Risks of Surgery

The Risks that are Associated with the Lap-band

There is very little risk when performing the Lapband surgery. The risk is comparable to that of an appendectomy. This procedure takes approximately 30-45 minutes in the operating room.

Erosion can become a problem for a patient if the patient
doesn't follow the simple guidelines set forth by the doctor.
You should not consume alcohol, if you consume any alcohol you may cause damage to the stomach at the neck of the band (an ulcer).
If you eat spicy food or certain types of medication you may also cause harm to the stomach.
It is important to eat antacids on a daily basis, we recommend an antacid with calcium (6-8/daily). This will help alleviate any gastritis that may occur. This will protect your stomach and keep the band from becoming eroded.

Slippage usually occurs because the patient will either; eat too much food, eat it to fast, or take to big of a bite (and not chew it thoroughly). Another cause for slippage would be persistent vomiting. By eating too much food, you may over-stretch your upper stomach. This forces the stomach to move up through the band creating a larger pouch on top. Sometimes the patient may actually cause a blockage in the neck of the band, which requires immediate surgery to open and/or remove the band. If there is no damage to the stomach then we can put the band back in place. If a patient has caused damage to the stomach, and then he/she will have to wait a few months before a band replacement can be done.

As with any surgery, there is always a risk of infection. When the patient looses a great deal of weight rapidly, their immune system is low, making them open to the possibility for infection. Usually the infections can be handled with antibiotics. In rare cases, the patient has to return to the surgeon to have this problem taken care of. Never in the history of us doing this procedure have we had to remove the band due to infection.