Lap Band Removal – Losing Weight with Lap Band Revision Surgery

Lap Band Removal - Adjustable Gastric Band Schematic

As common as the Lap-Band or Adjustable Gastric Band is for treating morbid obesity, it is commonly known for having a higher complication and/or failure rate in comparison to other bariatric procedures. Lap Band removal is often required at one point in time or another in regards to patients who opt for the lap band procedure – but the costs tend to be expensive.

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

Although it was one of the most popular weight loss procedures in 2011, the number of gastric band placements performed is dropping drastically due to the lack of weight loss success and due to the high complication rates reported.

Most bariatric surgeons either avoid or choose not to perform the Lap Band because it often fails from the overwhelming amount of complications that arise.

The lap-band tends to start off as a very effective method of weight loss for patients, although over time becomes more of a burden for multiple reasons. Patients typically experience acid reflux, problems swallowing and vomiting. This requires fluid to be removed from the band creating a cycle of complications from lap band.

There are two types of Adjustable Gastric Bands, the Lap-Band and Realize Band and there are many reasons why a Lap-Band may need to be removed.

Why Remove Your Lap-Band - Lap Band Removal

8 Reason to Remove Your Lap-Band – (Lap-Band Complications)

Reason #1 – Band Erosion is common, with symptoms of low regulation of the stoma, weight gain, port-site infection, vomiting, and pain in the abdominal area.2

Reason #2 – Lap-Band Slippage is noticeable with signs of changes in food intake, vomiting, acid reflux, and pain.

Reason #3 – Problematic Swallowing of food can happen with the restriction caused by the lap-band.

Reason #4 – Pouch Dilation occurs when excess amounts of food enter the stomach and reduce the fluid within the lap-band. This forces patients to get fluid added to the lap-band to enforce restriction.

Reason #5 – Acid Reflux occurs with additional pressure from food intake that gets placed within the esophagus, creating symptoms of acid reflux or GERD.

Reason #6 – Multiple Infections can appear including wound infection, chronic infection, and band infection. The most complicated is band infection which typically requires antibiotic treatments.

Reason #7 – Port Infection are problems that occur where the lap-band pushes up against the stomach, leading to infection and port problems.

Reason #8 – Insignificant Amounts of Weight Loss is common for long-term lap-band patients. Generally, patients see decent amounts of weight loss early, and the longer lap-band stays in place the more complications and less weight loss occurs.

See If You Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery - Mexico Bariatric Center

I Have a Lap-Band: What Should I Do?

Well if you already have had the Lap-Band, you can’t go back in time. So what do you do about it?

If you plan on keeping the gastric band long-term, you need to make it the most comfortable for you while maintaining healthy weight loss. In order to manage any negative effects with the lap-band, you may choose to loosen it enough to reduce all side effects significantly. Whole foods, unprocessed diets, and exercise are absolutely critical if you choose to loosen your lap-band.

Lap Band Removal

The first option is to undergo lap-band removal. The lap-band removal is considered as a “revision surgery”.

Lap-Band revision surgeries 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.

With a failed lap-band, patients can get a lap-band removal procedure. Typically patients will convert to a different weight loss procedure, like gastric sleeve surgery or gastric bypass surgery.

Surgical Steps of Lap-Band Removal

Every lap-band removal process may be different, due to the healing tissue, type of gastric band, and surgeon surgical steps.

Step #1: Endoscopy
Step #2: Remove the scar tissue
Step #3: Remove the lap band
Step #4: Bariatric procedure
Step #5: Leak test (during surgery)
Step #6: Remove the port of band (under the skin)

Types of Lap Band Revision Surgery

The Lap-Band is an outdated bariatric procedure and has continued to decrease in popularity over the years. Besides complication and risks, patients need to input a lot of effort to receive low amounts of excess weight loss. Additionally, patients encounter a wide variety of discomfort and intolerance.

Rather than simply removing the lap-band, patients may find better success from lap-band revision procedures. The most popular is Lap-Band to Gastric Sleeve Surgery and Lap-Band to Gastric Bypass Surgery.

Lap Band to Gastric Sleeve Revision Surgery

Lap band to gastric sleeve is the most effective and safe revision surgery. This revision surgery completely removes the lap band and turns the stomach into a sleeve laparoscopically. The entire procedure is performed during one single operation. Unless erosion from the lap band is encountered, then the band can only be removed, and the stomach must heal before revising to a sleeve. Erosion is found in about 15% of Lap-Band cases.

Imagine undergoing Gastric Banding (Lap-Band) only for it to be an utter failure.

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery, Joanne began research surgeons in the United States to escape the 5.5 to the 6-year wait list (similar wait lists occur in other provinces like Nova Scotia, Canada). A resident of British Columbia, Canada, Joanne traveled to Seattle, Washington in the United States to undergo Lap-Band Surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery involves removing a large portion of the stomach (up to 85%), while not changing the patients overall anatomy. Patients can expect to lose on average of 70% excess weight loss in the first year post-op.

Lap Band to Gastric Bypass Revision Surgery

Another variation of the lap band revision surgery is lap band to gastric bypass. The RNY bypass is more complicated than the sleeve, yet typically provides more weight loss due to the restriction combined with malabsorption component.

Gastric bypass surgery creates a small pouch from the stomach and reroutes a portion of the small intestines. Although more complicated, bypass patients can expect to lose on average of 75% excess weight loss within the first year after surgery.

Mexico Bariatric Center