Gastric Banding Revision Surgery

Adjustable Gastric Banding (AGB) or Lap Band is an inflatable silicone ring placed laparoscopically over the stomach to restrict the food you eat. There are two types of Adjustable Gastric Bands, the Lap-Band and Realize Band.

Lap-band was once a prevalent bariatric procedure to overcome morbid obesity, and it was believed to be reversible. Over time lap-band has shown that not only it is not reversible but has safety issues for patients as it has caused a slew of problems and complications. Patients typically experience acid reflux, problems swallowing and vomiting requiring fluid to be removed from the band.

The research data shows that lap-band surgery does not render itself as an effective, long-term solution for weight loss as is the case for the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. The complications with lap-band can range from band erosion, band slippage to just the lack of adequate weight loss.

Mexico Bariatric Center® facilitates gastric band revision surgeries with best weight loss surgeons in Mexico. Board-Certified Bariatric Surgeons with top credentials and years of experience in bariatric surgery revision dealing with any brand band.

Gastric Surgery Revision

According to ABC News, about 50% of lap-band patients have their gastric band removed due to complications.[1]

If the Adjustable gastric banding has failed to produce enough weight loss and the patient experiences difficulties with their Lap-band, the band reversal can be considered. In most cases, the band removal is rather simple and transitioning to another permanent bariatric surgery option possible.

Common problems with lap-band:

  • Desired Weight Loss Not Achieved – The patient loses a minimal amount of weight that is hard to maintain.
  • Band Erosion – Found in about 15% of Lap-Band cases, the band grows into the stomach creating serious health issues and put a patient’s life in danger.
  • Band Slippage – When the lower part of the stomach “slips” up through the band, the patient’s safety is jeopardized.
  • Band Intolerance – The majority of patients show this problem, and it can range from nausea, vomiting to discomfort and pain. The patient can experience this issue from the outset or afterward.
  • Difficulty Swallowing – Dysphagia is one of the common problems developed in patients.
  • Esophageal Dilatation – In this case, the esophagus cannot transport food from mouth to stomach.
  • Stomach Pouch Dilation
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – This is essentially the typical heartburn.
  • Band Infection – Infection at the site of band placement.
  • Port Infection – Infection at the location of the port.

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Removing Lap-Band Surgery

Most bariatric surgeons are no longer recommending lap-band surgery due to regular maintenance and adjustments as well as high rates of complications and other errors. However, many of those who achieved success will often revert to normal and regain weight. If you feel like this may happen, it may be best to consider revising your lap-band to another surgery.

Bariatric surgeons perform the minimally invasive Lap-Band removal and rarely resort to open operation (unless medically necessary). Sometimes eroded gastric band calls for removing the band endoscopically using special band cutters and traditional endoscopic equipment.

A minimum of six months is required after band removal to undergo another bariatric procedure.

Lap-Band Revision Options:

Lap Band rescue operations can be higher risk because of built-up scar tissue. Tissue tends to grow into every crevice and opening of the lap-band, making removal more difficult the longer it is in place.

There are a few options patients can revise Lap-Band surgery to another procedure type. Most notably, patients should consider Lap-Band to Gastric Sleeve, and Lap-Band to Gastric Bypass. Other options are not too familiar or have fallen out of favor with most bariatric surgeons.

1. Rebranding: Gastric Band to Gastric Band

Patients may want to replace their gastric band with a newer one. Maybe the band had malfunctioned or caused complications. This procedure used to be regularly performed, but now surgeons recommend Gastric Band to Gastric Sleeve conversion for weight management purposes. This is due to the common issue of patients removing their band, only to gain some or most of their weight back.

2. Gastric Band to Gastric Sleeve

This is the most common weight loss surgery option for gastric band revision. This surgery type removes the gastric band implant from stomach completely, then perform the gastric sleeve surgery — all in one-step or two-step conversion.

Sometimes, surgeons cannot perform sleeve procedure at the same time due to damage caused by the Lap-Band implant. In this case, it may require patients to heal for six months or more before they can revise to gastric sleeve surgery.

This may be burdensome for those individuals seeking gastric sleeves’ permanency, but it will be required by our surgeons who have expertise in Gastric Band to Sleeve Gastrectomy Conversion. Doctors typically won’t know to the extent of the damage until they perform the change itself.

Case Study: Joanne began researching Lapband in the United States to escape the 5.5 to the 6-year wait list. A resident of British Columbia, Canada, Joanne traveled to Seattle, Washington in the U.S. to undergo Lap-Band Surgery in 2010. She started having major problems with the band from the outset.

Desperate to resolve her gastric band problems, Joanne looked into Mexico for help. She researched Mexico Bariatric Center and found Dr. Lopez in Tijuana, Mexico. Dr. Lopez fixed her difficulties with the band and converted the procedure to gastris sleeve. Joanne lost over 70% of her excess weight in the first year post-op and started a healthy life thanks to MBC!

Gastric Band to Gastric Sleeve: Average Weight Loss

Mexico Bariatric Center Lap Band to Sleeve Patient Weight Loss

Time1 Month3 Months6 Months
Expected Weight Loss21 lbs.39 lbs.105 lbs.

3. Lap Band to Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Another standard revisional surgery is RNY Gastric Bypass or Mini Gastric Bypass, which has shown proven weight loss after Lap-Band. The RNY bypass is more complex than the sleeve involving rerouting the small intestine from a new stomach pouch. The Lap Band to Bypass typically provides more weight loss due to the restriction combined with the malabsorption component.

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass patients can expect to lose on average of 75% excess weight loss within the first year after operation. Although band to bypass conversion is one of the top options, this revision type is not MBC surgeons’ first choice.

4. Lap Band to Duodenal Switch

Patients can also remove Lap-Band and convert to Duodenal Switch (DS), which has the highest expected weight loss of any bariatric surgery.  The classic BPD/DS and its variation SADI-S are more aggressive surgeries comparing to sleeve and bypass.

Although this conversion is one of the top option, MBC surgeons do not recommend this revision type.

5. Gastric Band to IntraGastric Balloon

IntraGastric Balloon (IGB), or gastric balloon, is another option for Lap-Band procedure alteration. Although, gastric balloon is not a surgical procedure, but performed endoscopically – and therefore, performed sometime after your Lap-Band is removed. This option is not a long-term solution, but rather a jump start for those who need to lose minimal weight and those who are eventually opting for a more involved bariatric procedure (for example, sleeve, RNY bypass, or duodenal switch).

AttentionGastric balloon is a weight management procedure and is placed for 6 months to a year in the stomach. Individual needs to follow a diet and exercise routine and require lifestyle changes.