There is a weak point in all gastric bands where the access port connects to the band itself. The different types of band make this connection in different places and in different ways.
Whatever approach is used it remains, unavoidably, a weak point. It is usually referred to as a tubing leak and these leaks are often identifiable on x-ray. If the leak to your tubing is close to the access port it can usually be fixed by cutting the tubing above the leak and replacing the port and tubing below it. If the leak is closer to the ‘band’ then the entire band would need to be replaced.
In either scenario, it would be a day case procedure. The complete band replacement would require longer in theatre and is more technically challenging. The old band needs to be carefully removed and the new band placed into the same ‘tunnel’ that was formed by it around the stomach. Both procedures are routine when done by experienced and skilled gastric band surgeons.
In rare cases, it may be difficult to pinpoint pre-operatively the site of the leak. Identifying this during the operation and rectifying the problem requires a diligent and experienced gastric band surgeon.
There are occasions when the band itself (the part that sits around the stomach – this is called the ‘balloon’) leaks. These leaks are the rarest that we see. They used to be more common but modern gastric bands are very well engineered and we se few of them. When they do occur they require complete replacement of the band. These leaks can be diagnosed with confidence with a barium x-ray.
See prices for our port, tubing and band replacement procedures here.
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