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A June 4th article over at the website Everyday Health outlined five different strategies that bariatric patients could employ to make sure that they do not regain some of the weight that they lost in the months after bariatric surgery. The article points out that “50 percent of patients regain 5 percent of their body weight within 2 years of undergoing the procedure.” It also recommends a combination of support from others, adopting a new relationship with food, and an emphasis on fitness as steps to keep these pounds from coming back. Although these tips are certainly correct, at BHP we believe that some patients who are having a particularly hard time with their Lap Band could potentially benefit from further surgery, particularly if they have regained a significant amount of weight.

Of course non-surgical options are always the ideal, but certain factors can make a bariatric revision surgery the best – and often the only truly realistic – choice that a patient has when seeking to achieve their weight loss goals. One of the reasons why there are several different types of bariatric procedure performed in the United States is that no single procedure is best for every patient. Because the Lap Band procedure has the lowest risk of life-threatening complication, many patients often decide to have the Lap Band put in before truly considering other options. While many patients achieve the results that they want with the Lap Band, there are two main reasons why a patient might want to have the Lap Band removed in favor of a gastric sleeve.

One reason why people switch is simply because they are unable to adapt to the new relationship with food that the Lap Band necessitates. If people keep eating at their former levels, they will often feel pain as the stomach tries to expand beyond what the band allows it to. Others find that, while the band limits how much they can eat, it does little to reduce nagging cravings which can sabotage their efforts. The sleeve gastrectomy, on the other hand, is shown to have hormonal benefits that help with these cravings.

The other reason some patients opt for a revision is that they experience band slippage from a band that is too loose, or erosion into the stomach if the band is too tight. Lap Band patients require regular doctor’s visits to have the band adjusted. BHP explains that the sleeve gastrectomy does not involve implanting any foreign objects into the body, so these regular adjustment appointments are not necessary. Yet, aftercare is an incredibly important part of any procedure, and that a good surgeon will always encourage communication and post-operative check-ups to ensure that the procedure is a success.

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