Lap band surgery is a safe and effective way for patients that need to loose excessive weight and reach their goals when dieting and exercise are not effective. Typically you are a candidate for lap band surgery if you are in good general heath and have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater, which typically means you are more than 100 pounds overweight for men or 80 pounds overweight for women.
Even though weight loss is effective utilizing a lap band in most patients it will take a modification to your eating habits and moderate exercise to fully reach your goals.
While there are not a lot of reasons lap band cannot be done, there are a few situations that some patients may not be considered good candidates for the procedure. One main reason to postpone the procedure in women is pregnancy. Even though you can still become pregnant after having lap band surgery, you cannot have the lap band surgery while you are currently pregnant. This has to do with the delicate nature of a pregnancy as you’ll want to avoid any unnecessary anesthesia and medication during a healthy pregnancy. Once the baby is delivered you can have the procedure done as soon as your doctor feels you are ready.
Another one of the reasons lap band can not be done is if a patient is being treated for any type of autoimmune disease. The reason for this is that these treatments can hamper the recovery from the lap band procedure and the healing associated with the sutures used to secure the lap band in place. Once your treatment for the autoimmune disease has ended you may be a candidate and should ask your doctor about the possibility.
Unusual Gastrointestinal Anatomy
Some patients that have an unusual anatomy to their stomach, esophagus or intestinal tract may not be a good candidate for this procedure. The reasons lap band cannot be done with these patients is that any change to the digestive process may have larger unintended consequences. It may result in heartburn or chronic gastric issues for the patient as a result of the surgery.
Heart or Lung Diseases
Another one of the reasons lap band can not be done is if a patient is being treated for any type of severe heart or lung disease. Both of these conditions require a fairly intense regiment of treatment and this may put a patient at risk for complications with lap band surgery. In these cases it is up to the surgeon and your doctor to determine if you are a good candidate and depends entirely on your individual history.
Recent Inflammation of the Gastrointestinal Tract
Contraindications of lap band include those cases where a patient has had any recent history with gastrointestinal tract inflammation or infection, such as ulcers, esophagitis or Crohn’s disease. Because the lap band impacts the stomach and digestive process, making sure the patient has eliminated any issues with their gastrointestinal tract before starting the lap band procedure is important.
Allergic Reaction To The Band
Although this is a very rare case, a lap band cannot be done if the patient is allergic to the materials the lap band is made of. Also, some patients cannot tolerate implanted devices due to pain.
Dependency on Alcohol or Drugs
People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs cannot have lap band surgery.
Emotional Imbalance or Mental Retardation
Lap band is contra-indicated in patients who are emotionally unstable or exhibit mental retardation.
Other than these specific situations, lap band surgery is a very effective way for a patient to lose the weight they need to maintain good health. The operation takes about an hour in most cases and most patients can return to work within a week.