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Band removal due to hiatal hernia & reflux



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I have read a lot of threads, but I have never once heard of a removal solely due to reflux/hiatal hernia or any combination. A partial unfill usually helps with reflux and most people who have had a hiatal hernia had it repaired during banding.

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Turns out there is no hiatal hernia but reflux is going on and the band is completely open. I guess I have to wait and see if my insurance company approves it or not. Thanks Nancy

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I was wondering if you ended up having your band removed??

I've been having ongoing problems with my band...Lots of vomiting. Currently I am completely un-filled and have been for a month. Still have problems with food getting stuck. Today I had a barium swallow which showed reflux, hernia (which wasnt there prior to the surgery), and narrowing of my esophagus. I have a followup appt. with my doctor next week. I'm wondering if my symptoms were similar to yours? Personally, I'm so frustrated with the issues I've had since getting banded that I wouldnt even mind if he suggests removing it. Please let me know how you made out...

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I was wondering if you ended up having your band removed??

I've been having ongoing problems with my band...Lots of vomiting. Currently I am completely un-filled and have been for a month. Still have problems with food getting stuck. Today I had a barium swallow which showed reflux, hernia (which wasnt there prior to the surgery), and narrowing of my esophagus. I have a followup appt. with my doctor next week. I'm wondering if my symptoms were similar to yours? Personally, I'm so frustrated with the issues I've had since getting banded that I wouldnt even mind if he suggests removing it. Please let me know how you made out...

I did have mine removed on the first Friday in October and everything went very smoothly. Even though the tech saw a hiatal hernia the surgeon said he didn't see one but my acid reflux has almost disappeared since the removal and I'm off the meds for that. It seemed to be related to the band and I even had no fill in mine for over a month prior to surgery. Also even with the unfil at times I still would vomit also as I just appeared to be way too tight, very strange especially when you read so many people here who have almost full band loads and they still don't have restriction! Never experienced that. Anyway the surgery was a breeze and insurance covered it and it was approved very quickly and I'm doing really well and feel much better. Don't think the lap band and I were meant to be together and I don't think about food all the time like I did when I was banded, does that make sense so I'm not over eating or eating the wrong crap all the time like I did when I was banded.

Anywho I hope you're doing better and wish you luck with whatever you decide to proceed with. Also I did not and will not have a revision to any other WLS. Take care Nancy.:)

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Guest Aviatrix

I just had mine removed this week. Prior to surgery the Doc told me I had a Hiatal Hernia and that he may also need to do a Nissan Fundoplication to control my severe reflux and vomiting. So, he comes in after surgery and tells me that he only removed the band, found no herhia and did not perform the Nissan. He said that the band was twisted around the stomach and extremely tight. I was astonished at this since I had it completely unfilled several months before. I'm not sure if it is possible for one to leak and "self fill" somehow, but this one seemes to have done just that. He also said that the stitches (if there ever were any) that heald it in place were no longer in place at all.

I am very very bummed. Since he didn't do anything other than remove the band, my insurance may not pay for the removal - which scares me to death with the price of health care these days. I could be in severe debit for years because of this. I just kick myself now for thinking that I might somehow catch a break - I should have known better. Every decision I have ever made has been wrong my whole life. Now it turns out that getting the band was a HUGE mistake that I will regret and pay for ... for a long long time.

The surgeon made no bones about telling me that he does not approve of bariatric "lazy quick fix" remedies and that he would not replace it or repair it. He was only going to remove it. I was feeling so badly at that time that I agreed. Of course he is one of the "beautiful people" that feels you can do anyting with exercise and self-discipline.

Honestly, I just want to cry and cry and cry this week. Again I have absolutely no sense of fullness when I eat and I have already gained two pounds since Wednesday when I had the surgery. I have no will power at all and the band was nice to have in place as a reminder of when I was full and that it was time to stop. Exercising always makes me feel very depressed, so I know I won't do it. I'll just sink lower and lower every day - I feel so hopeless.:laugh:

I just know I am going to be back to my same old short fat ugly pig self in no time. I am so bummed. Sorry to rant, I just wanted to get this off my chest.

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I am going through a similar experience. One hospital and testing showed one thing...yet when I returned to the surgeon at his hospital, his office said it was not there. I have really struggled and when I've gone to the surgeon for help, I've left there having felt "scolded" for not doing enough..? It is SO frustrating. You end up feeling like a pile of * and a big fat failure. Yet, I cook for my husband and for myself (He has lost over 70lbs since his banding, with not one single complication.) It has affected my husband's relationship with the Dr. due to the fact that he sees and knows firsthand what I've struggled with and he is infuriated with the Dr's condescending treatment of me. At this point I just want it out. I've never felt as humiliated at a gym as I have in the Drs office. Hang in there. You are not alone.

