Potential Complications
Surgery always has potential complications
  • This is surgery. Potential surgical complications will be similar to any surgery
  • Vomiting:
    • Also known among those in the banded community as "Pbing" or productive burping, barfing, painful burping, etc. This is called regurgitation and is when the food travels back up your throat.
      • A single episode of regurgitation can be caused by:
        - To large of a bite
        - Swallowing a second bite too soon
        - Eating too fast
        - Not chewing thoroughly
        - Eating too much
      • When regurgitation is frequent or even a daily event:
        - Your band may be too tight
        - You may have a swollen stomach due to food dislodged or repetitive vomiting
      • See your Doctor immediately
  • Reflux:  Acid reflux is different than regurgitation. It is not food that just went down and is returning up. This actually is the acid produced in the stomach, which is burning the lower esophagus. Heartburn is the main symptom, which can be caused by a band that is too tight or swelling of the stomach lining. This condition requires immediate medical attention for treatment as it can evolve into a major complication.
  • No weight loss:

    The band may be  too loose:
    - If you can eat more than a third of your pre-surgical intake of solid foods.

    Your band could be too tight:
    - If you can only eat soft or liquid foods or if solid foods always get stuck
    - You have the right fill level but you are not eating solid food
    - You are consuming only high calorie foods
  • Slippage: This happens to less than 1% of all Bandsters. When the upper pouch of the stomach pulls the lower stomach through the band. This pushes the band down on the stomach. As more stomach is pulled through the band and the band is displaced distally, the band surrounds more stomach until it totally obstructs. This causes varying degrees of intolerance to solids of liquids or even total obstruction, depending on the degree of slippage. All slips require surgical repositioning. This surgery is very straightforward and should not be postponed, recovery tends to be faster and re-slippage is rare.
  • Erosions: This happens to less than less than 1%. Though erosions are very rare, (even rarer than slippages) they do sometimes occur. The Lap Band is an implant and it is subject to natural body reactions, including elimination. Since the Lap Band is considered a foreign body, the body may react to it trying to eliminate it into the stomach. All erosions require surgery for removal and replacement of the band if so decided by you and your doctor. Though not considered a medical emergency, it should be addressed promptly.
  • Port problems: The Lap Band has evolved to a complication free device. Rare port complications include infection (usually skin bacteria in your pores contaminate the wound), seroma, which is a collection of sterile serous fluid, hematoma, which is a collection of blood. Breakage of the port can also occur though the Lap Band device is guaranteed. Natural body movements can also cause it to break. This is very rare and is usually related to a specific event. Port replacement can be done under local anesthetic as an ambulatory procedure. Port leaks are rare and are usually related to the disconnection of the device or a needle stick.
  • Always call your doctor and advise her (with the truth)
  • Any symptom with pain should be considered a medical emergency.
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