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My Lap Band caused Esophageal Cancer

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Started by Rockin' Robyn, Jun 18, 2011 2:25 AM
34 replies to this topic
34 replies to this topic

Posted June 18, 2011 - 2:25 AM

#1
Haven't been on in a while, and hate to be a downer. I used to get on here to motivate and cheer people on. I had my band placed almost 6 years ago. I initially lost 170 pounds in the first year. I had never heard of or been informed that the band could cause cancer! I have no family history, and am only 37 years old. I have had my band inflated and deflated numerous times over the years, but never experienced true esophageal reflux or heartburn. Over the past year, I kept having what I thought were hunger pains in my stomach. I would then eat something and the pain would go away. I never correlated the pain to being an acid issue, as it didn't really come before/after meals..it would occur at all different times of the day. I just assumed my band was too loose and I needed another fill at some point to get rid of the hunger pains. I have gained a large amount of my weight back, due to eating when my stomach hurts.

Then about a month ago, I went to my family practice doctor because I was having pretty severe abdominal pain over my liver area, and I had already had my gallbladder removed. Eventually, I was referred to a GI doctor who performed an EGD (or a scope of my upper esophagus and stomach). He found what I can only describe as looking like blisters (aka lesions) and polyps all throughout my lower esophagus. He took biopsies of the area and told me results would be back in 2 weeks. I just received a phone call yesterday that the results were high grade dysplasia (aka the cells that occur right before full blown cancer). He wants to see me asap and refer me to a specialist/talk about the treatment plan. I am now planning on going to Mayo clinic to have an experimental ablation procedure done where the cells are burned off.

I say all this because now doing research, I am finding articles on line from as recent as December of 2010 on "Barrett's esophagus: a late complication of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding." I can't believe it! Wondering what I have done to myself, and all for what?? The articles are saying that they have now associated the band with pre-cancerous cellular changes in the esophagus due to the band squeezing the stomach and causing acid to sit there and in some people seep up into the lower esophagus. Remember, I have never had the typical heartburn or typical symptoms of GERD. I used to say to people, even after multiple complications post op (such as port infection and removal, herniated tubing through my abdominal wall, and gallbladder removal) that no matter all the complications, I would do it over and over again. Now I'm not so sure....Cancer is a whole different ball game.

Just venting, and hoping that if anyone else does a search on either esophageal cancer with the band or Barretts esophagus with the band I can let them know that there are others out there going through the same thing.


    KristeyK

    Expert Member

  • Posts: 186
  • Joined: Apr 2008
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TX
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted June 18, 2011 - 2:55 AM

#2
OMG...that's terrible!!! I hope this ablation procedure works for you. In one of my nursing classes last semester we learned about Barrett's esophagus, and I wondered whether or not the constant burning from the band could cause this. :-(

I'll say a prayer for you!Posted Image


    skylily

    Expert Member

  • Posts: 123
  • Joined: Jun 2011
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: AU
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Height: 5 feet 7 inches
  • Starting Weight: 363 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 83 lbs
  • Current Weight: 280 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 170 lbs
  • BMI: 43.8
Posted June 18, 2011 - 6:13 AM

#3
Ohhh Robyn, I'm so sad for you. I hope the treatment plan can be started soon and goes well.

Thank you for posting this information... forewarned is forearmed. It's made me think about maybe getting an EGD done myself just to set my mind at rest as I have suffered with lots of acid reflux.

Wishing you all the best. (Words seem so inadequate sometimes :( )

xox





Haven't been on in a while, and hate to be a downer. I used to get on here to motivate and cheer people on. I had my band placed almost 6 years ago. I initially lost 170 pounds in the first year. I had never heard of or been informed that the band could cause cancer! I have no family history, and am only 37 years old. I have had my band inflated and deflated numerous times over the years, but never experienced true esophageal reflux or heartburn. Over the past year, I kept having what I thought were hunger pains in my stomach. I would then eat something and the pain would go away. I never correlated the pain to being an acid issue, as it didn't really come before/after meals..it would occur at all different times of the day. I just assumed my band was too loose and I needed another fill at some point to get rid of the hunger pains. I have gained a large amount of my weight back, due to eating when my stomach hurts.

Then about a month ago, I went to my family practice doctor because I was having pretty severe abdominal pain over my liver area, and I had already had my gallbladder removed. Eventually, I was referred to a GI doctor who performed an EGD (or a scope of my upper esophagus and stomach). He found what I can only describe as looking like blisters (aka lesions) and polyps all throughout my lower esophagus. He took biopsies of the area and told me results would be back in 2 weeks. I just received a phone call yesterday that the results were high grade dysplasia (aka the cells that occur right before full blown cancer). He wants to see me asap and refer me to a specialist/talk about the treatment plan. I am now planning on going to Mayo clinic to have an experimental ablation procedure done where the cells are burned off.

