If you’ve had gastric band (or lap band) surgery, you already know its many benefits. Over the years, you had tried every diet out there and exercised as much as you could, but you needed something more. Like many who battle severe obesity, you found hope in this minimally invasive procedure and its promise to help you shed weight once and for all.
However, if you’re experiencing some negative effects and wondering whether you need to have revision surgery — or even to have your gastric band removed — Dr. Nirav Naik at New Life Medical can help you understand exactly what your symptoms mean and what can be done about them.
Here are some of the most common reasons Dr. Naik might recommend gastric band revision surgery:
You’re not losing weight
Almost everyone experiences initial weight loss after gastric band surgery, a procedure that creates a small pouch in your stomach so you fill up faster. Ideally, this procedure should help you lose 25%-30% of your weight. If you haven’t lost that much, or if you’ve gained weight instead, it may be an indication that the surgery isn’t working for you.
After a detailed exam and consultation, Dr. Naik may suggest secondary revision surgery to make your stomach pouch even smaller. Or, he may determine that a different solution, such as the gastric sleeve (where a portion of the stomach is actually removed), is a better fit for you.
Your gastric band has slipped or been damaged
As with all surgical procedures, there’s a small chance complications can occur during or after gastric band surgery. You may need to consider revision surgery or band removal if you experience any of the following conditions.
If your gastric band has slipped, it can no longer do what it was meant to do — help you lose weight. In many cases, Dr. Naik can unbuckle and reposition the band so you can continue your weight-loss journey as planned.
The gastric band is made of a fluid-filled ring that cinches your stomach and reduces the amount it can hold. If the silicone solution leaks, the band will likely need to be removed altogether.
If you’ve developed an infection, it could mean that there’s a problem at the port site (where the silicone solution resides) or that the band has eroded into your stomach. Infections are serious, and if yours doesn’t respond to antibiotics, you may need to have your gastric band removed.
You can’t tolerate the gastric band
Even if you’ve lost weight with your gastric band, your body may be telling you that it’s time to look for an alternative solution. Here are a few signs that you’re not tolerating the band well:
- Excessive nausea and/or vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- Severe or frequent heartburn
- Pain after eating
You have problems with your esophagus
Though it’s rare, you may develop some esophageal problems after your gastric band surgery. From inflammation (esophagitis) to reduced movement (dysmotility) to expanded tissues (dilation), esophageal complications can lead to serious medical problems and shouldn’t be ignored. Dr. Naik may be able to relieve these problems by removing some of the fluid in the band or repositioning it, but, in some cases, removal may be necessary.
Whether you need a simple adjustment to your primary surgery, a switch to a different solution, or a complete band removal, Dr. Naik and his team can help you decide if gastric band revision surgery is best for your overall health and wellness.
For a consultation or examination, call our office or use our online scheduling tool.