Lap band slippage is one of the most common side effects of a lap band surgery. This occurs when the band slips up or down from its original position around the stomach, causing a laundry list of symptoms or even effecting your weight loss results. If you’re planning to have lap band surgery, or have already had it, you should know the signs of lap band slippage. Knowing what to watch for will help you decide when it’s time to contact your bariatric surgeon.
A lap band slip, can cause a variety of different symptoms that should tip you off that something is not right. You may notice a decrease in appetite, be able to eat more than usual, or you may experience discomfort.
Some other signs that your lap band has slipped include:
Nausea or Vomiting - When the band on your stomach slips, it can be difficult for food to pass through. This may make it feel like there is food trapped in your prolapsed stomach. This sensation can cause your body to want to expel that trapped food, leading to nausea or even vomiting.
Acid Reflux - Experiencing acid reflux is a sign that your stomach acids are coming up through your esophagus. This can lead to heartburn, chest pain, bloating, burping, hiccups that won’t stop, and more.
Eating Changes - If your band slips, you may notice that you’re appetite has shifted. You may also be able to eat more than usual, or you might even have difficulty eating. This will depend on how your band slipped and what position the band ended up in.
Abdominal pain - You may notice some slight pain or discomfort if a lap band slip occurs.
There are steps you can take to try to avoid a lap band slip, including eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, and following the instructions given to you by your doctor. For more ways to prevent a lap band slip, you can read this blog post.
My band slipped, now what?
If your lap band does move out of place, your surgeon will need to make adjustments to get it back to where it should be. If it’s only a mild slip, your surgeon may be able to deflate the band so that it can readjust. However, moderate and severe band slips will typically require reoperation or even band removal.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of what you think could be a lap band slip, you should contact your surgeon right away. Even if you think you’re showing all the signs, only your doctor will be able to tell you for sure.
No patient ever wants to hear that they have to go through another surgery, but if your lap band needs to be removed, a qualified bariatric surgeon can go over other weight loss surgery options with you. There may be another weight loss surgery that will work better for you and will get you the results you want. If you’d like more information about what to do when a lap band slips, you can download the guide below.