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Lap Band Surgery Vs Gastric Bypass - Which One Is Right for You?

April 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

Many people struggling with their obesity and the problems related to it are often left wondering as to which bariatric surgery to choose for themselves. Most people would be interested in weighing the pros and cons of the two most popular bariatric procedures, lap band and gastric bypass, to make a choice. Even though any analysis of the two procedures cannot replace a consultation with a reliable bariatric surgeon to choose the best option for oneself, it surely helps one in attaining a general overview of the two surgeries.

The primary difference between the two surgeries is that while lap band surgery has been around for more than 30 years and has a high success rate, gastric bypass is a relatively new procedure that has gained popularity in the recent years. Both the surgeries work on essentially the same principle i.e. limiting the amount of food intake. The dietary restrictions are essentially the same after both the surgeries. However, the technique employed to achieve this is different in the two surgeries.

Lap band surgery is a procedure that involves the creation of a small pouch in the stomach by placing a silicone band around the top part of stomach. This limits the amount of food that can be eaten and creates satiety by slowing digestion. On the other hand, gastric bypass is a surgery that involves the cutting and rerouting of the small intestine. In this surgery, the stomach is divided into two portions, an upper small portion and a lower larger pouch. This surgery also limits the amount of food eaten and reduces absorption of food by causing the dumping syndrome, also known as rapid gastric emptying.

The main surgical advantage of lap band is that it is a reversible procedure and does not involve cutting or altering any part of the stomach. It has a low mortality rate. There is a less chance of major complications and also a low risk of malnutrition. On the other hand, gastric bypass involves the cutting of small intestine and is therefore, a non reversible procedure. It also has a much higher surgical mortality rate.

The operating time of a lap band is around one hour and the patient may have to stay in the hospital overnight. The patient can go back to work in about a week's time, even though the total recovery takes about 6 weeks. On the other hand, gastric bypass procedure is more complicated, taking up to two hours to complete. The patient can expect to stay in the hospital for about 2-3 weeks and the recovery time may be extended to more than 3 months. The patient is also advised to join work after at least 2-3 weeks.

The major surgical disadvantages of lap band are that it may require more effort by the patient to facilitate the weight loss. Also, in certain cases, band slippage or erosion may occur. Gastric bypass is a much more complex surgery that may result in a variety of surgical risks including blood clots and infection. Other complications of this surgery may include reflux, dumping syndrome, ulcers and nutritional deficiencies.

The popularity of both these procedures can be gauged by the statistics that prove that a large number of people opt for these two weight loss surgeries every year. Thousands of people also rush to locations such as India, Thailand and Mexico for low-cost bariatric procedures. In fact, Lap band surgery in Tijuana was performed on patients much before the year 2001 when the surgery was approved by FDA.

Despite the statistics, many patients may still find it difficult to decide as to which bariatric procedure is perfect for them. Some of the things that may help you to make the right choice include joining internet forums on weight loss surgery, attending support group meetings and discussing your concerns with your dietitian or surgeon.

Rashmi kalia is a Health and Fitness writer who writes on diverse topics. Her current interests include bariatric surgery, including Gastric Plication in Mexico

Source: EzineArticles
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