If you are a patient who has had a Lap Band or another banding procedure, but who has not been entirely happy with the results, you should know that Michael Feiz, M.D, F.A.C.S. has had a great deal of success with procedures that convert Lap Bands to Sleeves.
A banding procedure is a reversible procedure in which a large portion of the stomach is tied off with a plastic banding device, which typically must be adjusted a number of times after the initial procedure. The result is that the available area of the stomach is a great deal smaller, which makes overeating uncomfortable and reduces the appetite.
A sleeve gastrectomy takes a more direct route and permanently removes approximately 75%-85% of the stomach. While it may seem more radical than a Lap Band, it is a still regarded as a minimally invasive procedure and, unlike the older gastric bypass procedure, it preserves the essential functions of the stomach. Patients who have the procedure are often able to eat most of the same foods they ate previously – though, obviously, in much smaller portions.
Perhaps more importantly, the sleeve gastrectomy also offers a number of important added benefits. This is due to the fact that the portion of the stomach removed in the procedure is largely responsible for the production of ghrelin. This hormone is what goes to the brain and often causes feelings of hunger and appetite that make long-term weight loss all but unachievable for so many obese women and men. The result is that losing weight, and keeping it off over the long term, becomes dramatically less difficult.
The decision to convert Lap Band to sleeve should be done only in concert with an experienced bariatric surgeon. Dr. Feiz has performed this revisional bariatric procedure many times, and can help you determine the best course of action to take.