A gastric band only does part of the job – the patient has to do the rest

Want to lose weight with a gastric band? No problem. Just add years of discipline and diligence.

A friend recently sent me information about a product called the REALIZE Adjustable Gastric Band.

The copy on the REALIZE homepage reads: “The first gastric band with a personalized support program connecting you and your surgeon. Through the REALIZE mySUCCESS program, you’ll watch your progress and work on new habits, especially for the first 3 years as you adjust to life with your REALIZE band.” (realizeband.com)

And my friend wrote: “I love the line about how you’ll work on new habits for the first 3 years! Heck, if I could change my habits for 3 years I wouldn’t need your surgical band!”

Good point.

Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) is less invasive than gastric bypass surgery. But like gastric bypass, LAGB doesn’t work miracles. Each patient has to be diligent about sticking to a specific diet that restricts food intake. And really, the effort is ultimately moot if exercise isn’t included among the lifestyle changes.

If you’re considering LAGB, or if you know someone who is, you can read all about the pros and cons in the e-Alert “A Modest Proposal” (2/6/08).