The Risks of Treating Morbidly Obese People With Lap Band Surgery

Life is not easy for those who are morbidly obese. Their weight constricts their ability to move so much that everyday tasks become very difficult to do, especially if they require standing up. This affects their ability to hold a job or even go grocery shopping. Walking for even a short period of time makes their joints ache, and sometimes, their knees give out from the pressure. Finding clothes that are large enough is next to impossible. And, people are constantly insulting them about their appearance. As if all of this wasn't enough, the obese also suffer from health problems that impact their heart, lungs, and digestive system. The solution seems simple: they must lose weight. Diets, food portion systems, and exercise plans often don't work though. So, as a last ditch desperate solution, many turn to lap band surgery, but this often poses even greater risks than their obesity.

Deadly Cure

During this procedure, the lap band is positioned as a tourniquet around the end of the stomach that is closest to the esophagus. If the band isn't placed in the perfect position during the surgery, it can move and block the area where the esophagus connects to the stomach. And, the only way to move the band back is to perform surgery again. Because of the delicacy of this part of the body, the risk of infection is increased. Infections that are not treated properly can become systemic, which can lead to life threatening health problems. Sometimes, people also experience blood clots from the surgery too. If they reach the lungs or brain, a person can have a pulmonary embolism or stroke. Some of the less severe side effects of this surgery can lead to other medical complications as well. For instance, the vomiting and diarrhea that most people get from having it done can cause dehydration that can be severe enough to require hospitalization. So, in other words, though lap band surgery is a potential short-term cure for obesity, one must truly understand what they are getting into before having it done.

Reducing the Side Effects

If a person still insists on having lap band surgery, despite being told of its risks, they can reduce some of the potential side effects by following the doctor's orders for the proper portions of foods that are safe to eat. Overeating expands the stomach too much, which causes the band to move out of place. It also leads to a person experiencing more vomiting and diarrhea. And lastly, they must also follow after-surgery wound care procedures to reduce the risk of infection.