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Pregnant with Slipped Band

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My wife doesn't like to post much, so I will share her story, as it is quite unique.

My wife was banded in Sept '08, self pay. I would like to say she followed all the 'rules' all the times, but she didn't always. In June of '09, she experienced her first band slippage. They removed the fill, and she went back to liquids. She went back 4 weeks and the band was back in place, and they filled again. We were also warned, that once you slip, you have a higher chance of re-occurance. Makes sense if you think about it.

Anyways, by Late October, her band had slipped again, this time to a full 90 degree prolapse. She was unfilled again. We began the process of figuring out what to do next. Just let it slip back (if it would), or Surgery. We waited a few weeks, and returned for another Fluoro, and found out that it wasn't returning back to the correct position. In December, she went for an upper GI inspection (camera down the throat). No erosion.

This is when we found out that she was pregnant. Nothing is worse than being pregnant, morning sickness, and vomiting from a prolapsed (slipped) band. We consulted 3 Bariatric surgeons (including the original surgeon), and 4 different OB/GYN's. The consensus was that she would require surgery, but when?

Here is where it gets interesting, and I hope this will help somebody else.

The OB/GYN was not too concerned about the baby getting enough nutrition even though my wife still lost 3-4 pounds in the first trimester. In fact the baby was growing faster than expected. The concern was that prolonged prolapse of the band can cause necrosis of the gastric pouch (in english, a slipped band with a large pouch that goes uncorrected for to long can cause part of the stomach to die). So, how long is too long? Nobody really knows.

So, at this point, we had 2 options.

#1: Surgery for Band adjustment during second trimester

#2: Wait till after pregnancy for Band Adjustment.

The resounding answer from all the doctors was that something HAD to be done, and sooner than later. A surgery was scheduled.

Obviously, surgery is rare on Pregnant women, so we entered some unchartered territory. We researched everything, as did her doctors. I want to add that out of the 3 independent bariatric surgeons, 2 wanted to just release the band. They would not entertain the thought of adjusting it. This was not based off of her being pregnant, but rather they hadn't been successful adjusting them in a single surgery. The third surgeon stated that only once was he unable to "adjust" the band, and that he learned from that lesson.

It appears there are 2 ways to adjust a band, one is to release the band and sutures, slide it into position, and reconnect and reattach it. The problem with this is that after slippage, the stomach is usually swollen, and reattaching is too hard, so they close and schedule a second surgery at a later date.

The second method is to remove the sutures and work the stomach back through the band and re suture it. Since the band is not actually released, there is no need to reconnect it.

We went with option #2, which was going to be performed by the surgeon who performed the original surgery.

At 16 weeks pregnant, my wife had the operation performed (yesterday). This was considered a high risk surgery (she's pregnant). The surgery took about twice the time it normally takes for a lapband, but due to being pregnant, extra precautions had to be taken, and the stomach had to be physically checked for any potential holes. Typically a Dye is used, but this wasn't safe for the baby. An overnight stay was also suggested for monitoring.

So, here i sit in a hospital room, my wife sleeping, with her band back in place, and everything going fine. She has ultrasound tomorrow, but the baby's heartbeat sounds fine. I just wanted to share this, as she was looking for others that had surgeries during pregnancy, and didn't have much luck. Hopefully this will help others make there own decisions when faced with this rare situation.


Edited by _Christina_

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Thank you for sharing.....this is something I have wondered about. I was so curious what would happen if the band slipped during pregnan! I hope you, your wife, and the baby are all doing well. Good lukc to your family!

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I hope everything continues to get better. She is very lucky to have such a concerned husband. Sending positive and healing vibes her way!

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Best of luck to all three of you. I was actually scheduled for a removal and replacement last Thursday when I learned I was pregnant. I have a dilated esphogas and a hiatal hernia and I throw up like ten times a day. The surgery was cancelled and now we are going to start deflating the band really slowly.... I hope all goes well.

I am so nervous about the band through the pregnancy.

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