Would You Be A Suitable Candidate For Lap Banding?

There are various types of obesity surgery available now including the relatively new surgical procedure of gastric lap banding which is growing in popularity and is fast becoming the favored choice for many morbidly obese people. But could you be a suitable candidate for gastric lap band surgery?

In answering this question we will begin by presuming that you are suitable for obesity surgery generally and that your only concern therefore is whether or not you should consider lap banding. In simple terms this would mean that you are over the age of 18, are severely overweight with a body mass index (BMI) in excess of 40 (or in excess of 35 with at least one co-morbid condition and that you have already attempted traditional weight loss methods (possibly including drug treatment) without success.

It is commonly thought that individuals having weight loss surgery are simply overweight and it is all too easy to forget that people who are extremely overweight are more often than not suffering from several other conditions, some of which arise out of the fact that they are overweight. It is the existence of these other conditions that usually constitutes an obstacle when it comes to choosing between different forms of surgery.

Because lap band surgery is a form of restrictive surgery where the stomach is physically restricted in size to limit the quantity of food which can be passed through the stomach and digestive system, this form of surgery is unlikely to be suitable if your esophagus, stomach or intestine are abnormal. An abnormality might be either inherited or acquired and a common problem seen is a narrowing at one or more points along the digestive tract.

Difficulties within the stomach or esophagus that may lead to bleeding (like esophageal or gastric varices – a dilated vein) would also rule out gastric lap banding, as will difficulties at the location at which the band is to be placed around the stomach, such as an injury, gastric perforation or scarring.

Difficulties can also arise if you suffer from any type of inflammation or inflammatory condition within the gastrointestinal tract such as ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease.

Finally, lap band surgery is not considered suitable for pregnant women or where pregnancy is being contemplated. Should pregnancy occur after lap banding it is possible to deflate the band to compensate for the raised nutritional requirement however, where deflating the band does not do the trick, the band may have to be removed.

One advantage of the gastric lap band is that the procedure is reversible and, if it proves necessary, the band can be removed and the stomach returned to its previous state. However, this can also be a disadvantage of the system. Motivation is the key to any form of weight loss surgery but becomes an especially important issue in the case of lap band surgery. Should you have any doubt about how determined you are to succeed then this form of surgery might not be a good choice for you.