Dr. Shayani and a group of other bariatric surgery experts published in letter to the editor in General Surgery News. In this letter they explained their belief in the gastric band (lap band) and discussed data showing that over 80% of the people who have a gastric band, do not need a second operation. Their letter starts:

“As a group of concerned bariatric surgeons and leaders in our field, in our communities, in our states and in the national societies, we would like to share our perspective on adjustable gastric banding (AGB), a misunderstood surgical procedure for weight loss that has helped hundreds of thousands of patients since its original introduction in 1993.

To start, we would like to offer some clinical background: Obesity is a chronic disease in need of long-term, often lifelong, treatment. To date, bariatric surgeons have been unable to identify any single surgical procedure that, without resulting in lifelong nutritional deficiencies, would offer durable results beyond the first few years after surgery. If such an operation existed, we would perfect the technique and offer it to all of our patients at a young age, and that would be all the patients would ever need. However, much like treatment of other chronic diseases—such as coronary artery disease and osteoarthritis—multiple interventions during the life of a patient are needed. And the most prudent approach would start with least invasive interventions and extend to more invasive surgical procedures, in an orderly fashion…”

Read the complete letter here.