Gastric Band Removal

Beltre Bariatrics is committed to being your trusted partner in weight loss and bariatric procedures in Maitland and Orlando, FL. While we offer a comprehensive range of surgical weight loss solutions, we firmly believe in providing the safest and most effective treatments for our patients. That’s why we no longer perform the gastric band procedure, and we’d like to shed some light on the reasons behind this decision.

Over time, it has become evident that the adjustable gastric band (commonly known as the gastric band or Lap band) comes with certain disadvantages and complications that can hinder long-term weight loss success. In line with leading bariatric organizations, such as the ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery), we have chosen to focus on procedures that deliver better outcomes for our patients.

Remember, positive change begins with you. Let us help you reclaim your life today!

What is a Gastric Band?

The adjustable gastric band is a restrictive weight loss surgery that involves placing a silicone band around the upper part of the stomach, creating a small pouch. This limits the amount of food the stomach can hold, leading to a feeling of fullness with smaller portions.

The Decline of Gastric Band Surgery

Once considered a leading choice for bariatric procedures in the United States, the gastric band has witnessed a significant decline in popularity globally, including within the United States. The reasons for this decline are primarily associated with its limited effectiveness in achieving weight loss, the likelihood of weight regain, and a notable increase in long-term complications.

In the present day, gastric band procedures constitute less than 1% of all bariatric surgeries performed in the United States, and this percentage continues to decrease annually. According to data from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), gastric band surgeries accounted for approximately 35.4% of all bariatric procedures in 2011. However, this figure plummeted to 5.6% in 2015, followed by further declines to 2.7% in 2017, 0.92% in 2019, and merely 0.42% in 2021. These trends highlight the widespread shift away from gastric band surgery in favor of more effective and safer alternatives.

Complications & Disadvantages Associated With Gastric Band

Despite its initial popularity, lap band surgery has shown several disadvantages and complications over the years, including:

  • Inadequate Weight Loss Results: Many patients have experienced limited weight loss with the gastric band, leading to dissatisfaction with the procedure’s results.
  • Band-related Complications: Band erosion or band slippage can occur when the band slips out of position or erodes into the stomach, causing discomfort and requiring additional surgical interventions.
  • Food intolerance: Patients may face difficulty swallowing, severe nausea, and Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Lap Band Revision UCLA Go to Source frequent vomiting episodes, impacting daily life.
  • Esophageal Dilation: Gastric Band’s restriction may lead to food getting stuck in the esophagus, causing long-term esophageal dilation risks.
  • Reflux and Heartburn: The gastric band may cause severe Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Gastric Band Surgery (LAP-Band) Cleveland Clinic Go to Source acid reflux , vomiting, and heartburn, negatively impacting the patient’s quality of life.
  • Frequent Adjustments: Frequent adjustments (fills) can be inconvenient for patients, requiring office visits to add or remove saline solution through a stomach port, altering the band’s grip around the stomach.

Indications For Gastric Band Removal

Gastric band removal may be recommended for patients who experience:

  • Unsatisfactory weight loss or weight regain after the initial procedure.
  • Band-related complications or discomfort.
  • Difficulty adhering to dietary restrictions imposed by the gastric band.

Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band Removal

At Beltre Bariatrics, Dr. Wiljon W. Beltre performs laparoscopic gastric band removal, a minimally invasive procedure that involves making small incisions to remove the band safely and efficiently.

How Gastric Band Removal Surgery Works

In an outpatient laparoscopic gastric band removal procedure, the patient will receive general anesthesia to ensure a comfortable and pain-free experience during the procedure. Then Dr. Beltre will make small incisions, and insert the laparoscopic instruments. He will then carefully cut the scar tissue around the band and proceed to cut the tubing and band itself. The band is then gently pulled out from around the stomach.

During the initial gastric band surgery, the upper part of the stomach is often sutured to the part above the band to prevent migration. It is crucial to remove these sutures to restore the stomach’s original anatomy, simplifying any future revision surgery. Additionally, incisions or removal of the perigastric capsule, the dense scar tissue around the upper part of the stomach or esophagus, can reduce the risk of post-surgery obstruction. Finally, Dr. Beltre will remove the subcutaneous port, completing the gastric band removal procedure.

Gastric Band Conversion to Gastric Bypass or Sleeve Gastrectomy

For patients who wish to continue their weight loss journey, we offer the option of converting their gastric band into a gastric sleeve or gastric bypass procedure.

