While the lap band (adjustable gastric band surgery) is not as common as it once was, many people battling obesity are still successfully using it as a tool for considerable weight loss and eventual weight management.
As with any surgical procedure, there is the risk of complications. Slippage is one of the most common issues related to the lap band. This occurs when the band slips up or down from its original position around the stomach, resulting in one or more symptoms that can cause unpleasant physical symptoms and offset weight loss.
Slippage is most commonly due to eating too quickly, resulting in stomach bloating. Other contributing factors can include vomiting, overeating and even drinking too many carbonated beverages.
All of these issues can cause the band to move as a result of over-extension (bloating) of the stomach.
Gastric Lap Band Slippage Signs
- Food Consumption Changes:
You may notice a decrease in appetite, being able to eat more than usual, or experiencing an unexplained discomfort during and after eating.
- Nausea or Vomiting:
When the band on your stomach slips, it can be difficult for food to pass through. This may make it feel like there is food trapped in your prolapsed stomach. This sensation can cause your body to want to expel that trapped food, leading to vomiting.
- Acid Reflux:
Feeling heartburn-like symptoms is a sign that your stomach acids are coming back up your throat from the stomach (esophagus). This can lead to chest pain, bloating, burping, hiccups that won’t stop, and other GI discomfort.
- Abdominal Pain:
Some patients with gastric banding slippage have told me they just feel like “something isn’t right” in their stomachs. They are able to complete normal daily tasks but don’t feel close to normal.
I Think I’m Experiencing Lap Band Slippage
If your lap band moves out of place, your lap band surgeon will need to make an adjustment as quickly as possible in order to relieve symptoms so you can resume losing weight.
If it’s only a mild slip, your surgeon may be able to deflate the band so that it can re-adjust. However, moderate and severe band slips will typically require a laparoscopic surgical procedure to replace the band or remove it if further complications are present.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of what you think could be a lap band slip, you should contact your surgeon right away. Even if you think you’re showing all the signs, only your weight loss surgery doctor will be able to tell you for sure.
What if I’m Ready to Replace my Gastric Band with Another Bariatric Procedure?
Changing from one bariatric procedure to another is called revision bariatric surgery.
For some people, gastric banding, and the ongoing need for office visits and adjustments, no longer fits their lifestyle. Or, they did not achieve the overall weight loss goal they had hoped.
Since the lap band’s initial popularity some years ago, the sleeve gastrectomy (“the sleeve”) has become the most popular bariatric weight loss surgery operation.
For others, gastric bypass bariatric surgery is the right procedure.
Dr. Seun Performs Revision Surgery in New Jersey
If your lap band needs to be removed, by choice or as a result of a complication, a qualified bariatric surgeon can go over other weight loss surgery options with you. There may be another procedure that will work better for you and help achieve your ultimate weight loss goals.
Dr. Seun is one of only a few New Jersey bariatric surgeons performing revision surgery for lap band. He has helped many New Jersey bariatric patients using gastric band surgery, managing adjustments and addressing any potential complications along the way.
About Dr. Seun Sowemimo, MD, FACS
Dr. Seun is a top NJ bariatric surgeon and the medical director at Prime Surgicare, with offices in Freehold serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. He is board-certified, Columbia and Yale University fellowship-trained in advanced laparoscopic, bariatric and general surgery.
To learn more, visit his YouTube channel or call Prime Surgicare at (732)-982-2002.