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Conversion from lapband to sleeve - lower BMI



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Hello,

I am seeking advice from anyone who converted from lapband to sleeve and especially if with a lower BMI. I scoured the forum but didn’t see any similar stories):

Also looking for anyone who had band removed because of esophageal dysmotility.

Here is my history, briefly(:

I had lapband 12 years ago (self pay in Mexico) and was successful. I had reached my goal weight and 24 BMI! (with some ups and downs along the way).

That was until three months ago when I had a severe food poisoning and the associated vomiting. I was very sick and violently vomited at least 20 times. This left my band very irritated and I was barely able to drink two weeks later. I thought the band was slipped. When I had a fluoroscopy/esophagram there was no slip, but it did reveal esophageal dysmotility. Apparently this is a common complication with long term use of lapband. Although I have no symptoms (typically reflux and/or difficulty swallowing) my doctor suggests removing the band. He also will not refill the band which I do agree with considering the risks.

So, three months ago I had a total unfill. Yesterday I had another esophagram and I still have the esophageal dysmotility. Sadly, I have already gained from 137 to 165.

I feel like a total failure and really wished I could maintain on my own. But now I am considering the sleeve. Twelve years ago I would have never considered a surgery to remove part of my stomach. But the descriptions of the way the sleeve works sounds like the way the band worked (when perfectly filled:)

I have not checked into it but likely insurance will only pay for removal of band and I will have to self pay for sleeve. This seems extreme considering my current weight but I don’t want to wait until I weigh 232lbs again. But I did restart weight watchers today.

So my questions are as follows:

1) has anyone converted from LB to Sleeve with lower BMI. What were you experiences?

2) Anyone with esophageal dysmotility? Did it improve after band removal?

Thank you and apologies for the super long post!

Stella

Edited by Stella84
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My surgeon has also told me that the chances of oesophageal dysmotility are very high and it is better to take the band out before the oesophagus fails completely . I am revising from band to RNY on thursday. There is generally a very high risk of reflux going from band to sleeve and a lot of people end up going band sleeve RNY.

Good luck with your decision

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I had the band, lost 90 pounds, had a slip, had repositioning surgery, and then never able to get a good fill. Had the band removed in aug 2018 and then sleeved dec 2018 at 209 pounds. I’m only a month out, so I don’t have a lot of experience, but I did lose 16 pounds since sleeve surgery

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Did you gain after band removal? How is your hunger with the sleeve revision?

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I gained about 8 pounds between Band and sleeve. I'm not on solids yet, so I'm hungry a lot, but 4oz does satisfy me for an hour or two

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I went to Dr. Yau, for a Lap Band in July 0f 2009, weighing in at 312 lbs, as of now I am 200-210 lbs. Never had a moments problem with it until last Novemeber, he took out another 1 1/2 CCs in Scarborough. I found he was rude and arrogant when I went in. If I had of known he was going to talk to me like that I would have told him where to go and how to get there. My gf heard him talking he was that loud. Obviously his work is going into the toilet as he really doesn't car about the patients he has anymore. So, those of you that are suing him...good luck. I paid $16,000.00 cash at the time of my surgery. I had to go to the bank for a lone. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN COVERED BY OHIP.

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I had a band in 2010 it slipped in 2016 and I had horrible acid reflux and was slowly gaining weight. I had different insurance than I did when I first got the band and they wouldn't cover my original surgeon. I didn't love the bedside manner of the new surgeon they gave me. I went in for a repositioning but he said it was too twisted and decided to remove it instead. He told me that insurance wouldn't cover a revision surgery that day because my BMI was too low at the time and that I would probably gain weight and he could do another surgery at that time. I did gain weight but didn't want that surgeon operating on me again. Instead, I found a practice and surgeon I really like that my insurance covered. I had some damage to my esophagus from the acid reflux when the band had slipped so I was on medication for a few months before surgery. An endoscopy showed that the medicine had worked on clearing things up and I was able to get the sleeve a couple of months later. I am only a few weeks out but I'm feeling really great. I'm annoyed that I had to go through gaining weight again but couldn't afford to do this without insurance.

I'm sorry this happened to you and I wish you the best of luck. I've found a few other former banders in the sleeve forum and that has helped me feel less alone on this journey.

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I am now 6 weeks post RNY and loving it. To me the RNY is doing what we were told that the band would do that it didn't.

I can eat smaller portions of healthy food and be satisfied.

