NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – An older kind of Lap-Band weight-loss surgery could lead to severe complications over the long haul, Belgian researchers said… The surgery works by placing a silicone band around the top portion of the stomach to restrict food intake. It has become an increasingly popular option in the battle against obesity, but some experts have worried about its safety. The Belgian team found that as many as half their patients, followed for at least 12 years, needed to have the band removed in that period. And in more than a quarter, the band had gnawed its way through the wall of the stomach.
Lap-Band surgery is in its infancy relative to having real knowledge about long term results and safety. While the short term complications have become less frequent over time, no one has really answered the question of how long these appliances can be expected to last.
Plastic surgeons know that implants have a limited lifespan. Breast implant manufacturers are required to state this prominently in their informative materials. It is just common sense that a Lap Band being an appliance will fail given time. We just don’t know what that timing is at present. They haven’t been studied long enough.
This is amongst the reasons that my family members who have had gastric bypass surgery have had the more solid state formal bypass procedures.
John Di Saia MD