Is it so hard to think about the Lapband procedure as being, "Outdated?"
The fact of the matter is that we have advanced in our scientific abilities to aid in the correction of obesity. The vertical sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures have less maintenance physically over the long term, though still pose significant risks. Those risks include but are not limited to: comorbid disorders, surgical complications, metabolic conditions that continue, develop or ensue-- also, the treatment of risky behavior patterns not being addressed in the post operative education. The maintenance of restriction coupled with external risk factors, flu viruses and food poisoning causing vomiting alone are instances that could potentially do damage to the position of the band. Erosion, malfunction, and water retention-tightness issues are serious with the band procedure. It makes sense to alter the size of the stomach and require less food, educate post-ops on the choices, vitamins, nutrition and exercise will go much further and create greater successes than what science presented 15 years ago.
So, this is my clinical position on the gastric banding procedures. I recognize that in instances where improper education and/or significant health complications occur, the band over bypass or band over sleeve may become necessary for the treatment of obesity. I get that. However, I encourage our public health care system to initiate programs to promote healthy aftercare-- or for that matter, health care for obesity.
Is it so far fetched for us to consider initiatives that integrate public farms where people are allowed to come and volunteer their time, work on the farm for food credits during a harvest? Is that too much to require of people? We can all do our part in the obesity recovery. Dr. Connie Stapleton of Post Op & A Doc offers a program she calls "Your Recovery Garden." I love this imagery, this idea that we are always growing. Our bodies, our minds... we are in control of the growth process through our choice to educate ourselves through knowledge and experience.