My Lap Band caused Esophageal Cancer


36 posts in this topic

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!Angel_anim.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Featured Surgeons

    1. David C Voellinger

      Charlotte, NC 28105
      704-316-7760

    2. Dmitri V. Baranov

      Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
      855-344-8555

  • Recent Topics

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Jeffrey Stern

      Well it's about bloody time. I'm down a couple of pounds...257 lbs from 260 lbs after almost a month. 
      By the way does anyone snack on nuts like almonds or peanuts or cashews or sunflower seeds...I know there fattening but aren't they healthy fat ?
      · 2 replies
      1. Newme17

        I snack on pistachios. I also carry almonds in my purse for when I'm hungry but not home. I don't worry about the fat or calories at this point. As long as you're not overeating them and are truly hungry when you do, in my opinion.

      2. Apple1

        I think nuts are a healthy snack. I would just portion them out if you are worried about over eating them. Almonds and pistachios are my favorites.

    • Ouiser

      Changed my profile pic to match what I used to look like 10 years ago.  Would love to go back to this.
      · 1 reply
      1. Apple1

        I did the same thing as a way to inspire myself.

        great photo!

    • MSinger

      Happy Thursday! Nothing much to update on, I'm just writing to keep up the habit. I've been plugging away at food/protein/water goals. Going grocery shopping tomorrow, so next week I'll be (slowly) introducing new foods to my sleeve. I still feel a good amount of fatigue which currently is my biggest frustration. There are people who reported feeling their energy come back by now, and while I have had a steady increase, I still get fatigued pretty quickly. Fingers crossed that I'll turn a corner soon!
      · 2 replies
      1. Newme17

        I had a bout of fatigue a few days ago. I feel a bit back on track again. Has your fatigue been steady or periodically? I haven't quite pinpointed why mine was around. I didn't workout those days either...just didn't feel up to it. But today I feel great.

      2. MSinger

        I'm glad you're feeling better :) My fatigue is pretty consistent. It's definitely gotten better since surgery, but I still lose my energy quickly. I'm hoping that as I'm able to eat more calories it'll get better.

    • DedicatedLady

      Offically Day 16 of of pre-op diet. Yesterday started phase 2 which is 3-4 shakes a day plus green leafy veg and sugar free jello. I didn't like pre-made jello to start, not surprisingly it still tastes like someone poured water on a dirty carpet, squeezed it out into a jello mold with food coloring and called it "edible".. So yesterday,  I made it officially 17Hrs on my SUPER exciting selection of either vanilla or chocolate shakes before I said f**k it, I got home from work (still carrying around my half a lunch shake) and ate a miniature handful of trail mix, and a rather large piece of very dark chocolate. Actual chocolate!  For the record, I regret nothing.
      (I made my dinner shake at the same time, surprise I went with 'chocolate' flavor, and I use that term loosely, as the shake mix should come with a label that states it is only brown in color, and is not flavored like, nor associated with ACTUAL chocolate. Kind of like a 'no real chocolate was harmed in the making of this bubbely swill we call a shake'.  17 hrs before I was tired of them plain. Its time to start getting creative with my recipes, sweet   Hmmm no wonder you lose weight, the food is awful hahaha
      I googled and pinterested(<--that's not a real word) recipes for Bariatric patients Post Op, and good lord there are some incredible looking things on there. I will note though that to replace grains there's a strong emphasis on just using cheese instead. I'm not a nutritionist or anything but I've flipped over a package of cheese once or twice in my life and happen to know that it is high as a kite in fat. Then again when you're making food porn, obviously more cheese looks better. Anyways, its Thursday and I need to go make cheques (<--btw the spell check for this is "squelches",wonderful..
      Moving that scale down one day at a time.
      The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
      -Dolly Parton  
      · 3 replies
      1. PatientEleventyBillion

        The thing with cheese is, like all things, healthy in moderation. Not processed cheese, that's junk regardless. But block cheese and string cheese.. not only is it low carb, but it's also rife with good and bat fats, in the sense of how they contribute to cholesterol in your body. I wouldn't know regarding specialized cheeses (feta, gouda, gruyere, etc.) as I hate the taste of all those.

        Regarding the pre-op, it's essential to keep your carbs to a minimum, the point of the pre-op diet is to shrink your liver and make the surgery safer. The larger it is, the slipperier it is, and/or the more damaged it is, the more risky the surgery.

      2. PatientEleventyBillion

        Also, weight loss tends to coincide with a low carb diet (metabolic mechanisms are the same between ketosis, weight loss, and liver shrinking).. so if you're doing it right you should be losing weight on the pre-op diet.

      3. DedicatedLady

        I wouldn't touch processed cheese, the chef in me refuses. The cheese was extra old cheddar and if I ate more than 28.4grams I'd be shocked. It was even a stevia sweetened chocolate bar, less sugar than my shake. I havn't touched a piece of bread, pasta, rice, pastries, sauces with added sugar, alcohol, and I don't drink pop and have never drank juice that wasn't fresh carrot. Jeez I havn't even touched carrots, peas, potatoes, green beans, fruit, legumes, milk,honey, or salad dressing. Every time I step on that scale it't gone down. I'm doing something right.;)

        The odd thing for me was that I ate peanuts, those are the cockroach of nuts, that I'd normally never touch.

    • LiciKitty

      I have hit the dreaded stall. I had surgery on May 26th, so this is a little disheartening. Trying to remind myself that this is a part of the process. It's still frustrating though. (-_-) I have been bouncing been 1.5 lbs for the past week and a half. Just have to focus on getting my water and protein in and ignore the stall. Maybe I should just hide the scale?
      · 1 reply
      1. BeautifulDisaster1991

        Stay off the scale for a good week or so. My surgery was on May 8th and up until 2 weeks ago I would weigh myself everyday, multiple times a day and would get very discouraged when I would not see any changes or see it increase by a few ounces. So now I weigh myself every Sunday morning and track my progress, the loss is there and it makes me feel so much better about my progress. Best of luck to you. Stay positive

  • Trending Topics

  • Magazine Articles

    1. Get Your Grill On!

      Posted in: Food & Nutrition
      Rene Norman, RD/LD
    2. 3 Ways to Break Through a Plateau

      Posted in: Plateaus and Regain
      Katy Harvey, MS, RD, LD, CEDRD
    3. How I Conquered My 20th High School Reunion

      Posted in: Body Image
      Nanette Adams, M.Ed., LPC
    4. Lose Weight without Surgery

      Posted in: Pre-Op Support
      My Bariatric Life
    5. Food Addiction: FAIR and FIRM Video (Part 2)

      Posted in: Food & Nutrition
      Connie Stapleton, PhD
  • Together, we have lost...
      lbs