As there was an explosion in the number of gastric band procedures done in the last 10 years its inevitable that we are now seeing more patients who want their band revised, fixed or simply removed.
The gastric band continues to be an excellent procedure that combines good weight loss, low risk and a faster recovery time, but it is dependent on good follow up from a provider that understands band patients well.
Patients who have a gastric band also do so in the knowledge that they’ll need to revise their eating habits in order to be successful and they also know that there are some complications that are unavoidable and can lead to a revision, leaks from the band are the best example of this. We see a lot of patients who have decided they have reached the end of the road with the band and they want to step up to another procedure.
For patients seeking revision surgery we always try and get them working with the band before moving up the surgery scale to a sleeve or bypass. For some, they’ve just had enough or there is a clinical need why the band needs to be removed. In almost all cases we regard the band to bypass conversion to be the best option. Not only does it give excellent weight loss but it is also easier to manage complications if they are experienced. This is not the case for a gastric band to gastric sleeve where staple line leakage is a worry, even more than for primary sleeve cases.
Gastric band revision surgery is a safe and effective when done by experienced surgeons. It is more challenging than primary surgery as the anatomy will have been disturbed by the primary procedure. If you are thinking of having your band removed, or you think it has stopped working, contact an experienced weight loss surgery practice to discuss your options. If your band has ‘stopped working’ it may be that its leaking and if we close the leak it’ll work for you again.