Lap band flipped or moved after fill

Question Below Submitted By:  

Jean A Larison (a patient from Allentown, PA--USA)

What happens if your band flips or moves after you had a fill & you feel ill?

Originally I was scheduled for gastric bypass. I lost 52 pounds in preparation for the surgery.

I went for the procedure on Oct 5, 2010. When I woke up, the surgeon informed me he was unable to do the surgery as I have mesh and adhesions from four incisional hernias and a hysterectomy.

He would have been able to do the sleeve, but as I am on Medicare, he was not allowed to proceed with the sleeve as Medicare refuses to pay for it. After much thought, I finally decided to go ahead with the gastric band. That was done on March 15, 2011.

I’ve done okay with it but I am not losing steadily. I was in for a check up 3/25/11 & 4/22/11 & was fine. On May 20, I went in and had a 5cc fill and when I went back on 7/22, I had lost weight. I didn’t go back until 10/21 and had a 2cc fill as I had gained some weight.

I had a hard time eating my evening meal, but the 22nd I could barely eat. It took me hours to get 1/2 cup of cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 cup sugarless applesauce down.

Last evening, the 23rd, I noticed the port is not where it was. I have a mark from the needle and now the port is close to an inch from the needle stick. I have horrible heartburn and feel nauseated after I eat anything.

I am thoroughly with this whole thing and I have info that Medicare is considering on paying for the sleeve. If I need to have surgery to place the band again, I think I would rather have it taken out.


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Response to : What happens if your band flips or moves after you have had a fill and you feel ill?

by: Dr. Aceves

Hi Jean,

You do not mention if your fills are being done under fluoro or not. If they are, your doctor can tell you if the band has slipped or not. If they are not done under fluoro I would strongly recommend you have a barium swallow x-ray done to check your band.

If your band has slipped, my recommendation to patients is to have the band totally unfilled and stay on liquids for a couple of weeks. Most of the time this permits the band to move back to the original position.

It may be normal for the port to seem like it has moved. Remember that the mark you are seeing is on the skin and the port is fixed to a muscle; the difference in location is usually related to weight loss and the skin moving from where it was originally. There might be a chance of a port flipping or moving (it is not impossible), but most likely the difference you notice is due to weight loss.

Right after a fill I ask our patients to be extra careful with what they eat. I ask that they stay on liquids initially and then progress to soft foods and then solid food if you feel you can. If you are having a hard time with soft foods after a fill, stay on liquids for a couple of days and then try again. You may not have a problem at all... your fill may just be a bit tight at the moment.

With the band as with all weight loss procedures you need to do your best to prevent vomiting. If your band is too tight and is causing you have a hard time drinking or if you vomit constantly you need to have it unfilled. Vomiting is what can cause your band to slip. You need to slow down and listen to your body!


Dr. Alberto Aceves

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

Dr. Alberto Aceves

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

Lap ban flipped

by: Irma

I was banded on 2008. I went in for a fill today after not having one for over 5 years. The Dr. was able to find the find after SEVERAL stabbings. He unfilled the port and when he tried to refill it, the needle he was using had a leak.

When he tried again, he could not find the band. So now Have a band with no restriction and a flipped port. He also did a barium swallow x-ray and said my band is perfectly placed and just the band is flipped. He wants to do a port revision.

Has anybody had any experience with port revision? HELP!

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