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Revisional Bariatric Surgery

Many people have never heard of revisional bariatric surgery before and may not realize they may be an appropriate candidate for it if they are not seeing the results they want from their previous weight loss surgery. Our team at AnMed Health is happy to provide a gastric bypass revisional surgery for eligible candidates—even if they didn't have their original weight loss procedure with us.

What is revisional bariatric surgery?

Revisional bariatric surgery is an operation done to repair or alter a bariatric procedure that was already performed at an earlier point in time.

During the operation, a gastric bypass revision surgeon will assess, correct, or modify a previously existing bariatric procedure in order to help a patient see desired results again. The doctor may choose to use the same type of bariatric procedure that was used before, or they may convert an older bariatric procedure into a different one.

Why would someone need revisional bariatric surgery?

Most people who undergo bariatric surgery can expect to achieve significant and long-lasting results. According to ASMBS, bariatric surgery recipients can lose as much as 77% of their excess body weight within one year after surgery, and on average they will still maintain about 50% of their excess weight loss five years later. Of the patients who require revisional bariatric surgery, most require it because of weight re-gain, unsatisfactory weight loss, or acid reflux.

Some patients end up requiring a revision bariatric procedure simply because the initial weight loss surgery was not the right option for them given individual factors, including BMI.

Take, for example, a sleeve gastrectomy procedure. The best possible outcome for sleeve gastrectomy is the loss of about 65 pounds for every 100 pounds of excess body weight a person has. These are impressive results, but for individuals who go into the initial procedure with a BMI of 50 or greater, they still may end up with a BMI of >35 (morbidly obese) even after they've lost as much weight as they possibly can with the help of the sleeve gastrectomy.

Other potential complications which may require revisional bariatric surgery include:

  • Device malfunctions (e.g., a slipped lap band or the enlargement of a sleeve)
  • Re-expansion or stretching out of the stomach
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Nutritional problems

If someone is experiencing any of the above issues after their bariatric procedure, they may be eligible for a revisional procedure.

Weight gain after bariatric surgery

It's important to realize that some amount of weight gain following bariatric surgery is actually normal—it shouldn't be a reason to feel shameful or frustrated. But weight gain becomes a potential cause for concern when it is significant and a patient is no longer able to control the amount of weight they put back on. In these cases, revisional bariatric surgery may be necessary.

Weight gain after a bariatric procedure may happen as a result of some of the complications listed above, such as stretching out of the stomach (which allows a person to eat more than they first could after their operation). However, it's most likely to occur as a result of patient behaviors. A person may experience major life changes or simply stop maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle habits. A return to their old ways of eating can eventually lead to significant weight regain.

Any significant amount of weight gain following a bariatric procedure will bring with it the return of obesity-related health risks. This is a crucial reason why revisional bariatric surgery can be so important for a patient's long-term health and well-being.

Types of revisional bariatric surgery

Just like there is more than one type of bariatric procedure, there is also more than one type of revisional procedure. Different types of revisional surgeries may be required in different circumstances, which you and your surgeon will be able to discuss thoroughly.

Lap band revision

Research suggests that lap band surgery—in which a surgeon places a small adjustable ring near the top of the stomach to reduce food intake—is the most likely type of bariatric procedure to require revision. This is because lap bands often slip out of place or wear down.

In some cases, a surgeon simply needs to readjust or tighten the band. Sometimes, the band may need to be removed and converted into a gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. If a patient has excessive scar tissue from their initial procedure, the lap band might need to be removed a few weeks or months before the revisional procedure can be performed.

Gastric bypass revision

It's possible for a person's stomach to expand or stretch over time, even after their stomach has been surgically altered to be smaller. In these cases, a surgeon may decide to revise a gastric bypass procedure by bypassing even more of a person's intestinal tissues, or by inserting a lap band around the remaining pouch to help keep the stomach smaller.

Gastric sleeve revision

Up to 30 percent of patients who undergo gastric sleeve gastrectomies develop a condition known as acid reflux, which happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Sometimes, the sleeve may get bigger over time, which allows the stomach to expand and makes it easier for a person to eat more and regain weight. Revising the sleeve gastrectomy or converting it into a gastric bypass can help alleviate acid reflux and promote more effective weight loss.

Gastric bypass revisional surgery risks

Like any medical intervention, a gastric bypass revision comes with some risks. Revision surgeries tend to have a higher risk of complications than first-time procedures, often due to the presence of tissue adhesions and scarring in the abdominal area that developed after the primary surgery. Rare but reported complications include:

  • Gallstones
  • Dumping syndrome (when food dumps too quickly into the small intestine from the stomach)
  • Leaking of digestive fluids and content at connection sites
  • Peritonitis (inflammation of the inner lining of the abdominal cavity)

Any surgical procedure also carries the risk of complications like bleeding, anesthesia reactions, blood clots, and infection. The more experienced and knowledgeable your bariatric revision surgeon is, the greater your chances of a successful outcome.