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I think sometimes when you have complications with your lap band the surgeon can go in and find something that you don't expect. Mine removed my band but did not do anything to see what damage was done to my esophagus I had to be proactive and find another surgeon. I think sometimes they're paranoid that they will get sued or something.

My band removal was covered and I knew ahead of time. If your insurance covered getting the band I'd hope they'd cover the removal due to the fact that you were having issues and that's why it was removed. I know it's hard to be positive right now as you're not in the ideal situation as you had hoped previously to getting banded but give yourself some time and see if there's a way to deal with yourself without beating yourself up over gaining a couple of pounds. I gained weight on the lap band and am losing it now that it's gone. Sometimes it's hard to predict what will happen after banding. Good luck, Nancy.

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I just had mine removed this week. Prior to surgery the Doc told me I had a Hiatal Hernia and that he may also need to do a Nissan Fundoplication to control my severe reflux and vomiting. So, he comes in after surgery and tells me that he only removed the band, found no herhia and did not perform the Nissan. He said that the band was twisted around the stomach and extremely tight. I was astonished at this since I had it completely unfilled several months before. I'm not sure if it is possible for one to leak and "self fill" somehow, but this one seemes to have done just that. He also said that the stitches (if there ever were any) that heald it in place were no longer in place at all.

I am very very bummed. Since he didn't do anything other than remove the band, my insurance may not pay for the removal - which scares me to death with the price of health care these days. I could be in severe debit for years because of this. I just kick myself now for thinking that I might somehow catch a break - I should have known better. Every decision I have ever made has been wrong my whole life. Now it turns out that getting the band was a HUGE mistake that I will regret and pay for ... for a long long time.

The surgeon made no bones about telling me that he does not approve of bariatric "lazy quick fix" remedies and that he would not replace it or repair it. He was only going to remove it. I was feeling so badly at that time that I agreed. Of course he is one of the "beautiful people" that feels you can do anyting with exercise and self-discipline.

Honestly, I just want to cry and cry and cry this week. Again I have absolutely no sense of fullness when I eat and I have already gained two pounds since Wednesday when I had the surgery. I have no will power at all and the band was nice to have in place as a reminder of when I was full and that it was time to stop. Exercising always makes me feel very depressed, so I know I won't do it. I'll just sink lower and lower every day - I feel so hopeless.:grouphug:

I just know I am going to be back to my same old short fat ugly pig self in no time. I am so bummed. Sorry to rant, I just wanted to get this off my chest.

I have to tell you, your surgeon sounds like an ass. I have no clue who he is and I don't care. There is no surgical "quick fix" for obesity. He's an ass.

Obesity is a disease, there are as many quick fixes for obesity as there are for diabetes. Your surgeon needs an education and I would love nothing more than for someone to give him an education he seriously needs in basic obesity 101.

Don't be so hard on yourself, it hasn't served you well to date so perhaps give yourself a break.

((HUGS))

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Nanook, I just found this website today. My lap band surgery was done in Mexico back in 2003. I lost some weight but most of it came two years ago when my mother passed. I often have trouble with the feeling of my throat muscles constricting and unable to swallow. It's a different feeling then when food is actually stuck at the top of the band. Lately I've felt a very uncomfortable tugging under my skin where the port is. I've thought seriously of removing the band but am not sure of the cost and complications. Since you've had yours removed, will you please share your experience with me? Katri

Edited by Katri

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Katri,

It sounds like you're having some problems with your esophagus too although I am no doctor. You could be having esophageal spasms. The pains I was having were in the center of my chest and went away quickly. I still don't know what exactly they were if they were spasms or not but I've never really had an issue with swallowing like you have. I still get pains in the area where my port was and am not sure why.

I had mine removed by the same surgeon who placed mine. Because of my chest pains and was checked into a hospital to make sure it wasn't my heart and it wasn't so they could only attribute it to acid reflux and had an upper GI done. That showed the acid reflux and also a small hiatal hernia.

So with that and the fact that I gained as opposed to losing on the lap band I was able to have it removed last month and it was covered by my insurance.

I had been following up all along with my lap band surgeon or someone in his team during the year I was banded. So it was no surprise in the end when I had it removed. I had plenty of fills and unfills it just was not the right procedure for me and I believe after research has caused the problems with my esophagus and the hernia/reflux issues. I am having an endoscopy on Friday to see what damage has been done.

I ended up having the procedure after my father passed so I know what emotions play with these decisions and weightloss in general.

