The outcome of bariatric surgery is generally quite good. However, not all surgeries produce the results that a patient originally anticipated. This experience is common with the more outdated operations, such as stomach stapling (VBG), which is no longer widely used by surgeons. For patients who have had bariatric surgery performed in the past and are unhappy with the results, revisional surgery may be an option.
What is Revisional Bariatric Surgery?
Revisional bariatric surgery is a major operation which can be significantly more difficult than the original surgery. This type of surgery is performed to alter or repair a poorly designed earlier operation. The most common reasons for revisional surgery are medical complications, excessive weight gain since the initial operation, or slow rate of weight loss.
Approximately 10-20% of bariatric surgery patients will undergo a revision. This can happen for a variety of reasons. If the patient had a sleeve gastrectomy, the sleeve may have been made too large, therefore allowing the patient to consume enough food that they won’t lose the amount of weight they hoped to lose. For those with a Lap-Band, the band can have slipped off the stomach. With the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, each surgeon will have a different measurement for how much of the small intestine was bypassed.
Who Qualifies for Revisional Bariatric Surgery?
To be considered for revisional bariatric surgery you must have:
- Regained a substantial amount of the original weight back.
- Experienced poor weight loss in general.
- Complications resulting from the original operation, such as:
- Staple line compromised (as with VBG or Roux-en-Y).
- Stomach band has dilated over time or has broken (as with VBG).
- Persistent vomiting (as with VBG or Roux-en-Y).
- Ulcers (as with Roux-en-Y).
- Slipped band (as with Lap Band).
What if I Don’t Qualify?
An unsuccessful bariatric surgery is not always due to a poorly designed primary operation. Sadly, 50% of patients who haven’t seen success do not have any physical reasons for their weight gain. Instead, they have struggled to maintain their diet and exercise routine which has led to the increased weight gain. Although your stomach was initially made very small during bariatric surgery, our bodies are meant to change and adapt. Therefore, over time, you can still expand the size of your stomach even after surgery which can lead to weight gain. As time goes on, it becomes easier to skip workouts or revert to unhealthy eating habits.
If this is the case, you will be encouraged to speak with an exercise and nutrition specialist to get back on track. If these methods don’t work for you, then we can consider a revisional bariatric surgery.
Explore Your Options With Us
Because revisional bariatric surgery can be a complex operation, it needs to be carefully thought out due to the heightened risks involved. Regardless of the risks, however, revisional surgery can still be a beneficial operation for those individuals who face greater health hazards as a result of their morbid obesity. Our bariatric team will discuss in detail any concerns you might have and help you make the most informed treatment decision possible. Please call us today to schedule your consultation.