Cord from port to lap band entangled her bowel

Question Below Submitted By:  

Jo-Anne Paynter (a patient from Murray Bridge South Australia)

My Mum had lap band surgery in 2006. She had no weight loss success with it.

She had to have the band removed after the plastic tubing from the port to the band tangled around her bowel and caused part of her bowel to die. She had to have the dead part of her bowel removed also.She is sore and sorry for herself and is at present recovering in the hospital.

From the beginning she has told the doctors she could feel food pass through. She kept asking if it was normal but they just fobbed her off. Anyone else have this complication?

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Jo Ann,

Sorry your Mom had to go through the additional surgery for bowel ischemia. I hope she makes a full recovery.

As a bariatric surgeon for the last 12 years, I have learned that nothing is ever 0 or 100 percent in this business. So, when a bariatric patient reports abdominal pain - whether a band, gastric bypass, or sleeve patient - any bariatric surgeon should suspect and/or rule out a surgical catastrophe such as a leak, perforation, internal hernia, or bowel ischemia.

I have not seen the band tubing cause the problem your mother has had, but, again, anything can happen. If a surgeon tells you it can't, you may need to check with another surgeon.

Take care,
Troy LaMar M.D.

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

Related Pages:
- Lap Band Problems & Lap Band Complications
- Lap Band Surgery Failure - 2 Types & How to Avoid Them


Patient Responses to the Question Above

problems with tubing

by: Lynda Wood

I have been having a different kind of problem but I believe the tubing from my band is causing it. I had my band revised last November for totally different problems. The revision surgery cleared all that up. Then about a month later, I started having fainting spells and spasming coming from my abdomen and diaphragm area. This increased over many months and despite numerous trips to the hospital and many tests nothing could be found. My lap band surgeon did not think the band could cause it.

I am now going to a Neurofeedback clinic and they found that my central nervous system is very irritated and any exertion or excitement triggers these spells. My doctor there believes it is damage or pressure on the vagus nerve by the band causing this. I have been on anti-seizure drugs plus Ativan sublingual to calm my central nervous system when a spell starts for months now. At this point, this doctor thinks the band is being rejected by my body and needs to be removed. I can feel discomfort where the tubing is, not the band itself.

I wonder if the tubing has been the cause the whole time. Has anyone else had similar problems?

Never Heard Of This Complication

by: Lap Band Groupie

Jo-Anne, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum's complication.

It is the first time I've heard of a bowel entanglement from the tubing.

I know any bowel obstruction can very quickly get serious and I hope she's recovering well.

I was able to find a few who 'thought' (or their Dr's. thought) they were experiencing some pain due to the tubing rubbing or catching on something internally...adhesions/scar tissue that anyone having abdominal surgery can get can add to this.

After hearing your story, I hope we all would insist upon at least a scan if this is even suspected.I will say that I was surprised to see on my scans how much tubing is left inside us as mine goes way down into my lower abdomen before coming back up to my port site (between my ribs and belly button).

I'm sure there's a reason for it, but I was expecting it to take a more direct route to the port.

I'm not sure exactly what she felt when you say 'food pass through', but with Banding you can often definitely feel food passing through the Band area.

This would be very high on the stomach and nowhere near the bowel though. I'll also mention that Banders tend to get more constipated, especially if they're not getting enough water or fiber, so I've definitely had times where I've felt things passing through my bowel area more.

It's a good lesson for us all to be aware of even the rare complications that can happen and be assertive and an advocate for our own care.

I truly hope your Mum is home soon and that she is able to find another solution, maybe even a different surgery if she decides to in time, for her obesity.

Hugs and best wishes! -LBG

Lap band cord entanglement

by: Laura

I was having multiple symptoms, severe acid reflux, and diffuse abdominal pain that went into my back. After several ER visits and consulting with my surgeon who placed my lap band and a gastroenterologist, I was advised I had erosive esophagitis and gallbladder disease.

It was decided to remove the lap band at the same time as my gallbladder. Surgery was four days ago and but was found that the lap bad cord was wrapped around my bowel. This is post 10 years of placement. Now that it has been removed my symptoms have stopped.

Band recently removed

by: Joelle Salis

I had my band placed 7 1/2 years ago and and lost 127 lbs. I was known to be an unusual case here because not many people have that kind of success being that I did not exercise at all. I have had a lot is symptoms listed above especially the dizzy spells but never thought it could be related.

On February 1st I experienced a bowel obstruction and 2 1/2 feet of my small intestines were almost dead. I was told it had nothing to do with my band but Doctor still removes it because he didn’t want any risk of infection. I feel I don’t know really what happened and if it had anything to do with my band. I guess I will never know 😖

Lapband got entangled in mom intestines.

by: ERucker

Please tell your mom, she is so blessed! I lost my friend to the same thing, she didn't make it in time to the hospital, they couldn't save her.

Preparing to get mine removed in the next few days! Please be thankful that you are ok, I miss my friend a lot!


by: Robin Manley

I am having very similar problems about the seizures and spells and being on anti-seizure medicine. I feel a lot of discomfort and went quite some time without having bowel movements.

I feel that it is the band also and want it removed, what would you suggest for people who don't have insurance. I've heard about a lot of people dying and all of them have had some type of weight loss surgery. I need help.

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