Renee1003

Lap Band Removed NOW being Sleeved 15 months later - Scar Tissue is a real concern

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I posted this as a comment on a thread that is very similar but now I'm posting as a topic --- I really need to speak to some people that have shared anything like this.....

My Story --- I was 41 years old and had gained so much weight from 1999-2010 that I decided I needed more help than just weight watchers for several reasons...one being my super slow metabolism - I  had the lap band in 2011 -- never found that sweet spot - sometimes i was able to eat soup and a few small bites of other foods and sometimes I could not even keep water down -- i was pricked in the port of my abdomen like a pin in a pin cushion, just WAY TOO MANY times!!!   - it slipped in 2013 and my doctor said that it's ok - lots of people can live with a slipped band --- not cool !!!  in 2015 i finally went to another bariatric surgeon and he said that the tissue in the stomach could be necrotic and is absolutely not ok to live with a slipped band.   He took the band out and he took my gallbladder as well --- I was very unhealthy and pretty much always dehydrated but i had lost about 60 pounds prior to LB removal --- gained 55 pounds back in one year.  And i didn't gain that 50 pounds by eating anything I wanted, I was watching and logging and exercising but my body had starved for so long, it was not willing to give up any weight....I just kept gaining.  I work in a position that puts me in the public and i found that I no longer wanted to do that, didn't want to go out anymore or take pics and my depression was real.   Finally in June 2016 (almost a year after the removal of the LB) I decided that I want to go with the  sleeve. I'm scheduled for November 17th (2016) and I'm thrilled but scared.  I've had multiple surgeries on my abdomen and the scar tissue is no joke --- I know that most people have issues with lap band removal and VSG on the same day but by the time I have surgery in november, i will be 15 months out from the removal surgery ----- Does anyone know what will happen if there is too much scar tissue?  Do they cut that out ? I know this is a question for the doc and a question that even he may not be able to answer until he goes in laproscopicly  and is a bypass something he may do if the sleeve isn't an option (bypass is something I'm really afraid of) ---- but anyone having similar stories, please share....   This is my main concern at this time.   I'm also afraid of failing again - or is it that the band failed ME....?     

MrsBrewher likes this

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Why are you afraid of the bypass?  I had the revision from band to bypass the same day exactly 1 month ago and couldn't be happier!  It feels more natural.  I no longer have "Stuck" episodes.  I can eat eggs, chicken and lettuce...and this is being just on soft foods.  I couldn't eat any of these things with the band in.  The band caused shoulder pain any time I had gas...it was horrible. The band caused sliming, and would make my esophagus so irritated I couldn't swallow my own spit.  When I went in after the umpteenth fill after an unfill, and couldn't swallow, they told me I needed a revision.  I had originally leaned toward the sleeve, but after research changed my mind and went for the bypass.  I have PCOS, reflux and insulin resistance.  The bypass is supposed to relieve these symptoms.  The first thing I noticed after surgery was the shoulder pain was gone!  I can swallow small pills without having to crush them.  I can eat without the constant stuck face.  And the best part is I am down over 30 pounds in one month.  The weight loss is faster, and it just feels better.  The only thing you need to keep up on is vitamins...and I have no problem doing that.  I feel great right now!  No more constant hunger, no more jitters or fog brain.  When I eat, I get pleasantly full quickly, and know when to stop...with the band it was a crap shoot.  Leaks can be more of a danger with a revision...more so with the sleeve because of the long staple line and where your scar tissue is with the band.  Not saying not to go for the sleeve, but be aware of these things...some surgeons prefer the bypass after a band for this reason.  It will all depend on how it looks when they go in.  I was kept in the hospital for 4 days just to make sure there were no leaks...I was fine!  All I can say is do your research...look at success rates after revisions like ours, and figure out which one your gut says to go with.  The band failed us...not the other way around...I know that now after feeling what it is like to have a different surgery...the band was hell.  The bypass feels so much better!  (The first couple weeks is a bit painful...but I swear the band was worse recovery wise).  I mean, I can lay on my stomach without wincing because of that damn port...lol!  I went in scared to death...but I'm starting to think it is the best thing I have done.  

Edited by MrsBrewher
Madhouse likes this

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On 24/09/2016 at 3:01 AM, Renee1003 said:

 Does anyone know what will happen if there is too much scar tissue?  Do they cut that out ? I know this is a question for the doc and a question that even he may not be able to answer until he goes in laproscopicly  and is a bypass something he may do if the sleeve isn't an option (bypass is something I'm really afraid of) ---- but anyone having similar stories, please share....   This is my main concern at this time.   I'm also afraid of failing again - or is it that the band failed ME....?     

You're right in that this is really a question for your surgeon. I'm currently going through the process where my surgeon is trying to determine the best way forward for my issues. Last I heard all my testing, scans etc were being taken to a surgical team meeting after my last endoscopy showed impenetrable scar tissue on the right side of my stomach just 1 inch below the LES. My previous surgery was Gastroplasty, not unlike the band other than a staple line. The scarring on the right side of the stomach rules out VSG in my case. Gastric bypass is currently my only option , and even then that could still be ruled out. Scarring can be cut out but again that depends on where it is, and how extensive it is. That was initially one of the options I was given, but after the latest endoscopy that was ruled out because the scarring is considered too close to the LES. Another issue for your surgeon is the amount of adhesions you have abdominally. The surgeon won't know this until they can get inside you for a look either at the time of surgery or prior if they do an exploratory laproscopic exam. These adhesions can deter them from doing a bypass because they need the shortened intestine to reach the new pouch. This is possibly one of the reasons why there is a tendency for surgeon's to show favour towards the VSG after lap and as they don't need to play around with the intestine at all. Unfortunately you just have to wait and see what your surgical team have to say about your individual case based on your current anatomy. Revisions are a very different beast to your standard WLS. Even moreso when problems from previous surgeries have been mismanaged for a long time allowing scar tissues to get out of control. Don't be surprised if this time around your surgeon wants more extensive testing than you went through before your lap band surgery. It is really just a sign that they are taking your case as the more complicated surgery that it really is second time around.

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Renee,

I've had several abdominal surgeries.  2 c-sections prior to my RNY and 3 afterwards.

I have dealt with abdominal adhesions and until your surgeon is looking inside your abdomen, there is no way of knowing whether s/he can continue laparoscopically or whether they will have to convert to an open procedure.

My RNY (plus a hernia repair) was successfully done laparoscopically.  Just over a year later, I had abdominal surgery which was started laparoscopically but converted to open to remove a non-malignant omental mass.  A couple of years later, I had a bilateral femoral hernia repair which were started laparoscopically but converted to open because of adhesions.

Fast forward to almost 2 years ago, I had an umbilical hernia mesh removed.  That was successfully removed laparoscopically.

Fact is, you have zero control of what happens in that operating theater.  You just have to have faith in your surgeon.  There's no doubt about it - generally, open abdominal surgeries are more uncomfortable than laparoscopic ones but for me, if I had to do it all again tomorrow, I'd be there in a heartbeat.  

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