A dietitian's thoughts on gastric LAP-BAND® surgery.
I remember the skepticism I received when I first started telling my friends and family that I was interested in working with stomach band surgery.
"What?!" They exclaimed...
..."you believe in the gastric banding procedure?!...I thought you were a strong proponent of diet and exercise to lose weight?!"
I am, I replied. And I always will be. However, I'm too aware of the statistics to ignore gastric LAP-BAND® surgery as a viable option.
It's well known that morbid obesity is a serious disease associated with a number of life-threatening illnesses that can be improved with sufficient weight loss. However...
Although many people lose weight temporarily with diet, exercise, pharmacotherapy, and/or behavior modification, research has demonstrated that fewer than 5% of all dieters lose a significant amount of weight and maintain that weight loss over a 5 year period.
Furthermore, according to research, 90% of all dieters regain some or all of the lost weight and at least 1/3 even gain even more.
These aren't easy statistics for me to stomach. I've been working for 19 years as a dietitian trying to help people lose weight and improve their health through diet, exercise, and behavior modification. The statistics suggest that my life's work will positively impact less than 5% of my patients.
Pretty depressing. In fact, these statistics could easily throw me into the mid life crisis I've been flirting with if I were to let them!
I've spent the last 19 years of my life devoted to helping people lose weight. Have I been wasting my time?
Should I continue to hold on to the hope and belief that weight loss success is possible when the odds suggest just the opposite?
Enter the research about gastric LAP-BAND® surgery.
If a person has a 90% or greater chance of resolving or improving type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea or GERD as a result of having stomach band surgery, when they have a slim to none chance of losing weight on their own and never resolving those health issues, why wouldn't a gastric banding procedure be a viable option?
Think about it...
...If you had cancer (G-d forbid) and your doctor said, "I have 2 treatment options for you:
One has a 95% failure rate. The other has a 90% success rate.
Which treatment option would you choose?
That being said...
How I ultimately feel about weight loss and bariatric banding
I will continue to believe until my dying day that weight loss is possible through diet, exercise, and behavior modification. I will continue to believe that any one of my clients has the potential to be one of the 5% who actually does achieve and sustain weight loss in this way.
At the same time I believe it's possible, I accept that it's not probable.
That being the case, I support the decision of those who opt for gastric LAP-BAND® surgery and am committed to educating you and sharing my experience as a gastric band dietitian so that you get the best results possible from your gastric LAP-BAND® surgery.
More of My Professional Advice You May Find Useful
Everything You Need to Know About Diet After Stomach Band Surgery