Esophageal Dilation

on 11/2/17 1:45 pm
Lap Band on 03/22/12

I was recently diagnosed with a very enlarged esophagus. After over a year of relentless reflux, a steady weight, and minimal to no relief with conservative unfilled (2 unfilled @ 0.25 cc each) my doc decided to do an EGD. After this showed a normal band I had an upper GI. The upper GI revealed an extremely tight band, the contrast barely trickled through. Also, my esophagus was about 5x the normal size.

Essentially, all this time of not feeling full and then just vomiting was because my esophagus has been acting as a stomach. Long story short I had 5cc total in my band. 2.5 cc was removed to leave me with 2.5cc. I will repeat the upper GI in 3 months and hopefully my esophagus goes back to normal.

Has anyone else experienced this? How was your outcome? I'm worried sick that I have permanently damaged my body. Long term consequences of this could mean being dependent on a feeding tube.

Thanks in advance and I appreciate any feedback or thoughts!

on 11/3/17 9:52 pm

You are not alone! It is a very common occurrence from what I was told by doctors. I had my band put in back in 08. I finally got through with my provincial insurance (I would have had to pay $15k to get it done privately otherwise) and had a revision to RNY on September 29th.

I had all of my fluid removed after it swelled to the point that I couldn't pass water. This allowed liquids but I still struggled with food and acid reflux for the remaining years. I was on the max for pantalox that the doctors would prescribe just to not cough up acid every time I laid down.

The good news is that I am recovering well post revision. My bad was crazy encapsulated and they removed the port via open cut. I am still sore in those areas 5 weeks after but it is getting better every day. I am following the post op diet to a T and I have had no problems introducing food. It is amazing to be able to have a few bites and not have to run to the washroom to bring everything up!

Long story short: get the band out! The Ontario government has found that the band (only available through private clinics and no longer really available in Ontario) are costing the system approximately $100,000/patient in ER and hospital visits to deal with the complications until they are ultimately removed. I should add that our fees are nothing like the fees in the States so this is substantial. I really wish they were band (no pun intended) and that people would not have to go through these complications.

Lap Band - 07/08 (not filled long) Referral OBN 04/16, Orientation 09/16, Nutrition Workshop 4/7/17, Nurse 4/24/17, Psych 5/15/17, Dietician 5/24/17, Internist 6/13/17 Consent 7/10/17 Surgery 9/29/2017

HW 4/17: 267 Opti Start 9/16/17: 254 Surgery 9/29: 240.8 M1:-18 M2:-14 M3:-9 M4:-5 M5:-6

on 11/5/17 8:34 pm

megaesophagus is very very common with the gastric band. I would suggest removing your band or at least emptying your band completely. And I am shocked your surgeon didn't do that. With a band in place and with any fill in place, the chances of your esophagus going back to normal are slim to none, even when the band is removed (as in my case 8 years ago) the esophagus may not go back to normal (mine never did, I have permanent, irreversible damage caused by the band)

I developed well documented severe late complications of the LAP-BAND®including:

dysphagia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, vomiting, anterior and posterior hiatal hernia, anterior band slip, severe esophageal dysmotility, poor primary peristaltic wave, severe esophageal dilation, gastroesophageal erosion, gastric antral erosion, significant adhesions, etc.
These were confirmed by fluoroscopy, endoscopy and operative reports.

If you have a specific question for me, PM me or I will not see it, as I don't check responses on the forums and don't have anything forwarded to my email.

on 11/5/17 9:48 pm
Lap Band on 03/22/12

Thanks guys... glad I'm not alone! So 2 days later while at work (I'm a RN in a hospital) I had sever esophageal spasms. My surgeon ended up coming in at 2 am and removed another 2 cc, leaving me with 0.5. He did not want to leave the band empty for risk of erosion. I have a follow up next week with him and am going to be adamant about wanting this band out. He is still hopeful because the band was perfectly intact on my EGD. At this point i will never have another fill out of the fear of whats happened.

on 11/6/17 8:36 pm

My band was perfectly intact ****il they cut it to get it out). Just because the band is intact does not mean it causes irreversible damage. Just think that if your esophagus is reacting, so are the other attacking features of your body. The band is likely encased by the body and will probably get worse over time. The band will also continue to rub against your esophagus and cause further damage. As was noted above it can be irreversible. Stand up for yourself and fight to get it taken out and get a revision to RNY or DS of you can. I didn't say sleeve because of the amazing acid issues that I assume are part of the parcel.

Lap Band - 07/08 (not filled long) Referral OBN 04/16, Orientation 09/16, Nutrition Workshop 4/7/17, Nurse 4/24/17, Psych 5/15/17, Dietician 5/24/17, Internist 6/13/17 Consent 7/10/17 Surgery 9/29/2017

HW 4/17: 267 Opti Start 9/16/17: 254 Surgery 9/29: 240.8 M1:-18 M2:-14 M3:-9 M4:-5 M5:-6

on 11/23/17 12:25 pm
Revision on 10/04/16

I concur that you need to get that puppy out asap. I also had symptoms like you (Gerd etc). When my doc removed my band he told me that it had "stretched" my esophagus and as a result my pouch was double the size of the usual RNY pouch. Research has apparently shown pouch size has little impact on success. so he said I'd do well with it. He was right.

Re: damage. Every day you leave the band in you are risking further damage. My doc assured me that until they get in there they don't really know what they are dealing with. eg...I have an extra scar because they made an incision to remove the port only to find it wasn't there. It had moved 6 inches down.

Get the band out asap!

Band-RNY revision age 50 5'4" HW 260 SW: 244 (bf healthy range 23-35%) bf 23.7% (at 137lbs) cw range 135-138.lbl with butt lift and mastoplexy March 23, 2018...2.5lbs removed.

Pre-op-16lbs (size 18/20...244) M1-16lbs (size 18...228) M2-15.6lbs (size 16/18...212.4) M3-10lbs (size 16..202.4) M4-11.4lbs (size 14...191) M5-10.8lbs (size 12...180.2) M6-8.4 (size 8/10...171.8) M7-6.4 (size 8...165.4 lbs) M8-11.6 (size 6...153.8) M9-5.6 (size 4/6...148.2) M10-5.8 (size 4....142.4) M11-4 (size 2/4...138.4) Surgiversary -1 (size 2/4...137.4) M13-2.6 (size 2/4...134.8) M14 (size 2/4...134.8) M15 (size 2...135) M16 (size 2...131.4) M17 (size 2...135) M18 (size 2...135) M19 (size 2...138) M20 (size 2...135) M21 (size 2...138)

on 3/19/18 8:45 am

I experienced this and had to get my band removed. I am happy to say that after band removal and revision to a sleeve, all the symptoms went away and my esophagus is back to normal. I was experiencing this dilation with an unfilled band for a few years! So I would encourage you to explore band removal asap to avoid long term damage.

Highest Wt: 274 / LAP-Band Low: 180 / Sleeved at 233 / Goal: 160!