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Lap Band Removal and Revision Suggestions Needed



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I had my lap band put in 2012. I lost 80 lbs the first year, maintained and then in 2016 had a prolapse and all my Fluid removed. I never regained restriction from fills, just random days when my band would decide to be tight and I couldn't eat. By late 2018 I had gained all of my weight back. Mid 2019 I started to have reflux that lead into really bad chest pains. I even went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. After trying meds, and having an ultrasound I just had an upper GI yesterday. I still have a prolapse and irritation and it was recommended that I have the band removed. I am on the fence about having a revision....I don't think the doctors in my area will offer a revision within the same surgery as removing the band, and now that I have children I am more hesitant to have additional surgeries. Anyone have a good pro-con list of doing a revision?

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a TON of people have had lapbands revised to sleeve or bypass for the reasons you mentioned. It's either that or risk being miserable the rest of your life. I'd go with a revision if it were me. Either of those two surgeries would be a good option, although if you're suffering from GERD, you may want to consider bypass. It often improves GERD, if not outright cures it.

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I'm one of the lap band 50% failure rate statistics. I had mine over 10 years, and then had a slip and developed a hiatal hernia. 6 weeks ago I had the band removed, the hernia repaired and a revision to a RNY bypass. I dropped 20 pounds in three weeks. The weight is s-l-o-w-l-y dribbling off now, but even only 25 pounds down my knees hurt less and I move around a lot more. I haven't regretted it once. Check around and find a surgeon that will do the removal and revision in one surgery. My surgeon recommended the bypass because he said it was easier to revise to a bypass after having a lap band for years-scar tissue issues-and what catwoman7 said, many people who have NEVER had GERD develop it after a sleeve, and I had it terrible before I got my band. Good luck--don't be afraid to "doctor shop" until you find one. I had to go 4 hours away to a large urban area to find one, but I LOVE the one I found.

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3 hours ago, soccermonster31 said:

I had my lap band put in 2012. I lost 80 lbs the first year, maintained and then in 2016 had a prolapse and all my Fluid removed. I never regained restriction from fills, just random days when my band would decide to be tight and I couldn't eat. By late 2018 I had gained all of my weight back. Mid 2019 I started to have reflux that lead into really bad chest pains. I even went to the ER thinking I was having a heart attack. After trying meds, and having an ultrasound I just had an upper GI yesterday. I still have a prolapse and irritation and it was recommended that I have the band removed. I am on the fence about having a revision....I don't think the doctors in my area will offer a revision within the same surgery as removing the band, and now that I have children I am more hesitant to have additional surgeries. Anyone have a good pro-con list of doing a revision?

I had my band placed in 2009, lost and maintained 89lbs for 7+ years. then in 2017 i got the flu and slipped my band.... So out came the band. I looked on and off for years for someone to revise.... but keep getting NOOOO you don't weigh enough. Over that time i put on 30lbs of the weight i lost. Went from 143 to 173.5. I was so depressed that i was doing everything i could and i was still gaining.... Crossfit, starving my self, diet pill.... nothing worked. I was weeks away from going to Mex to get the MGB when i happen to call a local dr. He agreed to see me. We talked and he said that because i had had the band that he could do a revision even though it was 2.5+ years out. He just had to note it in the file that i was a previous bander. So Aug 28, 2019 i revised to the sleeve. I had to pay out of pocket 14K. Worth every penny. As of today... down 38.5lbs in 19 weeks.

5'1" (now 51 y/o)

2009: SW: 232, LW: 135, but my most consistent weight was 143. Size 20 to a size 6

2019: SW: 173.5, CW: 135. Size 4-6

Pros of the band, i had total control of my diet. What i ate and didn't eat and if i ate too much, i "got rid of it".

Sleeve, no maintenance. I can't eat nearly the amount of what i ate with the band. 2-3 bites and im done, but i'm hungry again in about an hour. I've only had two episodes of vomiting in 19 weeks.

If your dr. will do a revision at the same time as a removal..... i would do it. Look into the Mini GB. Its what i really wanted, but my dr doesn't do them. So i choose to go with the sleeve and be 10 min from his office..... vs having to fly to Mex.

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So I had a consult with the surgeon that did my upper GI. He is recommending I revise to the Sleeve. His estimate is I will lose the same amount of weight with the Sleeve or with Bypass, but Bypass has greater risk of complication. I have a couple friends who have the sleeve and didn't loose the weight they wanted to, hit a plateau and have gained back some weight. I'm worried about that. A complication of my band has been GERD, so I am also worried about that continuing if I have the sleeve. The surgeon really seemed to be pushing the sleeve, same with his office staff. But it was the same 10 years ago when I had the lap band, and now that has fallen out of favor...will the same happen with the sleeve? Should I just go with my gut and do the bypass???

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49 minutes ago, soccermonster31 said:

So I had a consult with the surgeon that did my upper GI. He is recommending I revise to the Sleeve. His estimate is I will lose the same amount of weight with the Sleeve or with Bypass, but Bypass has greater risk of complication. I have a couple friends who have the sleeve and didn't loose the weight they wanted to, hit a plateau and have gained back some weight. I'm worried about that. A complication of my band has been GERD, so I am also worried about that continuing if I have the sleeve. The surgeon really seemed to be pushing the sleeve, same with his office staff. But it was the same 10 years ago when I had the lap band, and now that has fallen out of favor...will the same happen with the sleeve? Should I just go with my gut and do the bypass???

it's your body - I'd say it's your choice. I wonder if he's just more comfortable doing sleeves (??).

