Transformation Stories

Transformation Stories: Maegan

Jan 21, 2020

In 2009, Maegan had LAP-BAND surgery. Although she wasn’t severely overweight at the time, Maegan sought help to shed unwanted pounds and jumpstart her weight loss. Unfortunately, the experience was not what she hoped it would be.

“I had an awful time with it,” she said. “I was vomiting all the time, sometimes just from water. When I could eat, I would binge.”

Initially following the procedure, Maegan did experience some weight loss. But it wasn’t long before the number on the scale began to climb again, eventually reaching her heaviest weight of 247 pounds. “I saw the pictures from my son’s first Christmas and hated all of the ones I was in.”

And it wasn’t just about weight gain, Maegan also suffered abdominal pain from the LAP-BAND.

After Christmas, Maegan reached out to Nicholson Clinic’s Dr. Roshek for help. “He answered all of my questions. He talked to me with passion and an understanding of what I was going through,” said Maegan. “In that conversation, Dr. Roshek mentioned doing a revision to the sleeve. I was so against it at first because of my first weight loss surgery experience. But he explained the entire procedure, the outcomes and possibilities.”

Unfortunately, Maegan’s experience with the LAP-BAND is not unique. A decade ago the procedure was one of the most popular bariatric options, but in recent years, LAP-BAND procedures have been on the decline as more options become available that have proven to be more effective for long-term weight loss, with fewer complications.

In some cases, a LAP-BAND patient may simply need a simple office procedure to fill the band. In other cases, the band may have slipped and can be adjusted. But, like Maegan, many patients are looking for a better solution. That’s where bariatric revisional surgery comes into play.

During band-to-sleeve revision surgery, the LAP-BAND is removed and replaced with the gastric sleeve. Like the LAP-BAND procedure, a sleeve gastrectomy is performed laparoscopically, and most patients go home the same day. During this procedure, a large portion of the stomach is divided vertically and removed. This is the non-reversible part of the procedure. The remaining stomach — now reduced to about 25 percent of its original size — is shaped like a banana, and resembles a tube or sleeve.

Gastric sleeve results in gastric restriction, reducing the amount of food volume that can be comfortable ingested. It also removes the portion of the stomach responsible for the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. As a result, patients who undergo a band-to-sleeve revision report a reduced appetite, allowing them to lose weight.

Maegan’s story is testimony to the success many of our revision patients experience. Just eight months after surgery, she was down 78 pounds!

“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. This is nothing like the band,” she said. “It’s amazing, normal and has given me my life back. I can eat normally, in smaller amounts. I can run, literally run a mile without stopping. I can shop at any store I want. I can walk into a room with confidence and run a meeting. Most importantly though, I love every single picture and memory with my son.

As with any bariatric procedure, band-to-sleeve revision is hardly taking the easy way out. Patients are still required to eat right and exercise. “I eat right. I work out. I stay active and enjoy my new life! For this, I will be forever grateful.”