Bariatric Surgery

When LAP-BAND® Removal Is Recommended

Dec 02, 2021

Did you have LAP-BAND® surgery and want to know when removal is required? You are not alone! This question is often asked by patients who opt-in for this surgery. Your LAP-BAND® is working fine if you experience prolonged satiety, you have no complications and have lost an average of 50% of your excess weight after one to five years. But if your LAP-BAND® is causing you issues; you may want to have it evaluated. This article provides answers to LAP-BAND® concerns and other related questions you likely have.

When Should LAP-BAND® Be Adjusted?
Patients typically should be seen monthly or bimonthly during the first year after LAP-BAND® placement. Your surgeon will help figure out when you need an adjustment.

More fluid will be added to your band if you:

  • Do not obtain optimal weight loss
  • Are hungry
  • Are craving for food

During a LAP-BAND® fill session, the saline solution in the gastric band is adjusted using the external port in the band device. The more saline added, the tighter the band and the narrower the passage. Thus, making it harder for food to pass. The goal of the fill is to find the proper amount of fluid that aids in weight loss yet still provides proper nutrition for the patient.

When Is Fluid Removal Recommended?
Fluid removal is done if you are not getting proper nutrition and have symptoms like:

  • Night cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation

What Are Symptoms of a LAP-BAND® Complication?
It’s important to have your LAP-BAND® evaluated at minimum yearly to ensure your LAP-BAND® is not only functioning properly but also ensure there are no complications such as band erosion, band migration/slippage, band infection, gastric prolapse, esophageal and/or pouch dilation.

Symptoms of a complication include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Reflux (Heartburn)
  • Abdominal pain/discomfort
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty tolerating solid foods
  • Food trapping
  • Difficulty swallowing

Bottom Line
If LAP-BAND® didn’t perform as well as you hoped or if you have been experiencing discomfort, then you may want to explore switching over from the LAP-BAND® to the Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass to reach your desired weight loss goals. In a band revision, we DO NOT CHARGE for the band removal like many other bariatric surgeons do. Nicholson Clinic never charges additional surgeon fees for a band removal when revising to a sleeve or bypass during the same surgical session. For cost and insurance coverage for the removal, contact the Nicholson Clinic.