Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Lap Band vs. Gastric Bypass
The article I provided gives a pretty decent balance. Most the articles in the mass media (Fox, MSNBC, ABC) make bold, sweeping statements basically saying how fantastic RNY is compared to Lapband. My doctor (and I'm biased...because I LOVE my doctor) responded to this study and made some interesting points. You can read those here:
Push come to shove, I don't think they did a fair comparison. They had a surgery center that performs more bypasses than anything else also perform the lap band procedures. So the operating times were longer than it was for most of us and the participants were only given 3 fills in the year after banding as opposed to the average 6 that most people need. I think we can all agree that the band does not work as well if it's not properly adjusted. No matter how you look at it, it's not comparing apples to apples. I think it's impossible to compare a highly intrusive surgery like Gastric Bypass that is permanent and requires a long recovery time to a laparoscopic procedure with mere days to recover like Banding. And as we've seen from some our fellow bloggers, the fact that it's reversible is a huge benefit. Also, they only went a year out. We all know that after two years, the weight loss is about the same for both procedures - that's been proven time and time again. We all have anecdotal stories about our gastric bypass friends who regained all their weight and the lapbander who ate around their band and never got it adjusted and never lost anything. The point is - different strokes for different folks. I hope anyone considering WLS will look at a number of studies and statistics before deciding on which procedure is right for them.
So I said earlier, I love my doc and I do. I was banded by Dr. Terry Simpson in Phoenix, AZ. Some other bloggers use his little cartoons to talk about restriction and what not. He only does lap band and he's fantastic. I've liked him from the get-go. He's always been so supportive and nonjudgey. His office staff is really helpful and most of them are banded too. I got that shoulder pain again yesterday and emailed him to ask about it. He responded within the hour with what we had all kinda guessed it was about. Here was his response:
Typically that comes from eating too fast - which stretches the pouch which irritates the diaphragm.
See when this is in relation to when you eat
But als0 -- see if it is related to activity- because this could also be signs of a heart attack.
Given the proximity to the fill, however, I would most likely suspect that you are eating too fast and things are sitting above your band.
So there you go. I think the heart attack thing is just to avoid a law suit in case that is what the problem was but I'm pretty sure I'm not having a heart attack. The main thing I wanted to stress with this was a) answer the shoulder pain question for me and others who were wondering and b) show how nice it is to have a responsive doctor. In keeping with the theme of this post (I have another post coming later), when researching WLS, make sure you find the right doctor for you and if you decide on lap band...make sure you find a doctor that is all about the aftercare. The aftercare is so important when you're talking about a band. Dr. Simpson is also available via phone, facebook and has his own blog. I highly recommend him to anyone in AZ looking for a lapband surgeon.
Getting off my soapbox now. I'll have a less scientific and boring post later. LOL.