Doctors say lap band has high failure rate

Doctors say lap band has high failure rate
Janice Scherwitz had the lap band surgery and it failed. (Source: NBC News)

WSFA/NBC - What was once the most common weight loss surgery in the U.S. now has a 75 percent failure rate.

Dr. Arun Rao said, "The reason I don't like the lap band is I don't think it offers enough assistance, and I think because we don't know who is most appropriate for that procedure, we take a big risk."

Janice Scherwitz had the lap band surgery and it failed.

"I was not only putting on weight again but also getting sick a lot," said Scherwitz.

Only 27 percent of patients will find this procedure successful and one in five will need a revision or a removal immediately after.

Rao said, "All of a sudden one day things aren't working the same and we can't figure out why. Or the band happens to slip or erode and now we've got an emergency on our hands."

Scherwitz eventually had gastric-bypass which was a more complicated procedure, but it's the one that gave Scherwitz the life she thought she'd never have.

But before you take that step, Rao says it's important to know the procedure is a small part of your journey but the lifestyle change is up to you.

"At the end of the day, while I'd love to have everybody in a bikini, the fact is my job is to make your life longer and more enjoyable," said Rao.

Other weight loss surgeries include gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. Experts say you should speak with your doctor to find out which option is best for you.

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