Anyone who has tried will tell you: losing weight is hard. Whether you attempt to lose weight through diet, exercise, pills or bariatric surgery, every weight loss method has obstacles. Seeing your hard work pay off is the ultimate reward, but there’s nothing more frustrating than regaining the weight you’ve worked so hard to lose.
For some patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery, this is the case. Initially patients who have had gastric bypass, successfully lose weight. But, some of those patients eventually begin to regain the weight they’ve lost. While this is a setback in achieving their health and weight loss goals, it doesn’t mean the journey has to end.
Although the addition of an adjustable gastric band to a bypass (often called band over bypass) is still a relatively new procedure, it has been shown to be effective in re-starting weight loss when gastric bypass is no longer the better option for you.
What is Gastric Bypass?
Gastric bypass is one of the most commonly performed bariatric surgeries. For those who qualify, gastric bypass surgery can be life-saving. It’s been shown to improve or resolve many obesity related health conditions such as type II diabetes, sleep apnea and asthma. You may qualify for gastric bypass surgery if you have a BMI of 30 or higher and have one or more obesity-related health problems, such as type II diabetes. Also, if your BMI is 40 or higher, you may qualify even if you do not have a comorbidity.
The surgery itself has two parts:
Restrictive: The stomach is reduced from the size of a football to the size of a golf ball. This is referred to as the gastric pouch. With such a small stomach, people feel full more quickly and end up eating less. This strategy is called "restrictive," since the new stomach size restricts food intake.
Malabsorptive: Food is made to bypass part of the small intestine. This causes less food to be absorbed.
What causes weight regain after gastric bypass?
Some patients who initially lose weight after gastric bypass begin to regain their excess weight after a few years. The reasons for this are varied, but include, dilation or stretching of the gastric pouch. This stretching causes patients to lose that feeling of “fullness” when they eat--leading to weight regain.
The failure rate after gastric bypass surgery for weight loss has been reported between 10 and 20 percent. When this occurs, the lap band over gastric bypass option for weight loss is considered.
Can I have Lap-Band after Gastric Bypass?
For some gastric bypass patients who have experienced weight regain, the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (aka Lap-Band) can help patients begin to lose weight again.
During Lap-Band surgery, a silicone band is wrapped around the upper part of the stomach to limit the amount of food the stomach can hold. The amount of restriction is adjusted by adding or removing saline from the band. The ability to adjust restriction can help patients overcome weight loss plateaus. Lap-Band surgery can also be reversed by removing the band.
The addition of an adjustable gastric band to a gastric bypass, is still a relatively new procedure, but surgical literature and studies have documented its success. Lap-Band surgery has been called a safe and effective revision operation for a failed gastric bypass surgery.
If you’ve already had gastric bypass surgery to lose weight and have experienced weight regain, the band over bypass option could help you overcome this weight loss setback. Contact a bariatric surgery specialist to help you decide.