Published on December 18, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Bariatric Revision Surgery

Bariatric revision surgery is a surgical option for individuals who have had recurrent weight regain or other issues with their initial bariatric procedure. This surgery is designed to fix problems like malnutrition, excessive hunger, and difficulty swallowing. These weight loss techniques lessen hunger and the absorption of calories by cutting the size of the stomach pouch and bypassing a section of the small intestine. This can help patients achieve significant weight loss and improve their health.

What is Bariatric Revision Surgery?

Many still need clarification and need to learn what is bariatric revision surgery. Bariatric revision surgery is a weight loss procedure that helps patients who have had complications or have not lost enough weight after undergoing bariatric surgery. The surgery involves altering or repairing a previous bariatric weight loss procedure such as a gastric bypass, Lap Band, or sleeve gastrectomy. The human body has a remarkable ability to adapt and adjust. This is why so many people who undergo bariatric surgery experience significant weight loss in the months following their operation. But sometimes, this weight loss slows down or even stops altogether. The most common reason for this is that the stomach pouch can stretch over time, leading to a loss of effectiveness.

What are the Benefits of Bariatric Revision Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a tried-and-true, safe method for patients with morbid obesity to lose weight and achieve long-term success. Patients who have had previous forms of bariatric surgery and experience complications or fail to reach their weight loss goals may benefit from revision surgery. This is often done to address issues with the stomach pouch stretching, adherence to dietary restrictions, and medical problems related to the initial procedure. Depending on the issue, there are various ways to perform revision surgery, but it is typically done laparoscopically. Adjustable gastric band revision surgery, for example, usually takes about 2.5 hours to perform. Staple repair on sleeve or bypass surgeries typically take 30-60 minutes to complete.

How Does Bariatric Revision Surgery Work?

Revision weight loss surgery is an endoscopic procedure to fix problems caused by or associated with your previous bariatric surgery. This surgery can also be used to improve other health conditions you may have, such as obstructive sleep apnea and fatty liver disease. During follow-up appointments, the surgeon who performed your original weight loss surgery will work with you to see how you are doing. If they notice that you are not losing as much weight as they had hoped, they may suspect that the size of your stomach pouch has changed and conduct x-rays to confirm. Your doctor will use an endoscope fed down your throat to reduce the size of your stomach pouch surgically. This will speed up your weight loss and treat any underlying medical issues that result from your obesity. While some revision surgeries need a larger incision, most are done laparoscopically.

How Much Does Bariatric Revision Surgery Cost?

If you have regained significant weight after your initial bariatric surgery or developed medical complications, revisional surgery can help. This procedure can correct various issues, such as a gastric band slippage or a stomach ulcer.

The cost of your bariatric revision surgery depends on the procedure needed to address the problem. If you need to have your sleeve gastrectomy converted to a bypass or duodenal switch, the costs will be significantly higher than for a simple conversion to a lap band. If bariatric revision surgery is required to sustain long-term weight loss or improve health-related issues, insurance companies will typically pay for it. They will address any concerns you may have about the price of your surgery during your consultation.

What are the Risks of Bariatric Revision Surgery?

Bariatric revision surgery redoes or converts a patient’s original weight loss procedure to achieve better outcomes. This surgery is typically required for patients who experience complications or inadequate weight loss following their initial bariatric procedure. Many patients who have gastric bypass or RYGB experience their stomach pouch stretching out over time, making it harder to lose weight. During revision surgery, we can tighten the connection between your pouch and small intestines (called the stoma), helping you lose more weight safely. Some patients with an adjustable gastric band develop problems with their port, which adjusts the amount of fluid in the band. This can lead to irritation of the lining of the stomach and difficulty eating, so they may need to obliterate the band.

How Can Bariatric Revision Surgery Help Me?

If you’ve had a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy and have not met your weight loss goals, it may be time for bariatric revision surgery. These procedures can help improve several weight-related health issues, including diabetes and obstructive sleep apnea. Revision weight loss surgery can also be an option for those who have experienced complications following their original procedure. For example, if you have acid reflux that cannot be controlled with diet changes or over-the-counter medications like Prilosec, a revision procedure can help reduce the size of your stomach pouch to limit how much food you can eat.

Revision surgeries typically involve a shorter recovery period than the initial procedure. In most cases, surgeons use laparoscopes that require fewer incisions for a quicker and less painful recovery.

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