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Hi all. I had my consult last week with a surgeon. He is willing to do a bypass, but wants to remove my lap band first - by doing a separate surgery. For those who had a separate lap band removal prior to WLS, I would love to hear from you so that I can know what to expect. My questions are:

  • Was your removal done in an outpatient facility or in a hospital?
  • Was a hospital stay required?
  • How long did the surgery take?
  • What was your experience after the surgery? Lots of pain? How long did it take you to recover?
  • Was your removal covered by insurance even if WLS is not?

Thank you in advance for your comments, thoughts, etc.

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I had my lap band out as a separate procedure and without any intention of having another weight loss surgery.

The removal was a much easier procedure than the installation. To answer your questions:

  • It was done outpatient.
  • No hospital stay required.
  • It was brief. I can't say for sure, but less than an hour because I was recovered and we were on our way home by noon (surgery at 7am).
  • Of all the surgeries I've ever had, I would say that it was probably one of the easiest. The port site was the sorest, but even that wasn't bad. I had to take very few pain medications. I recovered very quickly and I was back to work within a couple of days. Even the progression to eating was smoother and faster. On liquids for a day or 2, then right to soft foods.
  • The removal was covered by insurance as a failed implant. Mine had slipped. However, my insurance also covered the original surgery. Word to the wise: make sure you have insurance approval PRIOR to undergoing the procedure. My doctor didn't and I had to fight with the insurance company in a drawn-out appeals process to get it covered. Meanwhile, the surgery center was trying to take me to collections!

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Female: 42 at the time 2009 (insurance covered), HW 232lbs. Best weight 143lbs. No problems with band till the slip due to a bad stomach virus in 2017 (diff, insur, and not covered) had to pay apx 5k OOP, still 143lbs. No doctor would do a revision as they all said.... I "didn't weigh enough". Fast forward..... 2017-2019 I put back 30lbs. Came to the conclusion that I would have to go to MEX to get a revision. May 2019, I finally got my divorce property settlement. Headed to Mex. But then as luck would have it, I found a dr. 10 min from me. I still had to pay OOP, and it would be more, but I would not have to fly and all the other humbug. So I paid OOP 14k for a revision to the sleeve 8/28/19. I was 173lbs, today i'm at 123lbs.

  • Was your removal done in an outpatient facility or in a hospital? Surgery center.
  • Was a hospital stay required? One night
  • How long did the surgery take? 30 min. No scaring, no erosion, no GERD, pretty open and shut. SX said if band had not slipped, I would still have her.
  • What was your experience after the surgery? Lots of pain? How long did it take you to recover? After SX I had a little gas. I had no pain at all. SX was on Thursday and I was back at work on Monday.
  • Was your removal covered by insurance even if WLS is not? It was not.

Sleeve SX was just as easy, less the one week liq diet. Sleeved on Wednesday and back to work on Monday.

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On 7/25/2021 at 1:01 PM, devotion said:

Hi all. I had my consult last week with a surgeon. He is willing to do a bypass, but wants to remove my lap band first - by doing a separate surgery. For those who had a separate lap band removal prior to WLS, I would love to hear from you so that I can know what to expect. My questions are:

  • Was your removal done in an outpatient facility or in a hospital?
  • Was a hospital stay required?
  • How long did the surgery take?
  • What was your experience after the surgery? Lots of pain? How long did it take you to recover?
  • Was your removal covered by insurance even if WLS is not?

I knew my band was slipping, but I had no insurance coverage to remove it, so I had to wait until I had a major slip and was admitted to the emergency room (I was vomiting small amounts of blood).

I had kind of alerted my doctor to this money problem in the first place, and they said if I did go to an emergency room, they told me which hospital they practiced at so they could be the ones to remove it.

My surgery was quick, I think less than an hour. I actually drove myself to the hospital on a Thursday after school, had the surgery on Friday, and was back at work on Monday. I stayed overnight one night and actually drove my self home the next day.

I did not have any insurance coverage for gastric weight loss procedures at that time, but because it was an emergency situation, there were parts of my bill that were paid by insurance. I think I ended up still paying about $6,000 out of pocket, but it would have been considerably more if I had scheduled the surgery through my original surgeons. Also I would have had to pay an advance, which I was unable to do at the time. Obviously when it was an emergency surgery, I was able to do a payment plan and pay it off over a few years.

I felt immediately better after surgery, and I didn't have any pain. It took a few months before my stomach seemed to have less swelling. It was such a relief.

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Had mine done outpatient. Insurance covered it as part of WLS revision. Pain was minimal but my stomach felt heavy when walking for about 3 weeks.

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