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Because the surgery can have serious side effects, the long-term health benefits must be considered and found greater than the risk. Despite the fact that some surgical techniques can be done laparoscopically with reduced risk, all bariatric surgery is considered to be major surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur. Risks specific to vertical gastric banding include breakdown of the line of staples and erosion of the band. Rarely, stomach juices may leak into the abdomen and emergency surgery may be needed.
The most common complication that may develop with adjustable gastric band surgery is that the stomach pouch enlarges. Band slippage and saline leaks are also risks specific to adjustable gastric band surgery.
A laparoscopic banding procedure can reduce risk because there's no incision in the stomach wall. There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.