I can tell you that it was done out-patient and the hospital charge was about $7,600 and the surgeon fee was about $2,400 for a total of about $10,000. Insurance covered most of my costs so I don't know if you had it removed in Mexico if it would be a lot less. I think getting the lap band was about 3 times as much but I did spend the night in the hospital.

Now I'm seeing a gastroenterologist for the endoscopy so of course any complications will just add more money to the bill.

I hope I was helpful and sorry that you are going through bad times with your band also. The best thing to do is keep up with it and see a doctor who can help with the complications to get things rolling and then you can decide whether or not you need or want to have yours removed. Take care Nancy.:thumbup:

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I just had mine removed this week. Prior to surgery the Doc told me I had a Hiatal Hernia and that he may also need to do a Nissan Fundoplication to control my severe reflux and vomiting. So, he comes in after surgery and tells me that he only removed the band, found no herhia and did not perform the Nissan. He said that the band was twisted around the stomach and extremely tight. I was astonished at this since I had it completely unfilled several months before. I'm not sure if it is possible for one to leak and "self fill" somehow, but this one seemes to have done just that. He also said that the stitches (if there ever were any) that heald it in place were no longer in place at all.

I am very very bummed. Since he didn't do anything other than remove the band, my insurance may not pay for the removal - which scares me to death with the price of health care these days. I could be in severe debit for years because of this. I just kick myself now for thinking that I might somehow catch a break - I should have known better. Every decision I have ever made has been wrong my whole life. Now it turns out that getting the band was a HUGE mistake that I will regret and pay for ... for a long long time.

The surgeon made no bones about telling me that he does not approve of bariatric "lazy quick fix" remedies and that he would not replace it or repair it. He was only going to remove it. I was feeling so badly at that time that I agreed. Of course he is one of the "beautiful people" that feels you can do anyting with exercise and self-discipline.

Honestly, I just want to cry and cry and cry this week. Again I have absolutely no sense of fullness when I eat and I have already gained two pounds since Wednesday when I had the surgery. I have no will power at all and the band was nice to have in place as a reminder of when I was full and that it was time to stop. Exercising always makes me feel very depressed, so I know I won't do it. I'll just sink lower and lower every day - I feel so hopeless.:thumbup:

I just know I am going to be back to my same old short fat ugly pig self in no time. I am so bummed. Sorry to rant, I just wanted to get this off my chest.

Your surgeon is full of it! Why would he do a procedure he does'nt believe in?? He probably does'nt want to put the band back in because he knows he messed it up in the first place! I hope you go and have yourself checked out by another "obesity" surgeon (who is competent, capable and believes in his work) to make sure he did'nt do any perminent damage to you.

Your insurance should pay for the replacement and removal of the band as it is not your fault (could be a faulty band or faulty placement)...call your insurance company and explain the situation and i'm sure they'll give you the right answer.

good luck!

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wow i am just reading these. i have had the lap band for almost 5 years now and have had acid reflux for a year now have it under control but still bothers me at night. it has not crossed my mind to have my band taken out. i am just amazed some of you have fills. i have no fills none i am wide open and i have restriction my band is tight in the morings but yet i can take a whole pill no breaking it or crushing it so i know my band is open if pills go down. its just wierd sometimes i will take a pill with tea or something and i think maybe the pill is stuck will go throw up and the tea comes up but the pill doesn't wierd. i still have a problem of eating to fast you would think after 5 years i would know better but i usually graze during the day and try and eat one good meal a day. and stress really makes my band tight. i went thru two hurricanes in september and i don't think i ate all month i lost 25 pounds in 3 months because of it. but hey unless something really bad happens i am keeping my band i have lost 170 pounds and even though i hate i have excess skin really bad and i need a body lift to i just live with it i would do it all over again. good luck to all and thanks for all the info i am getting on here.

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Sorry I'm just now reading your post. I would make absolutely sure that the reflux is due to a hiatal hernia and that your band is in the right position. I had my band removed for severe reflux. I did not insist on an xray prior to the removal. I had the band removed letting my surgeon be the one to make the decision based on his findings once he got into the surgery. He later told me the band had slipped badly and "needed to come off" and did a fundal plication procedure for the reflux and subsequently told me he couldn't get the band back on. I regret this so much to this day. I should have gotten a second opinion before having the surgery. Just make absolutely sure you know what you're dealing with.

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I'm going through the same thing right now. I was constantly throwing up and had bad reflux. I have had my band for 4 yrs. The upper GI revealed a hiatial hernia and my stomach is comming up through the band. Last fri he took all the fill out. We are seeing if this works. If not, I will have to have another surgery.

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