If you seek lap band revision surgery but cannot congregate the courage to raise the huge amount of money it will require, you need not fret. Getting lap band revision abroad (in countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, India, and Belgium) could be an easy solution to your weight-loss surgery problem.
Despite employing the best of techniques, and taking all suggested precautions, the gastric band surgery may fail sometimes. This article will look into the reasons for lap band failure and how this can be corrected through lap band revision surgery.
Why Does Gastric Banding Fail?
The lap band could fail either all of a sudden leading to an emergency case or its effectiveness may lessen over time leading to chronic conditions. The patient’s commitment to healthy eating and regular exercise plays a very big role in determining whether the lap band fails or succeeds.
Depending on the reason for the failure of the lap band, the revision surgery procedure is determined. Let’s look at some of these reasons:
Lap Band Erosion:
The lap band erodes into the stomach and causes the stomach to leak. This leads to a failed lap band and the patient may stop shedding weight. The most telling symptom of lap band erosion is infection near the port. Blood vomits are sometimes noted. An endoscopy may be required to diagnose lap band erosion. There are two types of erosion: early and late.
Early erosion happens within 1-6 months of the surgery, whereas late erosion may happen much later and may go unnoticed. Alcohol and smoking are known to increase the risk of lap band erosion. Lap band erosions are noted in about 14% of patients. (Source: Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery by William B. Inabnet, Eric J. DeMaria, Sayeed Ikramuddin)
Slipped Lap Band:
There are two types of slippage: anterior and posterior, that is, the lap band may slip on the front or back side of the stomach. Posterior slips have been reduced largely with newer operation techniques.
Symptoms of lap band slippage are nausea and vomiting. Slips may happen if there aren’t enough stitches to hold the band in place or if the band has not been placed right. Another cause of lap band slippage is excessive eating and consequent vomiting.
Ineffective band/Failure to lose weight:
In some patients, the gastric band may not bring about any significant weight loss. This may indicate that the patient is not suited for restrictive weight loss surgery procedures. But, it is important to note that the weight loss with the laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding is lower than that with the gastric bypass or malabsorptive procedures, varying between 28% and 65% at 2 years and 54% at 5 years.
Lap Band Revision Surgery – Procedure Overview
Treatment options for lap band failure are either removing the band with no other weight loss method in place or removing the band and switching to other obesity surgeries like vertical sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, duodenal switch, or ileal transposition, depending on the patient’s physiology and behavioural aspects. (A study showed that laparoscopic conversion from lap band to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is safe and can be an alternative for patients who failed to meet success with the lap band.)
The conversion to other weight loss surgeries can be done the same time when the lap band is removed.
If the band has slipped, then the sutures have to be removed and the stomach positioned right again. In some cases, the band is placed through a new tunnel, but mostly, things are straightened out and the band placed back.
Things to be considered before lap band revision
- What was the cause of the lap band failure: device failure or the patient’s lack of commitment to dietary restrictions, or was it both?
- Was the surgery method (restrictive surgery) the reason of the failure?
Lap band revision surgery is fairly less complicated compared to the revision surgeries for other weight loss procedures. Yet, it is always good to look for a bariatric surgeon who has a proven track record in lap band revision surgery.
The most unpleasant risk or danger of lap band revision surgery (in cases where the lap band is not removed but just re-positioned) is that it may fail again. In such a case, the patient may feel very de-motivated and may not continue with any other obesity surgery. But there is always the option of converting to gastric bypass or duodenal switch. Irrespective of the patient’s choice, one thing becomes clear: for whatever reason, the lap band will not work for the patient.
How to Avoid Lap Band Failure?
While there is nothing you can really do to avoid mechanical issues like slipped lap band, you should definitely change your eating habits and inculcate a more active lifestyle to try and make your lap band surgery successful.
Even before deciding on lap band, consult your bariatric surgeon if this will be the right weight loss procedure for you. You must be honest with your surgeon and tell him/her about your eating habits, so that he can help you choose the right surgery and guide you well over the chances of success.
Before you make up your mind to go under the knife, you must thoroughly research about the failure rate of lap band, the cost of lap band revision surgery, and what the procedure involves.
Revision Surgery for Lap Band in Mexico vs USA
Patients with complications after lap band surgery may become eligible for insurance cover for revision surgery. However, it is generally more difficult to get insurance in the US in cases of revision surgery for unsatisfactory weight loss.
Your bariatric surgeon will need to study the x-rays of your GI system and may require some other reports. Revision surgery is always more complicated than first-time surgery and consequently the cost of lap band revision surgery can be expected to be at least 10-40% higher than first-time surgery.
Waiting in cases of a lap-band gone bad could prove detrimental. But if the thought of again raising a huge sum for your second weight-loss surgery gives you sleepless nights, you may just consider travelling abroad for your lap band revision surgery.
The cost of revision lap band surgery in Mexico is way below that in the US. It is difficult to say what exactly the cost will be as it differs from patient to patient, and depends on the requirements. Lap band revision in Costa Rica, India, and Belgium, can also be availed at a fraction of the price in the US or Canada.
The cost savings come with quality that matches that of the US health system. Lap band revision surgeons in Mexico, Costa Rica, India, and Belgium are considered more experienced than their US counterparts, because of they generally deal with larger volume of patients. The surgeons in our network are used to dealing with medical tourists and are well aware of the concerns that patients may have in a foreign land. You may ask the surgeon for testimonials of previous patients to alleviate your anxiety and ascertain that you are in safe hands.
Medical-Trip facilitates lap band revision in Mexico, India, Costa Rica, Belgium, Jordan, and other parts of the world at affordable prices. Fill-out the estimate-request form on your right for more details.