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Lap Band Problems

Lap Band Problems

Choosing to have Lap Band surgery is not without risks and complications.  As is the same with every surgery, your body may develop complications during or after surgery, especially weight loss surgery.

The Lap Band is a weight loss surgery that uses an adjustable gastric band that uses an inflatable silicone band. This silicone band is placed around the upper portion of your stomach to promote excessive weight loss.

Because of the many health complications resulting from this surgery, there has been a considerable reduction in this surgery's performance.  Overall the Lap Band surgery is minimally invasive and completely reversible, which is a good thing considering the many health complications.

A scientific study has found that more than half of all lap surgeries are reversed because of complications or a lack of significant weight loss after 7 to 10 years.

Common Lab Band Problems

Many problems could arise Lap Band procedure.  The most common complications include:

  • Food Difficulty
  • Reflux and Heartburn
  • Band Slippage
  • Esophageal Dilation
  • Band Erosion or Port Infection
  • Inadequate Weight Loss
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All of the listed are mild to severe health complications as a result of the Lap Band surgery.  Food intolerance is brutal for many bariatric patients because of the difficulty in swallowing, severe vomiting, and nausea.

This condition may worsen to the point that you are throwing up many times a day.

You may also develop heartburn or acid reflux after your Lap Band surgery or band slippage.  When your Gastric Band begins to slip, this may cause severe nausea or pain that will require surgical intervention to revise or remove the gastric band.

Another health complication you may experience is band erosion.  This complication is rare but can happen.  When your gastric band erodes over time, your port develops an infection that requires immediate attention.

You can also experience esophageal dilation.  Esophageal dilation occurs when your food is not able to pass easily into the stomach. Esophagus, over time,  gets dilated and can lead to many problems when digesting your food correctly.

The last possible complication is not losing weight.  With gastric banding, you will experience an initial weight loss, but you may notice a lack of loss or regain over time.  Weight regain is more familiar with Lap Band patients than other weight-loss surgeries, such as gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy.

Detailed Lap Band Problems Explained

After five years of living with a gastric band, you may notice many positive and negative side effects of the surgery.  Some of the most common side effects of Lap Band surgery after five years include:

  • Inadequate Weight Loss or Weight Regain
  • Band Intolerance
  • Band Infection
  • Band Slippage
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All of the listed health complications can negatively impact your ability to function and eat properly.

When patients experience weight regain after weight loss, you may need to have your band removed or converted to a more effective bariatric procedure.

If you cannot lose between 25 to 30% of your excess weight or have a massive weight regain after surgery, you will need a lap band removal because it is not compatible with your body.

Along with incompatibility, you may also experience a band intolerance.  This occurs when you have massive amounts of vomiting and nausea or difficulty and painful swallowing after eating.  This is a strong indication that you are developing severely adverse physical reactions to the band that need immediate attention.

Another major problem after lap band surgery is the erosion of your stomach.  Many patients experience band or port infections that may not be solved with antibiotics but need complete removal of your gastric band.

Lap Band Problems After 5 Years

When you have Lap Band problems after five years, you might be experiencing your band's erosion.  Some patients experience leakage of their stomach fluids into their abdomen.

All of the described cases are examples of a necessity for Lap Band removal.  If you are experiencing enlargement of your stomach pouch, saline leaks, or band slippage after five years, you may require a removal procedure.

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Lap Band Problems After 10 Years

It is likely that you will need a Lap Band removal ten years after surgery.  This happens along with this time frame because the band can function successfully without any issue for the first few years, but more complications develop in the long term.

Some of the long-term complications such as severe inflammation surrounding your port can lead to more health complications and risks.

Having a Lap Band removal after ten years may become a necessary because of your inability to maintain your weight loss.  This happens when your band moves from its original position or your hunger have not decreased.

You may also need to remove your gastric band because of its erosion.  Lap Band erosion occurs when the band rubs against your body tissue and eventually disintegrates over time.

Symptoms of Lap Band Problems After 10 Years Explained

Your Lap Band erodes over time because of its contact with your stomach wall.  When your gastric band is continuously in connection with your wall, it weakens your stomach tissue.  This can lead to a dangerous piercing in your stomach and create a sizable hole. Lap Band erosion occurs when the band is too tight and your stomach does not have enough blood supply.  When you do not have enough blood, you will have weak tissue. When you have weak tissue, your body develops infections, increased stomach acid, and ulcers.  

Learn how to prepare meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables to maintain your weight goals.

Lap Band Problems and Statistics

The idea of encountering or developing issues from your Lap Band is concerning.  The main reasons for problems after surgery are due to:

  • Band Problems 1.1%-18%
  • Esophageal Dilation 14%
  • Port Problems 20%

Band problems occur between 1.1-18% of all patients.  The band problems can include erosion, intolerance, leaks, or slippage.

Esophageal dilation occurs when your band is too tight. When you have esophageal dilation, you will experience more instances of vomiting.  

The most common complication is port problems, which 1 in 5 gastric banding patients encounter.  Presentation of port problems could be leaks, port inversion, port infection, or port dislocation.

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Kelsey Renae Schulze

Author

Kelsey is a post-op bariatric patient who had sleeve surgery in 2018. She is a writer, focusing on a variety of topics given her background in legal studies and criminal justice.