Converting a Lap Bad to a Gastric Sleeve: Is it Possible?

While the reversible lap band procedure offers tremendous help for many people, the reality is this surgery doesn’t prove helpful for all. If complications have arisen following the placement of a lap band or the desired results aren’t achieved, there’s a new option for getting rid of the band without walking away from the benefits bariatric surgery can deliver. Laparoscopic removal of the band followed by a sleeve gastrectomy can provide the symptom relief necessary without losing the weight loss benefits in the process.

Bariatric surgeons are now able to perform removal of the band and conversion to a sleeve gastrectomy in a single procedure. This procedure is involved and does require hospitalization, but it can deliver the long-term results desired without concerns about the potential problems of the gastric band. Since it’s performed with a laparoscope, the need for large incisions is not present and the healing time tends to be a great deal shorter than other options.

During this procedure, a doctor will permanently remove the lap band from the stomach. This can be required due to slipping or side effects, such as continuous heartburn. Once the band is gone, the doctor will begin to perform the sleeve gastrectomy. This permanent weight loss surgery involves a removal of about 75 percent of the stomach. What is left in place is shaped like a banana or sleeve. The procedure also removes the portion of the stomach that produces grehlin, the hormone responsible for making people feel hungry. The end result is a stomach with a much lower holding capacity and a reduced urge to eat.

Lap band surgery can produce amazing results for most people, but this procedure doesn’t always provide the desired long-term effects. If there’s a need to try a different option, a relatively new procedure enables conversion in a single procedure.

If you’re interested in removing your lap band in favor of a sleeve gastrectomy consult with your physician. He or she is best positioned to help you decide if this choice is the best in your particular case.

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