Gastric Sleeve Surgery After Failed Lap Band Surgery

Question Below Submitted By:  

Debi (a patient from Monterey, CA)

I had lap band surgery which worked great… I lost over 100 pounds (45 kg). But my band slipped (probably my over-stuffing) and it stopped working.

I then had a 2nd lap band surgery. This time nothing worked, no sensations, no warnings of full feeling, no signals felt at all. My doctor warned that a second surgery is not always as helpful or may not work at all.

Now after a 45+ pound (20+ kg) gain, my surgeon suggested gastric sleeve surgery. Now I am considering it, but I am concerned about the fact it is not reversible. Also, what if I stretch out the small stomach, then what?

I also have nutrient absorption concerns and am worried that my long-term health issues will come back (i.e.: acid reflux, sleep apnea, back problems. knee problems, etc.).

Bariatric Surgery Source

Expert Responses to the Question Above

Thoughts about your concerns

by: Jeff

Hi Debi,

I'm sorry to hear about all you're going through, but it's good to see that you're resolved to fix the problems.

1) "I am concerned about the fact [gastric sleeve surgery] is not reversible."

Unfortunately, lap band surgery is the only relatively easy procedure to reverse.

But if you're committed to using bariatric surgery as a tool for long-term weight loss and health improvement, your mentality should shift to "what other procedures are out there and which is the best for me, taking into account my concerns."

Other than lap band surgery, the 3 most widely accepted procedures are Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and duodenal switch surgery (click the links for a thorough review of each).

On the positive side, gastric sleeve surgery does not "rearrange" your digestive system like gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery.

Instead, it only reduces the size of your stomach.

It also doesn't include placing a foreign object in your body as does the lap band.

Therefore, it's a nice "in between" in terms of what it does to your digestive system.

2) "What if I stretch out the small stomach, then what?"

This is one of the long-term "unknowns" of gastric sleeve surgery, and it is a possibility. Fortunately, there are a few promising non-invasive procedures (no incisions required) for reducing the size of the stomach or stoma (opening between stomach and small intestines).

Click here for the 5 procedures that address weight gain after bariatric surgery.

3) "I also have nutrient absorption concerns and am worried that my long-term health issues will come back." Since gastric sleeve surgery doesn't bypass/remove any of your small intestines, it does not result in as much malabsorption as gastric bypass or duodenal switch.

As a result, it doesn't come with some more problematic malabsorptive side effects like dumping syndrome.

Regarding health issues, the research so far indicates that gastric sleeve surgery has a comparable impact to the other procedures. It may even result in a reduced risk of GERD vs the other procedures.

I hope this helps, and I encourage you to read the Gastric Sleeve Surgery page in its entirety to learn more.

Take care,

Bariatric Surgery Source

DISCLAIMER: The above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It should support, not replace, the relationship between the patient and his/her physician(s).


Patient Responses to the Question Above

switching from band to sleeve

by: Vicky

When deciding what to do about my band and clicking onto this website, I saw your check list of reason's to remove the band.

I checked everyone! So I know I am doing the right thing. My Dr agreed with me. But I did not know much about the procedure and wanted to look into what others have done and what has worked.

Lets face it, unless you have had any procedure done, you honestly can't answer questions about it!

I am excited to have my surgery before the end of 2015!

Lap-band to the sleeve

by: Anonymous

I wanted to get the sleeve two years ago, when I had a revision done, and I'm still having problems with the lap-band, so I want to be able to get the sleeve and have the lap-band taken out, too many hold ups.

Gastric Sleeve SUrgery after failed Lap Band

by: Chris

I have the exact same situation as Debi - my band slipped and I had it repaired and now it doesn't work.

My question is, how likely is it to get insurance to pay for another surgery of this nature?

I certainly could not afford to pay for this procedure out of pocket in it's entirety.


Lap Band to Sleeve

by: Ric Allen

On the 28th of this month I will under go the sleeve after having the band for 2 years and only loosing 15 pounds. Will let you know how this goes. I am mentally ready for this.

How common

by: Tabatha

Does anyone know how common it is to change to the gastric sleeve after a band slip?

I have a consultation with my band surgeon this week to discuss the sleeve, which I am very interested in after a severe slipping of my band. It was so bad that I was to the point of horrible vomiting and reflux every night no matter what position I slept.

Also, does anyone know how is it for insurance purposes? Do they usually understand?

Are there reflux issues with the gastric sleeve? Had band removed because of severe reflux issues.

by: Deniese

I was a gastric band patient for several years. I had reflux periodically with the band and, at one time, had to have the fill completely removed. I later had a very small amount put back in but continued to have occasional reflux issues.

I had to have the band removed about 8 1/2 months ago because the reflux had gotten so bad that I was unable to sleep and at times keep food down. I had to be hospitalized because I had a lung abscess and aspiration pneumonia. The band had slipped and had to be removed.

Since then, I have gained approximately 45 pounds and I can only manage to yo-yo 3 or 4 pounds. Very discouraged.

Would I be a good candidate for the sleeve procedure or would I more than likely have the same issues?

Lap Band and Sleeve

by: Therese

If I have sleeve surgery will the doc remove my lap band first?

Sleeve to lap band

by: Jessica Galindez

I had my gastric sleeve around 2012 and since 2016 I have gane around 50-60 lbs. I want to loose the weight I gained. I was 300 lbs and went down to 125. Now i am again on 180 lbs.
Can I re-do the sleeve or get a lap band or what can I do? Specially because of my high blood pressure.


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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 05/24/2021 ]

* Disclaimers: Content: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Advertising: Bariatric Surgery Source, LLC has entered into referral and advertising arrangements with certain medical practices, original equipment manufacturers, and financial companies under which we receive compensation (in the form of flat fees per qualifying action) when you click on links to our partners and/or submit information. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Read More

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