Some patients are unable to tolerate the placement of a lap band system. Frequent vomiting, gastric reflux issues, and discomfort despite multiple attempts to adjust the fluid levels within the port are an indication that a patient may be unable to tolerate this foreign object within their body. In this situation, the band will likely need to be surgically removed. Patients may want to consider alternative bariatric surgery options such as gastric bypass or gastric sleeve procedures.
Port or band infections
Infection is a possible complication of most invasive surgeries, and gastric banding is no exception. The good news is that if an infection of the port or banding system occurs, antibiotic treatment is frequently effective. There is also the possibility that the system could have to be surgically removed.
Port flip/inversion or dislodgment
This complication results when the lap band port flips over or migrates. This condition may occur if the locking mechanism does not engage properly during surgery or if the sutures aren’t secure enough to hold the port into place. The port can typically be easily repaired with a simple procedure performed under general anesthetic.
This type of hernia occurs when a protrusion of the upper part of the stomach results due to a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. This condition is sometimes referred to as a hiatal hernia. Many obese patients may already have a pre-existing hiatus hernia before bariatric surgery though it can also occur after a band has been placed. Many surgeons will repair a hernia during the time of the bariatric procedure if it is pre-existing.
This possible complication can be life-threatening but is, fortunate, rare. Obese individuals do have an increased risk of developing blood clots when undergoing any surgery. A family history and the habit of smoking are additional risk factors related to the development of blood clots. A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that travels to the lungs and blocks the main artery of this essential organ or one its branches.
Bowel perforation can occur during surgery. A hole in the bowel can allow its contents to empty into the abdominal cavity. This can result in a systemic blood infection known as sepsis. Fortunately, the incidence of this complication is rare and perforations are frequently noted immediately so the repair can be performed.
Risks and Side Effects
Individuals over the age of 60 are at a higher risk of developing serious risks and side effects caused by gastric banding. Fortunately, most of the problems associated with it are easily repaired, revised, or converted into another surgery.
Some of the side effects of lap band include ulcers, acid reflux, heartburn, bloating, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, inflammation, difficulty swallowing, dehydration, weight gain, constipation, organ damage, respiratory problems, wound ruptures, deep vein thrombosis, stomach perforation, and death.
One of the most dangerous complications to look for is a stomach obstruction. The over-inflated band can cause this, stomach or band slippage, improper placement of the band, food, swelling or stomach pouch enlargement, or twisting.
Mexico Bariatric Center has essentially stopped doing this procedure and is revising lap bands on a regular basis. If you have a lap-band and have not reached your desired weight loss, it’s in your best interest to remove and revise the lap-band to another operation such gastric sleeve. Locating a reputable and experienced surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico is one of the best ways to reduce the risks associated with this bariatric surgery.