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Lap-Band® / Gastric Banding Revisions and Removal

In the late 2000s, the gastric band, known by its trade names Lap-Band and Realize Band showed great promise in reducing the perioperative risks of bariatric surgery, while also offering acceptable weight loss for many patients. The primary attractiveness of the band was that it was adjustable and removable and did not require permanent alteration of the gastrointestinal system.

However, as time went on, it became increasingly clear that the implantation of a device that uses mechanical restriction to limit caloric intake, had significant long-term drawbacks. Over the years, many patients have found that their band has slipped, eroded into the stomach or malfunctioned in some way to reduce its effectiveness. The result has been an unacceptably high rate of failure and often, a need for revision.

Due to its adjustable and removable nature, revisions to a gastric band are relatively straightforward.

First, patients can opt to simply remove the band. This is necessary in case of a complication such as an erosion. However, if a new mechanism for restriction is not used, patients tend to regain their weight.

Because the gastric band does not permanently alter the stomach or intestines, virtually any follow-on procedure can be performed to allow the patient to start losing weight again. Typically, patients opt for a gastric sleeve, which provides restriction and excellent long-term weight loss and disease resolution results. Patients may also wish to consider a gastric bypass if they have poorly controlled type-2 diabetes or severe GERD / gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Risks of a Gastric Band Revision / Removal

A revision to the primary procedure comes with some additional risk, since a previous procedure was performed in the same area. However, if the patient has lost a significant amount of weight since their primary procedure, and is generally healthier, their risk may be lower. These risks will be reviewed in detail during consultation and depend on the procedure that the patient ultimately chooses.

Insurance Coverage for a Gastric Band Revision / Removal

Insurance coverage for a gastric band revision is usually determined on a case-by-case basis. You will work with our office to submit the appropriate documentation for the insurance company to evaluate.

Next Steps

Patients who have already had bariatric surgery and are looking to revise their original procedure do not need to attend a seminar and can call our office directly to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.

The Winthrop Surgical Weight Loss Program offers bariatric surgery to those suffering from obesity in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn and all of New York. Our three dedicated weight loss surgeons and staff provide safe and effective solutions to excess weight and morbid obesity.