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Is Lap-Band the Right Weight Loss Surgery?

The Lap-Band went from the most common weight loss operation to the least common of the three weight loss operations. Does that mean the Lap-Band is a bad operation? Well, for some it is, but it really is the most underutilized weight loss surgery.

Reasons why the lapband may not have worked for people are several:

  • There is a group of people who have excess scar tissue around their band. For them, the band does not work as well and they would do better with a gastric sleeve
  • For any who do not change their eating habits. No matter what weight loss operation you have, from the most aggressive to the band, if you do not change eating habits you will not maintain the weight loss. This does not mean “diet” for weight loss, but it does mean not eating excess calories. It means eating for health and not for weight loss. For some this means changing everything, but thankfully not for most
  • They had no follow up with someone who knew how to adjust the band. The band is like a fine automobile. It needs some maintenance and if you don’t adjust it properly then it won’t suppress appetite. People don’t have the good effects of the band

For most, the Lap-Band represents a better alternative than “diet and exercise” in that it allows a person to have better appetite control and weight loss where it could not be had before. But instead of constant dieting, the band is used as a tool to make fundamental changes in eating (small changes to eat better) and enjoy food instead of making food about diet.

For those who have diabetes, 75% who had been diagnosed with diabetes within two years before the band can get off all their diabetic medications.

Some people don’t like the idea of having a part of their stomach removed, or their intestines re-arranged, but still need weight loss. For them the band is a great alternative.

It costs just a bit more than a gastric balloon – and consider this – a balloon is designed to be in your body for six months then it is done. A Lap-Band can stay in your body for years. The balloon is not covered by insurance plans, and the Lap-Band often is – and even if the band is not covered, the cost is only $1000 more than the band.

Some use the Lap-Band to help them change the way they eat, lose the weight, and then have it removed. We find this with people who are in the working world. They gained the weight when they ate poorly by eating out a lot, and now they want to lose weight and change. After several years when they have a new way of eating they can have the band removed and maintain that weight.

The band is a good choice for those who don’t want to worry about a small stomach that might not allow them to drink the amount of fluid that they need to keep hydrated.

The Lap-Band is an intelligent weight loss choice for a specific group of people. We have them to be:

  • Willing to critically look at how they eat and change
  • Use the Lap-Band to help them change over time
  • Realize that they can eat almost anything and not feel deprived
  • Willing to come in and have the band adjusted, even if they feel they didn’t do well (it isn’t about judgement, it is about learning)