Until recently, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band or lap band procedure has been a popular choice for surgical weight loss due to the reversibility and simplicity of the procedure. However, the lap band is a device placed around the top portion of the stomach and can cause complications such as lap band slippage, obstruction and erosion. In addition, many patients find themselves with unsatisfactory weight loss results due to its poor ability to control appetite. For these aforementioned reasons, patients seek to have removal of the lap band with conversion to another weight loss surgery, this is known as revision bariatric surgery. In our practice we commonly offer this as a single stage laparoscopic operation with one to two night hospital stay and recovery ranging from 5 to 10 days.
One common reason to seek revision surgery is slippage of the Lap-Band which means that the band finds itself in an abnormal position over the stomach. This abnormal position cause a relative obstruction to solids and then progressively to liquids. In some instances patients will present to the emergency room with an acute obstruction and require emergent surgical intervention. More commonly, the patient experiences intermittent bouts of nausea and vomiting and difficulty eating. As this progresses the lap band fails to adequately control portions and appetite thus leading to poor eating habits and weight gain. Ultimately patients may elect to simply have the lap band device removed or seek revision to a procedure that is more durable and with proven results such as the sleeve gastrectomy.
The Lap Band is purely a restrictive device, and this form of weight loss procedure has marginal results for long term weight loss. In addition, stringent eating habits must be adopted in order to achieve successful results that are difficult to maintain on a long term basis, and despite a patient’s best efforts these devices in the long term have a high rate of complications such as obstruction, slippage and erosions. Fortunately, there are many types of weight loss surgeries available. The Lap Band can be revised into other forms of weight loss procedures that can offer more durable, effective results.
Finding the Right Surgeon for Lap-Band Surgery Revision
Consider an expert professional opinion with one of the leading bariatric surgeons if you have an adjustable gastric band and experience difficulty eating or poor weight loss results or even weight gain despite the band.