I say all this because now doing research, I am finding articles on line from as recent as December of 2010 on "Barrett's esophagus: a late complication of laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding." I can't believe it! Wondering what I have done to myself, and all for what?? The articles are saying that they have now associated the band with pre-cancerous cellular changes in the esophagus due to the band squeezing the stomach and causing acid to sit there and in some people seep up into the lower esophagus. Remember, I have never had the typical heartburn or typical symptoms of GERD. I used to say to people, even after multiple complications post op (such as port infection and removal, herniated tubing through my abdominal wall, and gallbladder removal) that no matter all the complications, I would do it over and over again. Now I'm not so sure....Cancer is a whole different ball game.

Just venting, and hoping that if anyone else does a search on either esophageal cancer with the band or Barretts esophagus with the band I can let them know that there are others out there going through the same thing.




    cat lady

    Guru in Training

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Posted June 18, 2011 - 9:44 AM

#4
So sorry for your complications Robyn.....Not banded yet and very concerned about complications I am hearing on this site. I'm a senior citizen and really don't know If I should do this. I have my date set for July 25th. First I was denied by ins and after my appeal they approved me. Starting to think maybe I should have stayed with the denial. So confused about what to do. cat



Robyn: sorry for asking but did your Gastro dr. feel this was definately caused by the band????


    Sue Magoo

    Bariatric Hero

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Posted June 18, 2011 - 9:53 AM

#5
Robyn: So sorry to hear about your medical issues. I love my band and wonder what the issues might be long term. Just wish they'd come up with the magic pill so that we can eat what we want and not gain weight. Until then, we take risks. Hope your esophogus heals well.

Sue





    LizzieBorden

    Intermediate Member

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Posted June 18, 2011 - 6:07 PM

#6
Gosh Robyn, I'm so sorry to hear this. It actually really scares me. I've had my band for 3.5 years and have never heard of this complication. My maternal grandfather died of esophagus cancer in the 70s and my Mom has Barrett's Esophagus. Also, my Dad's list cousin passed last year from esophagus cancer. I just had an EGD this month and they found no issues.

Thank you for sharing your story. This is something we all need to be aware of.

Please take care of yourself and keep us updated when you can.


Posted June 18, 2011 - 9:03 PM

#7

So sorry for your complications Robyn.....Not banded yet and very concerned about complications I am hearing on this site. I'm a senior citizen and really don't know If I should do this. I have my date set for July 25th. First I was denied by ins and after my appeal they approved me. Starting to think maybe I should have stayed with the denial. So confused about what to do. cat



Robyn: sorry for asking but did your Gastro dr. feel this was definately caused by the band????



Yes definitely...I have no other risk factors and all of the dysplasia areas are in my lower esophagus down by where the band is. There are a couple of research articles out there on the internet that are just starting to come out on this subject. I believe that with more time, there will be a lot of people who start to have this happen to them. It is considered a "long term complication" of the band. In other words, not something that will be realized right away.


    AlienBandit

    Bariatric Evangelist

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Posted June 19, 2011 - 10:03 PM

#8
I hope everything goes well with you. I am sorry to hear about this but it really makes me wonder about dysplasia.

Since it is the pre cancerous cells, it should be easy to remove and isnt cancer yet. How seriuos is your doctor treating this?

You can get dysplasia cells in your body and sometimes the doctors say it is no big deal. To get a little off topic when you get paps your doctor is checking for dysplasia and if you have it they just do a simple 5 minute in office procedure to take it out and then your fine. My doctors in 2 different countries chalk it up to be nothing serious as long as you have it removed.

I recently was told I have dysplasia after a pap and had the cells removed and was told not to worry about cancer etc.

Are you considering removing the band because of this?


    Jachut

    Banded Down Under

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Posted June 20, 2011 - 1:59 AM

#9
I know exactly what you're going through, and I pray they've caught it early enough for you that treatment is not too aggressive. I wonder all the time whether my rectal cancer at 42 years old had anything to do with being banded. I guess an ECG is another test to add to the ever growing list of yearly check ups. I know that there's lots of colonoscopies in my foreseeable future!

With support and a focus on looking after yourself, its amazing how resilient we are. It is easier to be happy and positive even in such a scary situation than it is to get down about it all. Look to the future and be strong and you will get through this.


    bennettkimberly

    Newbie

  • Posts: 2
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  • Location: MO
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
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  • Starting Weight: 260 lbs
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  • Goal Weight: 150 lbs
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Posted June 21, 2011 - 9:03 PM

#10
Hi,I have had the burning and scraping and more burning and scraping of my esophagus.It's not a cake walk but it got all the pre cancer cells and I'm fine.I now want the lap band but the Dr.said not if I have Barrett's.Do I still have Barrett's or is it gone after they burned and scraped?I don't get it.My esophasgus is good now.Do I still have Barrett's.


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