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1 hour ago, catwoman7 said:

it's your body - I'd say it's your choice. I wonder if he's just more comfortable doing sleeves (??).

I agree. Most surgeons would recommend bypass if reflux is involved.

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17 hours ago, soccermonster31 said:

The surgeon really seemed to be pushing the sleeve, same with his office staff.

I would find another doctor if you can. There's nothing wrong with shopping around. I had to change my original choice when the office told me Medicare wouldn't pay for a bypass because I already had a lap band--WRONG!

The doctor should not be pushing a choice on you--he/she should inform you as well as possible and let YOU make the choice.

Did you have GERD before your lap band? If so I would definitely choose a bypass. That's what I did.

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As a "nearly 2 decades" Bandster, I'm familiar with the challenges as host of my fickle silicon companion. I continue waffling on the 'removal/then what?' question. Now at 74 my long time internist advises any choice needs careful study.

It's been a 'mostly good' relationship. The combination of various other aspects of 'geezeritis' all have their own melodrama. Good luck OP, whatever you choose.

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On 1/16/2020 at 12:00 AM, soccermonster31 said:

So I had a consult with the surgeon that did my upper GI. He is recommending I revise to the Sleeve. His estimate is I will lose the same amount of weight with the Sleeve or with Bypass, but Bypass has greater risk of complication. I have a couple friends who have the sleeve and didn't loose the weight they wanted to, hit a plateau and have gained back some weight. I'm worried about that. A complication of my band has been GERD, so I am also worried about that continuing if I have the sleeve. The surgeon really seemed to be pushing the sleeve, same with his office staff. But it was the same 10 years ago when I had the lap band, and now that has fallen out of favor...will the same happen with the sleeve? Should I just go with my gut and do the bypass??? 

I'm another lap band failure story - heyo! Mine never worked to begin with, never found my sweet spot so I only ended up losing 40 pounds max (I need to lose 150 to fall in the healthy range for BMI) and ended up gaining it back plus more after having twins.

I struggle with the same thoughts as you - being a mom to 3 young kids I'm afraid of having more surgery that could cause complications and put my life at risk. That being said, I'm putting my life at risk by staying morbidly obese 😕 I'm 37 and I already don't feel good. I have a hard time walking long distances and standing for long periods of time. I want to be able to hike, ride bikes, play sports, and keep up with my kids. I love being active but I am unable to do much with the joint pain and I lose my breath so easily.

After doing some research I've decided on RNY I think. It's the "gold standard" and it's been done for decades. The sleeve is pretty recent, and I'm scared it will go the way with the band. RNY made me nervous at first because I thought the "bypassed" organs shriveled up and died inside you but they're actually still functioning like normal. They just don't receive the nutrients and the food travels through faster so you don't absorb as many calories. Kind of a win-win with restriction + malabsorption.

Another consideration for me is setting an example for my kids. I really want to strive to make food a non-issue. It was a HUGE issue for me growing up. My mom influenced me and she had a very negative attitude towards her body and was yo-yo dieting my entire life. I remember she'd make weird food while the rest of us ate normal dinner, she had a new eating philosophy ever year, had a new exercise regimen she'd swear would make her skinny... she put me on Weight Watchers when I was 10, and let me use diet pills (ephedrine) when I was 16. I will fight tooth and nail to stop my daughter from starting this cycle. And I think that has to start with me. She's going to be watching me and I have to be careful to make sure she sees me eat normal, healthy food and I have to keep negative body talk out of my conversations. I think having bypass may help me with that too.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

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@lbugher Your story from childhood is almost identical to mine. I appreciate your response. I have decided to move forward with RNY. We seem to be in very similar situations and at the same point in our lives. Let me know if you are interested in being support buddies!

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@soccermonster31 - Yeah, growing up in the 80's/90's there was a LOT of misinformation about weight loss and management. eggs were terrible for you, white carbs were optimal for fat burning (lol), coffee was the devil, and margarine was soooo much healthier than butter! I'm not angry with my mom. I know she did the best she thought she could and probably thought she was saving me from obesity.

I'd love to be support buddies! When do you plan on revising? It'll be a while for me - we're going to move in the next few months and I want to be settled in our new house before undergoing a surgery. For now I'm gathering information and planning to do a consult with a bariatric center in Indianapolis.

Fun story: I got my lap band in December 2015 and the surgeon, without warning, shut down his practice in January 2016. I had to go to a bariatric center 50 miles away for my fills and counseling when I'd anticipated he'd be right there down the street whenever I needed something. My lap band did not have a great start, and I wasn't super impressed with the bariatric center I was referred to. Luckily I have some choices!

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22 hours ago, lbugher said:

My mom influenced me and she had a very negative attitude towards her body and was yo-yo dieting my entire life. I remember she'd make weird food while the rest of us ate normal dinner, she had a new eating philosophy ever year, had a new exercise regimen she'd swear would make her skinny... she put me on Weight Watchers when I was 10, and let me use diet pills (ephedrine) when I was 16. I will fight tooth and nail to stop my daughter from starting this cycle. And I think that has to start with me. She's going to be watching me and I have to be careful to make sure she sees me eat normal, healthy food and I have to keep negative body talk out of my conversations. I think having bypass may help me with that too.

Similar story--I was only a slightly pudgy pre-teen and my mother couldn't stand it. She had a doctor put me on amphetamines when I was eleven. ELEVEN! Looking back it was almost child abuse. I think if she had left me alone I would have been an only slightly pudgy adult instead morbidly obese. I still have resentment over that 'til this day and I'm 65 now.

You are smart not to subject your own daughter to that!

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