My Gastric Band Tube Detached from My Band: Am I In Danger?

Question Below Submitted By:  

Dumplinxx (a patient from Cardiff, Wales UK)

I had my band fitted March 2011 in Kent, I received excellent care during the procedure and following the procedure the surgeon arranged for me to have my aftercare in Wales, as this is closer to my home.

I have probably been one of the lucky ones, (looking at various forums etc), and I have lost approx 40kg.

Adjusting my life and habits to live comfortably with the band has been interesting and I have enjoyed the changes it has enforced, I have had absolutely no problems, during the last three years apart from one hospital admission due to dehydration, as my band was a little too tight, this was rectified, and life has been good.

Late last October whilst on holiday, I noticed I was able to eat considerably more food than normal, I wasn’t concerned as sometimes you can with the band! However this has continued ever since.

I have paid for an additional consultation, which has assured me it is not anything untoward as I have no other symptoms apart from having no band restriction, advising band fill.

I have paid for a fill under x-ray this week, during the procedure, I was told the band was completely empty, when fluid was injected in the port I could feel it going under the left side of my rib cage!

On closer inspection using barium and dye etc, I was told whilst the port was anchored down really well, the tubing has detached from the actual band, and was shown this on the MRI imaging picture, I was told this is quite rare.

I am as you can imagine gaining weight, although I am still eating less than I was before, my fat cells seem to be reinflating at a super speed rate!

I am concerned as to how this has happened, I do not know if it is harmful for me. I no longer have an aftercare package, who would be liable for replacing or repairing? I would appreciate any advice, I am looking for a solicitor to advise me also.

I am not relishing the idea of further surgery, but I would rather a replacement than a repair, as I’m not sure a patch up will suffice for the long term.

I am a divorced mum, and although I work full time with young children, I saved and choose to pay for this life changing surgery, as I knew I needed help before any health complications started to creep in due to being overweight, I am now not in a position to pay for further surgery, is anyone liable as I was advised the band was for life?

I’m still reeling a bit from the news and I would appreciate any advice from you, I feel I am at risk.

Thank you,


Expert Responses to the Question Above

Surgeon response to "My Gastric Band Tube Detached from My Band: Am I In Danger?"

by: John Rabkin, M.D., Pacific Laparoscopy


I am sorry to hear of the technical complication that you are experiencing with your adjustable gastric band (AGB), particularly after the extraordinary effort that you put in to having it implanted and the wonderful inital benefits that you experienced from its placement!

In my experience it is very unusual to have the catheter uncouple from the port as you describe. However, from a medical perspective, this malfunction is unlikely to cause direct harm to you and doesn't require explantation of the device although unfortunately you won't derive any benefit from having it in your body any longer.

The injected saline and contrast dye which went into your subcutaneous space is not harmful unless you were to develop an infection as a consequence which appears unlikely at this late date after the injections. Furthermore, there is little concern that the detached catheter would be harmful.

From a financial/legal perspective as to how to rectify the device malfunction, I have little to recommend to you aside from contacting your implanting surgeon (in addition to the solicitor you mention) if you haven't already done so; he/she and/or the institution in which you had the AGB implanted may be willing to work with you and your limited financial resources to fix the device which may not require a complete replacement.

If the end of the catheter is still outside of your abdominal cavity and is still in the abdominal wall, a repair may only require a local procedure to replace the port and reattach the catheter. However, if the catheter is completely inside your abdominal cavity, a more extensive procedure including a general anesthetic would be required. In either case your surgeon/implanting institution may provide you with some financial 'relief'.

John Rabkin, M.D.
Pacific Laparoscopy

(click here for Dr. Rabkin'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
- Lap Band Removal: Complete Patient Guide
- Lap Band Revision Surgery Options

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