I remember being told that with the band if we ate too much we would get sick. Well I never got sick from eating too much but I had more episodes than I can count where 1 bite of something healthy would get stuck and then I would be in pain for hours and still hungry!

On Friday I ate steak for the first time in years. A small portion of eye fillet with salad and it was great.

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@elcee- what was your BMI at revision? Glad you’re doing well.

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27.3 on surgery day. Slightly higher before I started my preop which wasn’t op it was just clean eating

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I have very similar stats to yours. Started at 232. Had lap band 7 years ago. Got down to 142 and now struggling with regain. I have had pain and nausea that I never used to have and also am considering sleeve suggested by my Bariatric group. Unfortunately bc my BMI is 27 insurance won’t pay for sleeve. Dr will do revision at no charge but will have to pay for hospital fees which no one can give me an answer to cost. I too never considered having what I considered a drastic surgery like the sleeve but yo continue gaining would be devastating for me. My health has been so much better since the band I don’t know what to do. I have an appt to discuss my options and also have a swallow X-ray done. Good luck to you. Hope we can figure this out!

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On 1/12/2019 at 9:53 PM, Stella84 said:

Hello,

I am seeking advice from anyone who converted from lapband to sleeve and especially if with a lower BMI. I scoured the forum but didn’t see any similar stories):

Also looking for anyone who had band removed because of esophageal dysmotility.

Here is my history, briefly(:

I had lapband 12 years ago (self pay in Mexico) and was successful. I had reached my goal weight and 24 BMI! (with some ups and downs along the way).

That was until three months ago when I had a severe food poisoning and the associated vomiting. I was very sick and violently vomited at least 20 times. This left my band very irritated and I was barely able to drink two weeks later. I thought the band was slipped. When I had a fluoroscopy/esophagram there was no slip, but it did reveal esophageal dysmotility. Apparently this is a common complication with long term use of lapband. Although I have no symptoms (typically reflux and/or difficulty swallowing) my doctor suggests removing the band. He also will not refill the band which I do agree with considering the risks.

So, three months ago I had a total unfill. Yesterday I had another esophagram and I still have the esophageal dysmotility. Sadly, I have already gained from 137 to 165.

I feel like a total failure and really wished I could maintain on my own. But now I am considering the sleeve. Twelve years ago I would have never considered a surgery to remove part of my stomach. But the descriptions of the way the sleeve works sounds like the way the band worked (when perfectly filled:)

I have not checked into it but likely insurance will only pay for removal of band and I will have to self pay for sleeve. This seems extreme considering my current weight but I don’t want to wait until I weigh 232lbs again. But I did restart weight watchers today.

So my questions are as follows:

1) has anyone converted from LB to Sleeve with lower BMI. What were you experiences?

2) Anyone with esophageal dysmotility? Did it improve after band removal?

Thank you and apologies for the super long post!

Stella

Stella, I have a connection for people that have been banded, are at a lower BMI than what would normally qualify one for weight loss surgery, and want to convert from band to sleeve, DDS, or bypass. Message me if you want to talk!!! :)

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Scheduled to have my band removed and going with a sleeve. Had my band placed by Slimband in 2011. Loved my band until it stopped working in 2018. I have had 5 fills, a scope, and a swallow showing nothing wrong but I have no restriction 🤷‍♀️. I have gained 25 lbs in a year and have become so depressed ugh! Looking forward to having surgery next month.

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contact www.wlsappeals.com - they helped me get my band removal and sleeve conversion 100% covered at a lower bmi. it is a free phone call and they are super helpful (and saved me the $20,000 out of pocket cost of a sleeve that my dr insisted would not be covered). because the removal was necessary, you can get the conversion 100% covered as long as you request coverage before you remove the band. my dr waits 3 months between removal and conversion, but the key was to request ins approval for conversion when requesting coverage for removal in order to get both converted. hope this helps.

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I think it is ridiculous that if you need to have a revision to a bariatric procedure from a failed initial one that you have to wait to regain all your weight before you can get another! If you met the criteria for the first procedure and had surgery and now need another the insurance company should be satified that the patient is still a candidate. Most of us had our first surgery because of health considerations and to expect us to regain all that weight to have the revision surgery is unhealthy and a waste (waist!) of time.

I have to have a lap band removed and fortunately (or unfortunately) I have already regained enough weight and have two new comorbidities so I don't have to gain even more to get my revision.

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