Advantages of Conversion to Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve

  • Significant Weight Loss: Both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures have shown to achieve substantial and sustained weight loss.
  • Improved Health: These procedures can lead to improvements in obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • No Foreign Device: Unlike the gastric band, the converted procedures involve no foreign devices, reducing the risk of related complications.

FAQs About Gastric Band Removal

Why might I need to have my gastric band removed?

Gastric band removal may be recommended if you experience unsatisfactory weight loss, weight regain, or encounter complications related to the band.

Is gastric band removal a safe procedure?

Yes, gastric band removal is generally considered safe, especially when performed by experienced bariatric surgeons. At Beltre Bariatrics, we utilize laparoscopic techniques to minimize risks and ensure a smooth recovery process.

What is the recovery period like after gastric band removal?

The recovery period varies from person to person but is typically shorter than the initial gastric band surgery. Most patients can resume regular activities within a week, though Dr. Beltre will provide specific post-operative instructions tailored to your needs.

Will I regain the weight after gastric band removal?

Weight regain after gastric band removal is possible, but it depends on several factors, including lifestyle choices and commitment to a healthy diet and exercise routine. To achieve long-term weight loss success, consider discussing alternative weight loss procedures, such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass, with Dr. Beltre.

Can my gastric band be converted to another weight loss procedure?

Yes, many patients choose to convert their gastric band to a more effective weight loss procedure, such as gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. Dr. Beltre can evaluate your individual case and recommend the most suitable conversion option.

What are the potential risks of gastric band removal?

As with any surgical procedure, gastric band removal carries some Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source The fate of laparoscopic adjustable gastric band removal Canadian Journal of Surgery Go to Source risks , such as infection, bleeding, or injury to surrounding tissues. However, choosing a skilled and experienced bariatric surgeon like Dr. Beltre significantly reduces these risks.

Will I experience any discomfort during the gastric band removal procedure?

Gastric band removal is performed under general anesthesia, ensuring you are comfortable and pain-free throughout the surgery. After the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort or soreness, which can be managed with prescribed pain medication.

Can I undergo gastric band removal if I have other health conditions?

Your eligibility for gastric band removal will depend on your overall health and medical history. During the preoperative evaluation, Dr. Beltre will assess any existing health conditions and recommend the best course of action.

How long does the gastric band removal surgery take?

The duration of the gastric band removal procedure varies, but it generally takes around 30 minutes to one hour. Laparoscopic techniques enable quicker surgery and reduce recovery time.

Is gastric band removal covered by insurance?

Insurance coverage for gastric band removal may vary based on your specific insurance plan and medical necessity. Our team at Beltre Bariatrics can assist you in understanding your insurance coverage and provide guidance throughout the process.

Schedule A Consultation

Ready to take the next step toward a healthier and happier life? Schedule a personalized consultation for Lap band removal with Dr. Beltre today. Discover the most suitable weight loss solution for your unique needs and embark on your transformative journey with Beltre Bariatrics. Contact us now at 407-309-9504 or fill out the form to book your consultation.

Significant weight loss is not easy, but with the help of with our confidential consultation and education process, the surgical skill and experience of our medical team, and the advice and guidance of our ongoing support network, we can help you achieve the lasting weight loss success you have been dreaming about.

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DISCLAIMER: Metabolic surgery involves a lifetime commitment to significant lifestyle changes, and is not for everyone.  Individual results differ depending on each patient’s medical history and willingness and ability to adhere to the weight loss program specified by Dr. Beltre.  As with all surgical procedures, all forms of metabolic surgery carry the risk of complications and side effects; additional details about potential complications, side effects, and other risks will be provided to you by Dr. Beltre during your pre-surgical consultations.

1 ASMBS. Estimate of Bariatric Surgery Numbers, 2011-2021. Available: Accessed July 24, 2023.

2 UCLA. Lap Band Revision. Available: Accessed July 24, 2023.

3 Cleveland Clinic. Gastric Band Surgery (LAP-Band). Available:–band-surgery. Accessed July 24, 2023.

4 Canadian Journal of Surgery. The fate of laparoscopic adjustable gastric band removal. Available: Accessed July 24, 2023.

The doctors at Beltre Bariatrics Center for Metabolic & Obesity Surgery have reviewed and approved this content.

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