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Decision to have Lap-Band Revision

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Good morning guys,

I am now 1 week post-op and I thought this is the right time to create a few post for folks looking to do a revision. There are countless blogs on here about the vsg. But the lap-band revision to sleeve is certainly something else. Please excuse the typos, I wrote this on my iPad.

So...let's start off.

How did I know I needed a revision? And why did I choose the sleeve?
As I'
ve mentioned in many earlier posts, I had successful weight loss with the lap band. At my highest pre-surgery weight in 2008, I was 232. That was a lot of weight for 5'4. My bmi and commorbidities (joint pain, depression, skin problems) qualified me for surgery. Like most people with insurance, I had loops to go through, 6 months supervised diet, psychological testing, etc. I was approved and I had my surgery with a board certified surgeon at New York Methodist Hospital. With my new tool, I really did change my lifestyle. I exercised regularly. I started jogging religiously and went to the gym constantly. As a result, I was able to lose a total of 83lbs. And I was happy I had reached 147lbs. So, I knew restriction worked for me.

Now fast forward to 2014, I found out I was expecting my second child. This was my first pregnancy after wls. I struggled with nausea, bad reflux, and malaise. My doctors were nervous, no fluid was taken out of my band. I vomitted a lot, and I am sure that is how my band slipped. After giving birth to a beautiful healthy baby, I went to see a bariatric surgeon. This is now 2016. He confirmed that I had a mild pouch dilatation. A minor slip. My esophagus had created a small pouch to collect food before it could pass through my band. Anyhow...this explains the constant regurgitation of food. Even food that I once tolerated seemed to sit on my chest. He confirmed what I heard before, at some point, I will have to remove my band. I got my band unfilled.

So I started to see the scale move up again. At one point around the holidays I hit 204lbs. It took me to a very dark place. A place I promised myself I would never return to. It invoked so many feelings of inadequacy. It really sent me in a deep slump. I knew there was just one thing to do and that was remove my band. Some folks would try to get fills again, but for me I knew it was a matter of removing my band. I decided I didn't want to deal with other possible complications, or even possibly an erosion. Or worse death. I also knew, I didn't want and couldn't afford to have 8 fills before reaching my sweet spot. So that is why I decided on the sleeve. I knew that I had done well with a restrictive surgery. Also, as a low bmi or lightweight, I didn't have as much to lose so malabsorption might have been too aggressive for me. I also am not looking into losing a large amount. My pre-revision weight was 198. I am hoping to get back to 147-153lbs. And maybe I'll adjust when I get there, but I don't particularly want to be to too slender. Just not my cup of tea.

How did you decide to go to Mexico? How did you pick your surgeon?
time around I am self pay. I don't have to go through the same loops for insurance. That certainly dictates a lot. I looked into multiple tourism spots. But ultimately decided Mexico had a wealth of information available on Bariatric surgeons. I read through several wls surgery boards for research. Ultimately, I decided I needed a hospital in case of complications and a surgeon who had experience doing revisions. As a revision, there are added risks like scar tissue, and in my case an enlarged esophagus. I wanted a surgeon that was used to doing revisions. And with a peace of mind, I wanted a hospital to be able to closely monitor me. I didn't want to be in a clinic setting. I also didn't want a surgeon that was doing a large number of surgeries in one day. As for picking my surgeon, there were 2 things I needed. I needed a surgeon in Cancun that operated in a hospital and I needed someone with revision experience. When I did my research the number of surgeons in Cancun is very limited. It was between Dr. Verboonen and Dr. Perez. I liked the fact Dr. Verboonen also had a lap-band. It made me feel like he understood the struggle. Did I have moments where I doubted my choice? Certainly, we all do. But even with a couple bad reviews and an old news article. I knew I was making the right choice for my needs.

Well, I hope this helps folks thinking about doing a revision but not sure what foot to put forward. It definitely is a process. I will post a few updates in my recovery, etc.


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  1. Christie13's Avatar
    Congrats on your sleeve. Hope your recovery is going well.
  2. wendymarie62's Avatar
    Belle I really appreciated your post. so informative and I can relate too, I also had success with band until esophagus issues that ultimately led to band removal. thinking I could loose the weight I regained on my own and then the feelings of inadaquancies and self hate when I couldn't lead me to WLA and I have hope again. kelly
  3. Backtobeingme's Avatar
    The exact same thing has now happened to me and I have just had band emptied with surgery possibly in November to remove band and revise to sleev
    So how are you doing now
    All ok I hope