Food stays in my throat and espohagus after lap band surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  


Instead of my food moving down quickly it seems to take forever… it moves down a bit then back up a bit and then down and up many times in my esophagus. It is called “to an fro motion of the esophagus”.

It can do this for hours during which I have food stuck in my throat all the time. Because of this problem, it seems that I’m only able to eat the wrong things (soft high calorie food items like ice cream) and therefore I’m not losing weight. I can hardly eat anything except for the wrong things.

I really wish I had done the bypass.

Is this a reason that a doctor would go back in and remove the band and do the bypass? Would insurance pay for it?

Any other suggestions?


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA , Arcadia , California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi there,

You sound like you are dealing with a dilated esophagus. A well known issue with gastric bands.

You need to see your surgeon first, then likely have an Upper GI to evaluate the position of the band. Sometimes removing all the fluid can allow the esophagus to come back to normal.

Finally, if all ok otherwise, or no weight loss, it's not unreasonable to convert to a sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass.

These are clearly better surgeries for long-term weight loss.

Good luck,

Troy LaMar

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
- Types of Bariatric Surgery - Comparison of the 16 Established & Experimental Weight Loss Surgery Procedures


Patient Responses to the Question Above

Food stuck

by: Anonymous

I noticed this problem after my third fill. Maybe my band is too tight. Next adjustment I'm getting some taken out. Hopefully, that will fix it.

same issue

by: Anonymous

I actually have had the same issue now for the past 2 years and finally today after 3 surgeons I have found the cause. It is because my band was placed above the top portion of my stomach at the bottom part of my esophagus, basically in the wrong area. I would suggest going to your doctor and asking for a endoscopy which is what I had done today :) Good luck and just a fyi, we know our bodies and if you ever feel that something is not right push forward to find out. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Food stuck in your oesophagus

by: Lonicera The Bandit

This is the aspect of having a gastric band about which little is known, for the simple reason that we're all shaped differently.

The band can lie in various ways according to your body shape, AND according to what position you're in.

As you read bandit blogs over the months you begin to notice that each person gets to know their band (or their oesophagus)by trial and error.

I don't know whether you have the wrong shape for a gastric band, but I'd say it's too soon to give up on it, and I'll bet your surgeon would say the same.

You need to log the problems (you think you won't forget, but over time you will, and you need to find out the pattern here) and then talk to your surgeon armed with a practical list of the types of food that are the worst, the lengths of time they lie there, the amount of heartburn they cause, and so on.

I blogged once last year about a bean I coughed up one night which I was able to trace back to having eaten 8 days earlier - and I learned that units of food the size of small beans and sweet corn sometimes miss getting chewed properly, however hard you try, and are best avoided.After 2.5 years I still get stuck, and it's always for the same annoying reason - impatience to satisfy hunger, and therefore not chewing for long enough and taking mouthfulls that are too big.

You need to ask yourself honestly if this is what you're doing.

If the food was staying in your oesophagus for a long time, then it should make you feel full and unable to eat the sliders.Discuss it in detail with your surgeon - and why not let us know how you got on?Lonicera The Bandit Related Pages:- Lap Band Problems & Lap Band Complications- Lap Band Surgery Failure - 2 Types & How to Avoid Them

Have you thought about a sleeve ?

by: Mindy

You may want to think about the sleeve as well . Did your esophagus do this before your surgery ? I am not sure you should have been banded at all ! If your insurance paid for your band it may pay for a revision if you have a medical issue. You might want to call your insurance company and ask.

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