Gastric banding offers individuals who have struggled with obesity an efficient path toward significant weight reduction. It’s critical to understand the side effects associated with this bariatric procedure (and other methods you’re contemplating: gastric sleeve, gastric bypass), before undertaking this life-changing choice. Some of the most common side effects associated with gastric banding include:
Nausea and vomiting
It’s estimated that up to 70 percent of gastric banding patients cope with the side effects of nausea and vomiting. It’s vital to follow the dietary recommendations of your surgeon to minimize the occurrence of these side effects.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
This chronic disease is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter. The primary symptoms related to GERD include heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Although this condition can result as a complication of bariatric surgery, obesity is an important risk factor for this condition. Simple interventions are available to combat this condition along with a variety of medications including antacids, H2 blockers, and Proton Pump Inhibitors.
These tiny stones of cholesterol are produced within the gall bladder or bile passages of the body. Rapid weight loss can contribute to the formation of these stones. In fact, it has been reported that more than 33 percent of bariatric surgery patients have experienced this side effect. Some surgeons may opt to remove the gallbladder during bariatric surgery to prevent this complication. Bile salt supplements are another option used to guard against the often problematic creation of gallstones.
It’s important to follow the vitamin and supplement recommendations of your surgeon just as it is to follow their food consumption outlines and schedule. Eating fewer and smaller meals can make it a challenge to get the vitamins and minerals critical to proper functioning of the body. Many foods containing iron, such as poultry, meat, and fortified bread and cereals may be difficult for patients with gastric banding to tolerate. Calcium is another vital mineral required by the body that may require supplementation for those undergoing this bariatric procedure. Discuss these issues with your surgeon or staff nutritionist.
This common side effect of gastric banding is typically easily corrected. An increase in the intake of water and the use of fiber supplements can ease the discomfort and aggravation of constipation. Staying active is also a key in the battle against this side effect.
The medical term for this condition is called dysphagia. Eating too much or too quickly contribute to this side effect. Avoiding these habits can go a long way in avoiding these difficulties. Chewing food thoroughly is an additional strategy that can guard against developing this condition.
This side effect is sometimes referred to as dyspepsia. It reflects difficulty associated with the digestion of food and many results in discomfort in the upper abdomen. Dietary changes and the avoidance of substances such as alcohol and aspirin can help relieve this problem. Your surgeon or primary care doctor may also opt to prescribe medications such as antacids or H2 blockers.
A slight percentage of gastric banding patients may struggle with the side effect of food trapping. Food can get lodged in one of the tiny openings within the digestive system. Deflation of the gastric band allows the trapped food to pass through the digestive system.
Inability to tolerate specific foods
Patients who have undergone gastric lap banding may find that various foods are difficult to digest. It’s recommended to try them with different foods but to avoid them if it becomes apparent that you just cannot tolerate them. These provisions could potentially lead to a blockage if they become stuck in your band. This could result in dehydration if the consumption of water becomes involved. Your physician should assess persistent symptoms such as indigestion, reflux, tightness in the chest, or the inability to handle solid food.
Rapid and extreme weight loss often results in excess skin. There are numerous plastic surgeons with great skill in correcting this issue. It is often difficult, however, to get insurance companies to pay for this type of corrective surgery mostly considered an elective choice.
Guide to Gastric Banding (Lap-Band):