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Risks and complications in laparoscopic gastric banding

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Recent studies have shown more and more people are suffering from obesity and the number is increasing at an alarming rate. By medical standards morbid obesity is defined as a condition having a BMI or Body Mass Index of over 40. It results mainly due to bad eating habits, over eating or lack of physical exercise. Many co-morbid diseases are often associated to this condition like heart diseases, sleep apnea, arthritis, hypertension, etc. For any obese patient, if diet plans and exercise regimes fail to help in weight loss, then surgical methods should be the final option. A very well known surgical method to treat obesity is Laparoscopic gastric banding method.

 

In this method an adjustable synthetic band is tied at the top portion of the stomach and small pouch is created. Thus, the opening of the stomach becomes narrow restricting food intake and small pouch fills up quickly. This leads to less calorie intake and absorption in the body and weight loss in observed in a few months. Although this surgery is very successful, but there are certain risks and complications associated with it. There are good chances of the silicone band slipping or eroding into the stomach. This can lead to abdominal infections and irregular bowel movements. Other complications like Ulceration, Gastritis, internal bleeding or infection can occur. Compared to other weight reduction procedures gastric banding has low risk of surgical complications and mortality rate. It has been observed that if any qualified surgeon is not performing the operation the rate of risks and complications become higher.

 

One common complication and risk is mal-position of the band. In this case, the band causes irritation in the abdomen due to mal-position or wrong placement on the stomach. It can also happen that the band is not tight enough to restrict passage of food or it is very tight and hardly any food can pass through it resulting into vomiting and indigestion situations. Many patients suffer from these complications and have to re-operate either to rectify the band position or to make it more firm or loose. Since the band is adjustable it can be adjusted as required, but slippage is a major concern. Every obese patient seeking weight loss from Gastric banding method should be explained all these risks and complications involved in the entire procedure. This will help them prepare mentally for the surgery and also recover faster in adverse situations.

For more information on gastric banding & sleeve gastrectomy

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