Lap band - gastric ring
Lap band surgery - Gastric banding - Stomach balloon

Stomach operations for weightloss surgery: Which stomach operation is most suitable for me? The lap band – gastric ring – stomach band – gastric balloon? What are the risks and disadvantages of stomach reduction? Detailed information is essential before you decide to have a stomach operation to tackle your obesity. Our webpages will help provide you with this information, but can not replace a consultation with the doctor.

Combating obesity through surgery with lap band / gastric ring

Very simple, fast and cheap, but too many problems

Until recently the gastric ring or stomach band (gastric band) was a popular procedure in the fight against obesity. The procedure became so popular mainly because the surgical technique is very simple, fast and cheap. Unfortunately it seems there are too many problems with this method and there are more gastric bands being removed worldwide than inserted.

Lap band - Gastric banding
Lap band surgery - Gastric ring: the operation

Placement of a small silicone ring using laparoscopy

Using laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) the surgeon places a small silicone ring (a stomach band) around the upper part of the stomach. In doing so the surgeon creates a small pouch, a new stomach, above the rest of the stomach. Food must first pass through a small opening which is just 1,2 cm wide, before it can enter the new small stomach.

On the inside of the stomach band is a small balloon. The surgeon can add to or empty the balloon, via a reservoir (small door) which is generally placed in the stomach muscle. This allows the gastric ring to be tightened or loosened.

Problems: complications

The gastric band was first promoted by suppliers to treat stomach hernias. Without success. In the 90’s it was relaunched as a surgical procedure for weight loss. By around 2005 the problems became more and more apparent.

Practical and technical problems with a lap band / gastric ring

Healthy nutrition becomes impossible

The main problem with the lap band is that the internal diameter, through which food must pass, is smaller than 1,2 cm. This means that people can no longer eat normally. Vegetables, fruit, salads and raw vegetables, bread, meat and fish: healthy food becomes impossible. Patients have to vomit often.

Vomiting, being sick is terrible. So automatically one turns to the food which can be tolerated. Cola, chocolate, crisps,... as a main meal. Does this result in weight loss? Absolutely not. Worse still, the continuous lack of essential nutrients, leads to serious health problems (osteoporosis, palpitations, extreme tiredness, hair loss, muscle cramps,...).

As well as the above there are also technical issues:

  • the ring moving upwards or downwards;
  • the band migrating to the diaphragm;
  • blockages, obstructions;
  • acid reflux
  • erosion;
  • bleeding;
  • perforations.

The longer the band remains in place, the more likely it is that one or more of these complications will occur and removal of the band becomes necessary. The whole weight loss process has to be started all over again.  

Lap band surgery - gastric banding
High risks, complications and side effects

5 main problems:

This operation can lead to too many problems for it to be considered safe and effective. Unfortunately a large number of patients experience one or more of these complications:

  • The first problem is that the lap band (gastric ring, stomach band) is not designed to be fixed to the stomach. This means that the lap band can move upwards or downwards. Once the band starts to move, it no longer works properly. The patient can then put weight back on. One can also experience problems from blockages or acid reflux. It is then necessary to remove the ring.
  • The second problem is when the ring is put in place, more moisture gets in than is desirable (to hold the lap band in place, so that it can not migrate). When this happens, the lap band can tighten too much against the stomach wall and this can grow into the latter, leading to erosion. It is then necessary to remove the ring.
  • The third problem is of a psychological nature. Patients with a lap band (gastric ring - stomach band) are often inclined to let the contents of the reservoir be frequently modified. If some moisture is removed from the reservoir the lap band opens and the patient can eat more, sometimes the same as before having it fitted. You put on weight: the results of the lap band disappear.
  • Psychologically it is difficult to adjust to a system that sometimes works as it is supposed to (if the band is properly adjusted) and after a while can be opened again. When the reservoir is manipulated too often, the lap band will move more quickly and its function will be reduced more quickly.
  • A fourth problem is that the lap band (gastric ring – stomach band) must often be replaced every 4-5 years. A new operation means further cost.
  • A fifth problem is that a lap band – gastric ring does not prevent the patient from eating sugary foods. A lap band means that it is difficult to eat solid food, such as meat and vegetables. So the patient tends to eat sweet foods and no longer eats healthily, also putting on weight; having the opposite effect.

Lap band surgery versus Fobi gastric bypass surgery

Safe vs. unsafe

The Fobi gastric bypass operation (also called stomach bypass or Fobi pouch) is the most commonly performed operation for weight loss. This operation is safe and effective.

The gastric bypass operation according to the Fobi method ensures that your body digests food properly but consumes less. The result is drastic weight loss. The sensation of feeling hungry is also automatically reduced. After a meal you quickly feel full and satisfied, just like most people.

Safer and more efficient: Fobi Gastric Bypass

With the Fobi Gastric Bypass operation you will lose between 60 and 70% of your excess weight in the first year following your operation. The weight loss is greatest in the first few months.

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