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Lapband® Remove to Sleeve/Bypass

Lapband® removal to Sleeve Gastrectomy or Gastric Bypass Surgery

The Lapband® has shown tremendous results for many patients, but no surgical operations yields the exact same level of success for everyone. Revision from the Lapband® to Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass may be an option if you are having complications from your primary surgery.

Here are a few of the most common reasons patients opt for revision weight loss surgery:

  • Unsuccessful weight loss – continuing hunger even after band adjustments have been made, resulting in an unsatisfactory loss of weight.
  • Limited weight loss – a “weight loss plateau” occurs when patients lose a certain amount of weight, but cannot seem to lose more regardless of their dedication to reach their goals. This may happen long after the band has been placed and can leave patients feeling very disheartened.
  • Failure of the band itself – if a hole has formed in the band, port, or tubing, it will likely not function in the way it is intended. As opposed to undergoing another band surgery, patients may consider other bariatric surgery options.
  • Trouble swallowing – after numerous band fills or band deflations, some patients may still experience a band fit that is either too tight or too loose around the stomach. This can cause a number of issues, including vomiting from a band that is too tight or overeating when it is not tight enough.
  • A limited diet – soft and mushy foods that have an abundant amount of carbohydrates are sometimes necessary for a patient’s diet after surgery. If patients try eating beef, poultry, and other foods that are rich in protein, they may vomit or choke. Dietary restrictions such as these may prompt a patient who is struggling with them to make bad choices or feel like they are constantly hungry.
  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – commonly referred to as heartburn, this condition often flares up more severely during the night. GERD can lead to pneumonia and other pulmonary infections. GERD can be unavoidable if the band around the stomach exceeds lower esophageal sphincter pressure, and acid reflux medications will likely not be very effective. In some cases your surgeon may recommend a revision to Gastric Bypass as this surgery is also known to reduce acid reflux.
  • Slipping of the adjustable gastric band – in some cases, the band around the top portion of the stomach slips out of its intended position, or the stomach pouch abnormally dilates. A simple emptying of the band may not correct the issue. Without treatment, major band slips can stop circulation to the stomach, which can be very serious.
  • Erosion of the band – this can be a life-threatening event. Band erosion occurs when a portion of the band begins to dig into the lumen of the stomach.

If the inadequate weight loss is due to the patient’s inability to comply with the required dietary and lifestyle changes, surgery will be of no help. The patient will be advised to follow the surgeon’s instructions on diet and exercise for achieving desired results.

One-Stage Vs. Two-Stage Gastric Band Removal to Sleeve/Gastric Bypass

Any Lapband® revision procedure may be performed as a single-stage (band removed and new weight loss surgery technique performed during same procedure) or two-stage procedure (band removed during the first procedure, Sleeve/Gastric Bypass performed during later procedure after healing).

Which method is best for you will depend on your personal health history. We understand that a "one stage" procedure is typically preferred. However, if your band is being removed due to certain complications, it may be best to let your body heal before converting to another surgery. In this less common case, two procedures may be more appropriate.

Lapband® Remove to Sleeve/Bypass—What is My Next Step?

Find out if your insurance has benefits for a revision surgery.

Call the office at 425-385-2263 and schedule a consultation to come in and talk with your surgeon. At this visit, your surgeon will evaluate your Lapband® placement and general overall health. He/ She will discuss the benefits and possible risk associated with surgery, and partner with you to create a plan.

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Support groups should play an important part in your preparation, recovery and long-term goals. We are here to assist you every step of the way. Email your questions to

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  • BLIS
  • American Board of Obesity Medicine
  • American College of Surgeons