Gastric Band Removal

Gastric Band Removal surgery may be right for you. Many studies have shown that more than half of the gastric bands are removed due to inadequate weight loss or complications after 7-10 years.

The common Lap Band, Gastric Band, or Adjustable Gastric Band complications include:
Food Intolerance: Patients may develop difficulty swallowing, severe nausea and vomiting. Some even throw up multiple times a day.
Heartburn or Reflux: Some patients may develop heartburn or esophagitis after Lap Band surgery.
Band Slippage: This may cause severe pain/nausea and may require emergent surgical revision/removal of the gastric band.
Band Erosion/Port Infection: This is a rare complication. Gastric Band erosion causes long-term port infection in most cases.
Esophageal Dilation: With the restriction from the Gastric Band, the food may be stuck in the esophagus. In the long term, this may cause esophageal dilation.
Inadequate Weight Loss: Even though the Gastric Band had reasonable initial weight loss, weight regain is much more common in Gastric Banding patients than patients who had gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery.
Laparoscopic Gastric Band Removal
Most lap band removal procedures can be done laparoscopically. This is a relatively easy and safe operation depending on existing complications.

The steps of a Gastric Band removal surgery are as follows:
Insert laparoscopic instruments through small incisions. In most cases, the surgeon can use the old incision.
Cut the scar tissue around the band.
Cut the tubing and band.
Pull out the band from around the stomach.
During the initial operation, the upper part of the stomach (fundus) is usually sutured to the part of the stomach above the band to prevent band migration. Some general surgeons tend to leave the adhesions and those sutures in place during the Lap Band removal surgery. However, it is very important to remove those sutures and lyse the adhesions. This will restore the original anatomy of the stomach and make subsequent or later revision surgery much easier.
After the gastric band removal, removal or incision of the perigastric capsule (dense scar tissue around the upper part of the stomach or esophagus) will reduce the chance of obstruction after surgery.
The subcutaneous port is removed
For patients who want to convert to a more effective bariatric procedure, the surgeon may proceed with the sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass surgery following the removal of gastric band or perform a revision three months later.
Lap Band Conversion to Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass
If you have an intolerance and/or complication to the gastric band, such as nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, slippage, or erosion, removal of your band offers immediate symptom relief. However, without converting to another bariatric procedure, many patients regain weight after Lap Band removal.

It’s very important for a patient in need of revision surgery to choose an experienced surgeon. Doctors who don’t do a lot of these procedures may not use the most up to date surgical techniques and not follow up with the patient as much as essential to post- revision surgery success.

Dr. Bernie Hanna has extensive experience with revision procedures. His experience and reputation sets him apart as one of the leading Bariatric surgeons in The Las Vegas area and has been voted ‘Top Surgeon” by his peers in 2006, 2007 and 2013. Patients from all over the country and the world go to Las Vegas Bariatrics to be under the care of Dr. Bernie Hanna.

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