My Lap Band caused Esophageal Cancer


43 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. Masoud Rezvani

      Woodbridge, Virginia 22191

    2. Lisa Medvetz

      Downingtown, Pennsylvania 19335
      800-282-0066

  • Recent Topics

  • Recent Status Updates

    • CarolinaGirl5192

      ONDERLAND!! Finally! It feels awesome!!
      It's been a journey with bumps, but learning how to be a healthy person. Remember that every day is a new day and to just move forward. The bumps, turns and sometimes pot holes are all a part of your journey.  Journal, journal, journal! Know what you are putting into your body. Still have 24 more to go but feeling blessed and determined!
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Daisy30uk

      Hi, my name is Karen and I had my bypass surgery on October 11th 2017. I had been researching various kinds of weight loss surgery for a while, first in the UK where I was born and lived until 7 years ago, and then in the US. I first looked at the band back in 2008 but the process in the UK was long and expensive and my bariatric surgeon was very unfriendly and very conceited. I had to put things on hold when we decided to make the move to the US and it took some time to get life set up here. In 2013 I broke my knee - the tibial plateau in particular, and was not allowed to weight bear for nearly 12 weeks. Of course, I packed on more pounds during that time and even worse, the rehabilitation from that injury was made significantly harder by being morbidly obese. In 2015 I decided that I had had enough and I contacted a surgeon in the local area. I started the process to get approved by insurance and part of that was a six month supervised diet. During that time I lost over 50 lbs and the nutritionist encouraged me to carry on losing by myself without the surgery. That worked for a while, but stress and going back to work meant a return to my old habits and the weight soon came back. Before I could put all of those 50 lbs back on, I got back in contact with my surgeon as I had decided that I really could not do this on my own. Insurance accepted my six months supervised weight loss from the previous attempt so all I had to do was get the psych evaluation done again plus an EGD. That surprisingly took way longer than I imagined since the surgeon's office managed to mess up both appointments plus leave me out of pocket for the psych eval. Anyway, my papers finally got submitted this September, insurance approved me within 4 days and surgery took place just over six weeks ago. I am down 31 lbs from my highest weight and 23 lbs from my surgery weight and feeling so much better already. My now arthritic knee (from the break) is benefiting from the weight loss and clothes that had once again become too tight to wear are now fitting nicely again. It's early days but I am happy with how things are going!
      · 1 reply
      1. karen_marie

        Congrats on your success thus far!

    • nelsonglo122

      Surgery date is Dec 5th
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • LaLaDee

      I've lost 34 kilograms but it sounds better as 75 pounds. Maybe the Americans are onto something!
      · 0 replies
      1. This update has no replies.
    • Newme69

      Pre-op diet starts Monday 20 and Thanksgiving non Thursday, I don't know how this is going to work.
      · 7 replies
      1. shedo82773

        I'm so glad this helped you. Another thing "Take it one day at a time"!!! Just think you are getting so close to your journey. Keep on doing it for yourself!!!

      2. JadeVT

        It's a lot easier than you think, trust! I would do the trusty Premier Protein for Breakfast and Lunch (with water (flavored/unflavored in between both meals and after), then for dinner, I didn't have to worry about cooking too much, b/c I made broth. I have this amazing Asian Thai-Flavored Chicken broth that is absolutely delicious if you want the recipe! :) After my broth, I had a SF popsicle and a SF Jello, and I was full and good to go.

        Don't listen to the negative people that talk about it being "miserable", it's not. It's only miserable if you think it is. It's actually pretty freeing. Like, you know you're going to stick to it, so the free food at work or the fast food places on the way home don't bother you. You'll start looking forward to the broth lol. Not to mention, you will see weight come off and feel so much better. Also, this will prepare you for your Post-Op eating (which for a while, will be just liquids) and that will be a breeze.

        You got this, don't worry about the holidays or whatever, just focus on the goal. :)

        BTW, I stuck to mine and lost 33lbs in 2 weeks.

      3. Newme69

        Wow, great job. Thanks for the advise. I sure would like the recipe for the broth. To be honest, I'm not really feeling this holiday. I'm looking forward to my new beginnings. I hope my experience is similar to yours.

      4. JadeVT

        Thai Inspired Chicken Broth

        • 1 tsp of Better Than Bouilion Roasted Chicken paste (little goes a long way)
        • 2.5 cups of water
        • dash of lime juice (RealLime brand is what I use)
        • 1 tbsp of Huy Fong Chili Garlic Paste (not Sriracha in the tube....it has sugar -- I've attached a photo for reference) - optional
        • 1 small dash of soy sauce (low sodium)
        • 1 dash of garlic powder/onion powder (no salt)
        • 1 scoop of kimchee - strained out after cooking -- also optional

        Try it out and tell me how it goes. You could also do a Thanksgiving inspired chicken broth with some seasonings like Rosemary and Sage. :D

        b8c347f7-4d7f-4a39-ab21-b87f6bd26335_1.c4b4c8442339dc1495118b0b89896606.jpeg

      5. Newme69

        Thank you so much......☺:)

        Quote

      6. View All Replies
  • Trending Topics

  • Magazine Articles

    1. Daily Self-Love Habits

      Posted in: Post-Op Support
      Louisa Latela, LCSW, LCADC
    2. Marijuana after weight loss surgery

      Posted in: Post-Op Support
      Lisa Kaouk, RD & Monica Bashaw, RD
    3. Thanksgiving Tips You Can Use

      Posted in: Post-Op Support
      Alex Brecher
  • Together, we have lost...
      lbs