Lap Band Removal and Conversion

lap band removal and removal

Gastric lap band surgery is not widely used by surgeons as advancements in weight loss procedures have brought us newer, more effective, non-surgical reversible alternatives that offer greater weight loss potential without as many associated complications. Lap bands are not lifelong devices and eventually, they need to be removed. At IBI Healthcare, we can help you determine which next step is best for you.

What Is Gastric Lap Band Surgery?

Gastric lap band surgery is also referred to as adjustable gastric band surgery and is done to reduce the amount a patient can eat during one meal through a restrictive device that is surgically placed around the top part of the stomach.


How Does A Gastric Lap Band Help Patients Lose Weight?

The gastric lap band is a belt-like device that is positioned around the upper part of a patient’s stomach that creates a small pouch that can hold only a limited amount of food.

The band can be inflated or deflated to adjust the size of the pathway between the pouch area and the rest of the stomach. This helps the patient feel full faster and limits the amount they can eat at one time.

Why Would A Gastric Lap Band Need To Be Removed?

All patients will eventually require surgery to remove their gastric lap band. Lap bands are not meant to last forever and sometimes patients experience complications that require early removal of their lap band. The success rate of lap band surgery is around 25% which is significantly less effective in comparison to other bariatric surgeries. Some of the reasons that would lead to the removal of a lap band are:

  1. Inadequate weight loss – having lap band surgery is just the beginning of a long commitment that is full of lifestyle changes. Patient compliance to these changes, especially in the areas of diet and exercise, significantly impacts the amount of success they achieve in losing weight. Of the patients who undergo lap band surgery, very few are successful in losing a significant amount of weight or maintaining weight loss.
  2. Intolerance to or complications from the lap band -lap band surgery is considered minimally invasive and most often can be reversed without issue. After having a lap band inserted, about 50% of patients experience ongoing negative side effects that diminish their quality of life and cause them to seek removal. Some of these side effects include:
        • Nausea;
        • Vomiting;
        • Esophageal dysphagia – the feeling that food is stuck in the chest or bottom of the throat after swallowing;
        • Esophageal Dilation and damage;
        • Aspiration at night that can cause pneumonia;
        • Band slippage;
        • Erosion – lap band rubs a hole in the stomach;
        • Chronic heartburn due to acid reflux.
  3. Lap bands are not lifetime devices – lap bands are medical devices manufactured from silicone and are not meant to be lifetime devices. The general rule is that they may last up to 10 years. If not removed at or before this 10-year mark, the lap band can begin to break down or become attached to the body possibly requiring a thoracic surgeon and a very complex surgery.
Online Bariatric Seminar - Revisional Surgery - IBI Healthcare Institute

Our very own Dr. Khan talking about the bariatric surgery revision process. This is for those who have had a type of bariatric surgery before and are wanting to convert to a different type of surgery due to health issues or wanted additional results.

When Is It Time To Remove A Gastric Lap Band?

If a patient begins to experience negative complications or side effects then removal of the gastric lap band will offer almost instant relief.

In cases of inadequate weight loss or weight regain it is to be concluded that the gastric lap band is not a good weight loss solution for this patient and an alternative solution should be pursued.

How Is A Gastric Lap Band Removed?

Lap band removal is most often done laparoscopically and is typically not complicated unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The surgeon usually accesses the lap band through the initial surgical incision and will remove any scar tissue that has been formed around the band.

Next, they cut the band and tubing to dislodge it from around the stomach, removing any supporting sutures placed during the installation restoring the stomach to its original anatomy. The surgeon will take care to remove any scar tissue to reduce the chance of any obstruction after surgery and also to make a revision or conversion surgery easier. If performing a conversion surgery the surgeon could proceed with that at this point.

Recovery After Gastric Lap Band Removal

Your Bariatric Surgeon will provide you with aftercare instructions after having your lap band removed that will include wound care, daily routines, driving, etc. You will need to keep your incision clean and dry to avoid infection. Usually, you can shower after about 48 hours.

You will notice that you feel hungry a lot more and this will elevate the potential and risk of gaining weight. To avoid gaining a significant amount of weight, you should have a plan in place before your lap band removal.

What Options Do I Have After Removal Of A Gastric Lap Band?

Most patients will regain weight or stop losing weight unless the surgeon revises the failed lap band to another bariatric weight loss procedure.
Most patients chose to undergo gastric lap band surgery because it was the least invasive and easily reversible option. The patient can elect to use a surgical procedure for conversion or choose to use another non-surgical procedure.

a) Conversion of Lap Band Surgery to Another Bariatric Surgery

A gastric lap band can be converted to a surgical procedure such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or duodenal switch. All require surgery and associated recovery time.

b) Conversion of Lap Band Into ESG

Today an endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) may be the best option for lap band conversion because it is non-surgical, offers weight loss potential that is comparable to vertical sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve, VSG, or LSG), and is reversible.

Why Should I Convert Gastric Lap Band Surgery to ESG?

ESG is a bariatric weight loss procedure that does not require any incisions or a hospital stay. Patients can usually return home the same day.

The procedure is conducted through an endoscope that is lowered down the patient’s throat. Using special tools the surgeon reshapes the patient’s stomach into a small banana-shaped sleeve and secures it using about a dozen sutures.

Endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty works by making the stomach about 75% smaller which limits the amount someone can eat at one time. The smaller altered stomach takes longer to process food which makes the patient feel “full’ longer.

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) or Accordion Procedure: Everything You Need to Know

Dr. Chris explains what Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG) procedure is, how it is done, and what its benefits are.

Recovery time from ESG is much faster than from surgery and patients can typically resume their normal routine in a few days. They can begin to incorporate physical activity earlier and all types of exercise after about one month.

ESG offers the same weight loss potential as a gastric sleeve but without the surgery, long recovery time, or permanency of the procedure. The amount of weight an individual can lose after they have endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty is directly related to their commitment and diligence in adhering to a healthy lifestyle.

If you have previously had a lap band and are experiencing complications, are not experiencing the weight loss you had hoped for, or it has been almost 10 years since you had your lap band installed, IBI Healthcare Institute can help!

Contact IBI Healthcare Institute today for a consultation and learn more about removing your lap band or converting your lap band to another type of weight loss procedure to help you get back on track.

Your health and well-being are important to us and we would value the opportunity to partner with you to help you be your best.

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