A gastric band, also called a lap band, is an inflatable silicone band surgically inserted around the top section of your stomach that creates a small pouch to restrict food intake.

In 2007, about 25 to 30 percent of the more than 200,000 bariatric surgeries (weight-loss surgeries) done in the U.S. used gastric banding.
Doctors say gastric banding is the least invasive form of bariatric surgery. With the obesity epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, many of those battling weight issues may be considering using a gastric band.
Obesity puts you at an increased risk of arthritis, depression, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, several forms of cancer, and many other diseases. It is a major public health crisis, but one that can be addressed without resorting to gastric band surgery, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out.
There’s always a risk when you go under the knife, but gastric banding and all types of bariatric surgery are fraught with a higher ratio of potential complications and risks.
One American clinical study that included a 3-year follow-up revealed that 88 percent of patients that tried a gastric band experienced one or more complications. 25 percent ended up having the gastric band removed permanently.
About nine percent of patients who had gastric band surgery had to undergo a second surgery to correct a problem with the band and/or a complication from the original operation.
Common gastric band complications are:

  • Band eroding into the stomach (1.3 percent, requires band removal)
  • Band slippage and/or pouch dilation (24 percent, requires another surgery)
  • Difficulty swallowing (9 percent)
  • Esophageal dilation and reduced esophageal function (11 percent)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (34 percent)
  • Leaking or twisted access port into the stomach (9 percent)
  • Stomach obstruction (14 percent)

Other possible complications include bowel and gallbladder issues, fainting, infection, kidney stones, malnutrition, and an increased risk of death, Dr. Mercola warns.

Bariatric surgery is just a quick fix and is NOT an effective weight loss tool because of the many negative long-term health consequences associated with this type of procedure.
Losing weight is very simple, if you know what you need to do, says Dr. Mercola. The number one dietary enemy in America is fructose, which is believed to be the main culprit in the obesity epidemic. Avoiding or completely eliminating fructose from your diet will greatly help your weight loss efforts.

By: Dr. Mercola