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About a decade ago, the Lap-Band, also called the gastric band, was among the most commonly performed weight loss surgeries. It was seen as ideal because it did not require permanent anatomical changes, and because the band could be removed if needed to be. Now, however, surgeons recommend either the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery instead of the Lap-Band. The band technique is known to have a high risk of severe complications that may require revision surgery.

Gastric Band Slippage
Lap-Band surgery involves placing a sterile band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. This causes patients to feel satiated with far less food than they previously ate. It’s possible for the band to slip out of place. signs of slippage include nausea, changes in appetite, acid reflux, and abdominal pain. It may be possible to repair minor slippage without removal of the band, but moderate to severe migration will require revision surgery.

Gastric Band Erosion
Instead of simply migrating up or down, the band may erode. The perforation of the stomach by the band may be a life-threatening complicatio, unless it’s treated promptly. This complication may be indicated by increased hunger, weight gain, port site infections or abscesses, pain, and severe nausea and vomiting.

Gastric Band Leakage
Patients who have had a gastric band in place for many years may find that they’ve started to eat more and regain weight. This may be due to a defect in the band causing leakage of the sterile saline solution. The saline isn’t harmful, but the defective band will need to be removed. Patients could convert to a gastric sleeve or bypass surgery.

Dr. Mirza at Bariatric Care Centers offers follow-up care and monitoring for patients with the gastric band. If your Lap-Band no longer functions properly or has led to complications, you can meet with our bariatric surgeon in Houston to discuss revision surgery for its removal. Call 713-339-1353.

Disclaimer: This is only for general information. All patients should consult their doctors prior to following any of the recommendations in any articles and videos. Every patient has individual needs and limitations that only their treating physicians can be aware of.

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