Laparoscopic removal of gastric bands is usually a straightforward procedure, often performed as a day case. This is a keyhole procedure, but a bigger incision (4-5cm) is required to remove the lap band port from the abdominal wall. Local anaesthetic is placed in the wounds and the abdominal cavity, so post-operative pain is usually minimal.
Dr Dodd also performs revisional weight loss surgery. This can often be performed at the same time as the lap band removal (for gastric bypass). This is often done if severe reflux or ongoing weight problems exist. Revisional sleeve gastrectomy is usually done as a staged procedure, with the sleeve being done 6 to 12 weeks after removal of the band.
Lap band removal is usually performed on a planned elective basis for patients who are having trouble eating due to the band. Some patients have severe reflux due to failure of the oesophagus/food pipe due to the long-term obstruction created by the band. Some patients present with severe abdominal pain and a ‘slip’ of the stomach up through the band, necessitating urgent removal of the band.
Removal of lap bands is usually a straightforward procedure. If the band is eroded through the stomach wall, or there is a lot of scar tissue around the band, there is a small risk of perforating the stomach during removal. This is repaired at the time, leaving a very small risk of any gut fluid leakage.