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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Highs and (Minor) Lows of Weight Loss Surgery

Between the gastric bypass and the Lap-Band, many patients have had great results from bariatric surgery. Aside from reducing significant amounts of weight, these procedures are becoming more advanced with each passing year and help patients reach a better apex of healthy living.

Yet, what many people don't realize is each procedure has various differences from the other. Whether it's side effects or weight loss timetables, the difference in options can benefit each and every patient's preference.

Below is a dissection of the Lap-Band and gastric bypass, highlighting each one's benefits while shedding light on possible side effects post-op.


Leading Benefits: Considered the "newbie" among weight loss procedures, the Lap-Band has made a considerable mark in terms of fast-rising popularity. A lot of that stems from the fact that this surgery requires very few incisions, and with it being less invasive, post-op recovery times are minimal, at best. And for patients who want a more prolongated weight loss regimen, the Lap-Band offers that. Most will discover they've reached the endgame with weight loss after or before a 2 year period. Maybe that's why there is no dumping effect, a syndrome associated with procedures that remove stomach lining where a person may see signs of vomiting, nausea, dizzy spells and other mild irritations. These arise during or after eating a meal and may pop up more frequently with high-sugar intake.

Side Effects: Since the Lap-Band is effectively housed in your stomach, there may be a few minor inconveniences along for the ride. For instance, some patients might have spells of acid reflux due to the band's positioning or the band might slip towards the large intestine, producing a tightness feeling to the stomach.

Gastric Bypass

Leading Benefits: Where the Lap-Band is more recent technology, the gastric bypass has been one of the most recognized and oldest weight loss procedures on the market. Many have flocked to this procedure based off its history, and the benefits show it. For instance, people with this procedure have reported losing anywhere from 50-70% of their target weight loss, and they lose significant amounts from the get-go. Whereas the Lap-Band has permanent hardware inside the stomach lining, the gastric bypass is hardware-free. In short, the gastric bypass procedure is a wonderful option for patients who want to shed large amounts of weight in a shorter period.

Side Effects: Unlike the Lap-Band, patients will usually come across the dumping syndrome with the gastric bypass. Also, the procedure requires more incisions and can make post-op recovery times a bit longer than usual. And should the patient want to change their eating habits or reverse the process for some reason, the gastric bypass operation isn't reversible.

With these procedures more clearly defined, patients seeking weight loss through bariatrics can rely on two trusted operations and alternatives towards a healthier lifestyle. Because at the end of the day, that's a goal worth going after.

Kyle is a freelance writer and contributor for a Kansas City lapband center with professional bariatric surgeons and other weight loss solutions.

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