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Tijuana Bariatric Center Blog

Understanding LAP-BAND® Side Effects and Risks

LAP-BAND® Side EffectsObesity and the physical and medical complications that come with it can affect your quality of life and severely limit your lifespan. When diet, exercise, and medically supervised medications have failed you, Tijuana Bariatric Center provides a variety of bariatric surgeries, including LAP-BAND® to help patients achieve their weight loss goals.

This commonly performed restrictive weight loss surgery involves reducing the stomach’s size by placing an adjustable silicone band around the upper portion of the stomach. Although beneficial for helping you lose weight, knowing the LAP-BAND® side effects and risks in advance can help you have a better understanding of the overall procedure.

How Does the LAP-BAND® System Work?

Once the band is placed around your stomach, a small tube connected to the device is attached to an external access port under the skin on your abdomen. The doctor will use the access port to fill the band with a saline or silicone solution. When the band is filled, it restricts the amount of food that can be consumed in one sitting, helping you to control your portions. Over time, the band’s restriction can be adjusted via the access port or removed all together once results are achieved.

Side Effects

The LAP-BAND® system is merely a tool to help you achieve your weight loss goals, but is only as effective as you allow it to be. Once the device is in place, it’s your responsibility to follow a healthy lifestyle, working with a nutritionist to ensure your diet is modified to accomplish and maintain your results. Although an effective tool, there are certain side effects to be aware of, including:

Band or Port Complications

Because the device is a foreign object not naturally created as part of your body, some patients have an adverse reaction to the band and port. Other complications include band/port slippage, band/port leakage, band erosion, or band/port infection. When any one of these occurs, patients may experience increased pain and vomiting, and require surgery to either remove the device or correct the problem.

Blood Clots

Although blood clots can occur after any surgery, patients who are overweight or smoke have a greater chance of developing blood clots. You will be placed on a blood thinner after surgery and asked to stop smoking to encourage healthy blood flow. One of the primary side effects of a blood clot is swelling or pain in the legs.

Digestive Issues

As your body adjusts to the new device, it is not uncommon to experience digestive issues, such as acid reflux, indigestion, gallstones, changes in your bowel function, and vomiting. You have a greater chance of developing these issues if you do not maintain a healthy diet or eat large portions.

Some patients even experience food intolerances after surgery, followed by nausea and vomiting. Keeping a food diary will help you track what your body is having an adverse reaction to. If vomiting persists and is followed by stomach pain, you may have food trapped within your digestive tract. In such cases, it will require deflating the band until food passes.

Bowel Perforations

This is an issue that can occur during surgery. Although the doctor can repair a perforated bowel immediately, if it goes unnoticed, it will require an additional surgery to repair the issue.

Hiatal Hernia

This occurs when the stomach protrudes through the esophageal opening, causing pressure on your diaphragm. Hiatal hernias can be painful and keep you from fully digesting your food. In most cases they will need to be repaired during a follow-up surgery.

Pouch Dilation

When the pouch above the band enlarges, it can generally be corrected by removing fluid from the pouch until it shifts back into proper position. In rare cases, the band will need to be adjusted during an additional surgery.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about LAP-BAND® surgery and the risks and benefits involved, we invite you to sit down with one of our specialists. Contact us today online or by calling (800) 970-0577 to schedule your consultation. We now offer medical tourism insurance coverage at no additional cost.

Tagged In: Lap Band, Bariatric Surgery

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