There are many reasons why someone would want to have a possible revision for their Laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, most of the time it’s because of a lack of weight loss or weight regain. Sometimes it is because a patient started to have technical problems with their bands.
Lap Bands were never intended to be left inside forever. It is a foreign object inside the body and it was estimated that its useful life would be approximately 10 years. One of the main reasons why patients chose to have a Lap-Band procedure was because it is reversible. Years have gone by since the Lap-Band boom and along the way, many patients have had to have their lap band removed for different reasons. If you are one of the ones that still have a lap band inside here are a few signs that indicate it is time to remove it.
If it is no longer helping you control your weight. If you have regained most of the weight you initially lost and the band is just sitting there, you need to remove it before it starts causing other problems, like erosion. It may also slip and cause digestive problems listed below.
You are having digestive problems like vomiting, spasms, dilated esophagus, regurgitation, constant burping, you are not able to eat nutritious food, chest pains, and constant dehydration.
You have constant acid reflux. Prolonged acid reflux that is not controlled with medication can lead to serious esophageal and dental problems.
You have problems with your port. Pain when you touch it, pain when you sleep on your stomach, pain when you wear something that lands on it, pain when you exercise or move a certain way, and the skin over your port opens up.
You have signs of erosion: Infection on your port, gastric symptoms, nausea, dysphasia, foamy smelly vomiting, An eroded band needs to be removed immediately, gastric juices may start leaking into the Abdominal cavity and through the port causing infections
At Mexicali Bariatric Center we no longer relocate bands or “reband”. Years ago, when somebody had a slipped band, we used to go in and put the band back in place and stitch it back where it’s supposed to be. But invariably, over 90% of the time the band would slip again 6 months or less and would have to be removed. We would also remove a Lap-band to place another one afterward; sometimes a larger one, sometimes a newer one, but then again, the results were not very good. In a short, to medium term, the band usually needed to be removed. We are not comfortable with procedures that do not provide real results so we have stopped offering these options.
The options that we do recommend that are long-term solutions are revising from your band to the sleeve, DS, or Gastric Bypass. We do these revisions laparoscopically and in a single procedure. The only reason we wouldn’t do it in a single stage is in the case of an eroded band. In those cases the protocol is to remove the band, let the stomach heal somewhere between 6 months and a year, and afterward, the patient can consider another weight loss surgery like a sleeve, DS, or bypass. Certainly, in some cases, the risk is higher, so the patient needs to evaluate his needs and then move forward, but it can be done.
Having said that, in other cases we do them in a single procedure. If you find that you are being told that there’s a 30% chance or a 50% chance of not having it done in a single procedure, you might consider visiting a Revision Center where doctors are highly experienced in revision surgery. We have been doing them for a very long time and revisions for lap bands are the ones we do the most.
Let’s start off with the revision from band to sleeve. Some doctors recommend that if you already failed in a restrictive procedure like the Lap-band not to go for another one like a Gastric Sleeve, they would recommend going to a malabsorptive procedure. There are many patients, though, that after failing with the band do very well with the sleeve.
When patients contact us wanting us to decide for them and tell them what to do, we can only make recommendations and encourage them to analyze why the band didn’t work for them. If you lost 100 lbs or 150 lbs and then started to have technical problems, i.e. a leak in your port, or it was suddenly too tight or too loose and afterward you regained weight, you can conclude that just cutting portions is enough for you. If you limit your food intake it will be enough to lose weight. So then a restrictive procedure would be a good option. Now, it is very important, to be honest moving on. Were you following the guidelines? If you did but you did not get the results you were hoping for, then most likely another restrictive procedure would not be very helpful, you most likely need a malabsorptive one.
If you are going for the sleeve in your revision surgery because you think this procedure is enough for you, you still need to have a good effective sleeve. We redo many of them and we know some are done very irregularly (often they are too big); it is important to look for an experienced surgeon. Sometimes we find that they just go around the band’s scar tissue, so patients end up with a bulge on the top that holds a lot of food, you must pay attention to that. If you have your sleeve done appropriately, that should be enough for you.
There are other patients that know that just cutting food portions is not enough. Sometimes when we go over what they have been eating it really isn’t very much. After analyzing their calorie intake and exercise, it is very obvious that they need something else. There are other revision surgery options like gastric bypass or duodenal switch. Either of them is a very good option and both are safely done in a single procedure and by laparoscopy.
These procedures are the ones we truly believe will help you lose weight and keep for long-term success. If you currently still have a lap band and are interested in removing it or converting it to another procedure, please contact us at (888) 344 3916 US Toll-Free or Apply for Surgery. At Mexicali Bariatric Center we can provide you with all the information needed for your decision and are highly experienced in revision surgeries.