Success rate of a gastric bypass revisional surgery

Gastric bypass revision surgeries tend to be effective for helping people lose weight, especially when performed by a highly-skilled surgical team. Most patients can still expect to lose between 60 to 80 percent of their excess weight following a revision, especially if they follow their medical team's advice closely. Your exact success rate will depend on factors unique to you and your situation.

How much does gastric bypass revision surgery cost?

Multiple factors must be considered when determining how much gastric bypass revision surgery costs. A patient's insurance may cover their revision procedure if the patient still meets the criteria for any bariatric surgery (BMI greater than 40 or BMI greater than 35 plus a related health condition). Check with your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage options.

Other factors that influence bariatric revisional surgery costs include the patient's overall health status, whether there are any complications, and what type of gastric procedure is being performed. Post-surgery, the amount of time spent recovering in the hospital may also impact the cost.

If you’re considering revisional bariatric surgery, the team at AnMed Health will review all the factors that influence the price of revisional bariatric surgery. They’ll also review your payment options, including insurance and out-of-pocket costs, so you have a full financial picture.

Not everyone qualifies for revisional bariatric surgery

Not everyone is an appropriate candidate for revisional bariatric surgery, so if you're wondering if this type of procedure could be right for you, it's important to speak with your surgeon about your eligibility.

Determining eligibility for revisional bariatric surgery depends on factors such as:

  • The initial type of weight loss surgery
  • Whether there were any complications associated with the initial weight loss surgery
  • Overall health status and other circumstances unique to the individual
  • Causes for weight regain or unsatisfactory weight loss

Patients planning to undergo a revisional bariatric procedure will require a consultation with the surgeon. To prepare for your consultation, be sure to bring important documents with you, such as your insurance card and a complete list of medications, any pre-filled paperwork, all paperwork associated with your initial procedure (this is especially important if your bariatric revision surgeon is different than the surgeon who did your initial procedure), and any recent studies or reports including blood work and endoscopy results.

In many cases, revisional bariatric surgeons will also request a secondary psychological and nutritional assessment.

Preparing for gastric bypass revision surgery

When preparing for a gastric bypass revision surgery, your bariatric revision surgeon and other members of your medical team will meet with you to provide detailed instructions. You'll likely be advised to:

  • Obtain any pre-surgical tests, like X-rays, bloodwork, and/or a physical exam where your team can review your medical history, medication list, and allergies.
  • Keep up a healthy lifestyle. Practice habits such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and being smoke-free. All of these lifestyle habits will be necessary for your long-term success after your revision surgery—so it's a good idea to dial down the habit before your procedure!

On the day before your surgery, your surgery team will ask you to refrain from eating or drinking. This helps reduce the risk of surgical complications. If you take any medications, your surgical team will also let you know whether you should continue taking or stop taking your medications.

Recovering from gastric bypass revision surgery

Patients will usually need to stay in the hospital for a few days after undergoing their gastric bypass revision surgery. They may be hospitalized a bit longer than they were after their first weight loss surgery, simply because revision surgeries can be a bit more difficult.

Recovery may take a bit longer than the first bariatric procedure, too, although individual experiences vary. Many surgeons recommend that their patients meet with a physical therapist after surgery to help them minimize pain, gain strength, and learn how to move more safely and comfortably as they heal.

Results of revisional bariatric surgery

Overall, the results of revisional bariatric surgeries are positive. Patients find relief from their acid reflux, start to see significant weight loss, and begin to reduce their risk of obesity-related health problems. While patients may not lose as much weight as they could have lost in a successful initial procedure, they still can expect to lose about 60 to 65 pounds per 100 pounds of excess body fat.

Life after revisional bariatric surgery

Life after revisional bariatric surgery can be full, satisfying, and rewarding. To ensure your revisional surgery is successful, it's important that you commit to your new healthy lifestyle habits of diet and exercise. These are essential for helping you achieve your desired weight loss and keeping it off for the long-term.

Lastly, remember that anyone who undergoes weight loss surgery is at risk for malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Following your medical team's instructions and taking any additional supplements as directed can help lower your risk of malnutrition after a bariatric or revisional bariatric surgery.

Revisional bariatric surgery at AnMed Health

If you've been looking for the best gastric bypass revisional surgery in Anderson SC, we invite you to contact AnMed Health. We'll always take the time to make sure you feel well-prepared for any upcoming procedure and are here to support you every step of the way throughout your recovery period.

At AnMed Health, we have an experienced gastric bypass revision surgeon team who utilizes best-practice techniques and technologies to ensure our patients are as safe and satisfied as possible. If you live in upstate South Carolina or Northeast Georgia and are looking for the premier type of revisional bariatric surgery Anderson, SC can offer, contact AnMed Health today to schedule a consultation.