Lap-Band surgery is considered to be one of the safest and most effective methods of surgical weight loss. In fact, Lap-Band failure rate is only about nine percent, which is fewer than one out of every ten procedures performed. Yet there are times when some type of Lap-Band revision is necessary due to issues such as unsuccessful weight loss or complications requiring band removal. In many cases, an appropriate revision will likely produce the desired results.
Why Revision May Be Necessary
A common reason for Lap-Band revision is unsuccessful weight loss. Generally, losing about 25-30 percent of your excess weight is considered “unsuccessful” since most people lose about 50 percent or more of their extra weight with gastric banding (although results do vary). Another reason for a revision is complications from the gastric band, although some of the following possible issues with the band may be able to be corrected without band removal:
- Erosion of the band
- Band slippage
- Band intolerance
An X-ray may be done to check for leaks after a special dye is ingested. Some patients may experience vomiting or reflux if they are having complications from the band.
One-Stage and Two-Stage Removal
With a one-stage procedure, the band is removed and a new weight loss surgery is performed at the same time. A two-stage removal is done in two parts. The band is removed during the first procedure. After healing, another procedure, usually gastric sleeve surgery, is performed. While one-stage removal is often recommended, a two-stage procedure may be better if the band has to be removed due to complications.
Different Revision Options
Re-banding is a type of revision that simply means replacing the band, although this option is not usually recommended if the reason for revision was unsuccessful weight loss. With revision to a gastric sleeve, the average weight loss is about 60 percent of pre-surgery weight.
Some patients benefit from a revision to a roux-en-y gastric bypass. Weight loss after band removal may be as high as 70 percent, according to research on results. Another option is revision to a duodenal switch (DS). It’s a more complex and involved procedure, but it may lead to fairly rapid and substantial weight loss.
Regardless of what type of Lap-Band revision is performed, it’s important for patients to commit to making positive lifestyle changes and sticking with dietary guidelines. Ongoing communication with the surgeon and their staff is equally essential. Ultimately, the most successful surgical weight loss solution is one that will contribute to long-term results.