It is the gastric band that fails the patient rather than the patient fails the band

Written by Ali Zarrouk on .

Gastric Band Fails Patients

The Gastric Band has emerged as a popular weight loss operation during the late nineties and early 2000s, however, over the last 10 years or so its popularity has decreased due to high failure rates, food intolerance and late complications associated with the procedure.
Quite often, the patient is blamed for failing to lose weight or maintain the weight loss. The patient's friends, family and even doctors believe that the patient has stopped following the recommended diet resulting in inadequate weight loss or even weight gain. Even many patients start to drown themselves in self-blame. In my view, this is incorrect.
The gastric band works by creating an area of fixed narrowing in the upper part of the stomach that limits food intake. Because of this area of obstruction, healthy food items such as red meat, chicken, and fruit and vegetables tend to get stuck resulting in frequent vomiting and regurgitation of food. Vomiting or bring up of food becomes part of the patients' daily routine that patients do not even report to their doctors. On top of this, the band does not address the hunger most patients experience with eating less and for losing weight. After few trials patients quickly change their diet from the healthy food that get stuck to diet consisting mostly of smooth, sloppy, calorie-dense food such as smoothies, ice cream and chocolate. These food items go through the band without restriction and without discomfort. In effect the band punishes patient for eating healthy food and rewards patients for cheating.
We cannot blame the patient for failing the band. It is the gastric band itself that fails the patient.

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