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Are you Talking about Several Lap Bands? The hidden story behind the Lap Band…PART II

Since 2006, it has been reported world wide, that 200,000 Lap Band surgeries have been performed and is the fastest growing weight loss surgery in United States.

Lap Band:

5 Inamed-Allergan Lap Band Models:

  • First Lap Band Model: Lap Band 9.75 cm and maximum volume of 4 cc (high pressure balloon)
  • Second Lap Band Model: Lap band 10 cm and maximum volume of 4 cc (high pressure balloon)
  • Third Lap Band Model: Lap band 11 cm and maximum volume of 9 cc (high pressure balloon)
    These first 3 models of the Lap Band are almost out of the market or obtained for a very low price because of a high rate of complications such as slippage and de-banding.
  • Fourth Lap Band Model: Lap Band VG 11 cm and maximum volume of 10 cc (one inch without the low pressure balloon)
  • Fifth Lap Band Model: Lap Band AP 11 cm and maximum volume of 14 cc (360 degree low pressure balloon)

Realize Band:

The Swedish Band was introduced in 1985. As of 2007 in the United States, it’s now referred to as the Johnson & Johnson Realize Band, and is known as the Quick Close in Mexico. The changes made to the Realize Band and Quick Close have been to the fastening mechanism and to the port, but the length of the Lap Band or the balloon have not been altered.

Other Lap Bands available in the Latin and European markets are a lot less expensive, are not FDA approved and they don’t meet the minimum quality standards.

By using these non FDA approved bands, the Lap Band procedure can be inadequate.

Why is the complication rate in the United States higher than in the rest of the World?

Facts:

Since June 5, 2001 the Gastric Band or Lap Band, as it is known in the United States, was FDA approved for use as an alternative for weight loss (small model).

The only FDA approved Lap Band Model used for the first 3 years was the Inamed 9.75 cm (First out of five generations of the Lap Band).

In Mexico, this first Lap band Model hit the market in 1995.

The trials for getting the Inamed Lap Band approved by the FDA were done by surgeons with little experience in Lap Band technique and the very important Lap Band follow up and after care.

Many Bariatric Surgeons still have a poor conception of the Lap Band Procedure due to the inadequate results of the first trials.

The trials were performed with the short lap band model and without a comparative study with other Lap band devices, therefore the reports received from the Lap Band Centers, regardless of weight loss and complications, were collected incorrectly, false or insufficient.

Inamed’s first three Lap Band models were short in length, very rigid and had a small high pressure balloon showing more complications than the Swedish Lap Band.

The reports coming out of the United States indicate Lap Band slippage and erosion rates were higher in the USA vs. the rest of the world, because the only model used was the first Lap Band 9.75 cm.

In the end, we knew long before that poor quality and the rudimentary design of the Lap Band were responsible for the inadequate weight loss achieved and complications such as slippage and erosion because of the rigidity of the Lap Band, the small circumference and the high pressure balloon.

Promoters and brokers conceal this information to American patients traveling to Mexico for the Lap Band Surgery because they receive (and still receive) great deals and prices for selling the Lap Band (any model) across the border, resulting in high profits for them with no regard to the patient’s outcome.

Arturo Rodríguez, MD

     

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