calcium kit, formulated specifically for those recovering from lap-band surgery.

Your new diet may seem overwhelming at first, but if you keep the basic principles in mind, it will begin to make sense. Training your body to eat in smaller portions will become the new norm as you adapt to a healthy lifestyle and maintain an ideal weight.