VBG removal please help!

on 7/9/19 4:50 pm

I had VBG surgery 23 years ago. I have had good success with it until recently. I have developed GERD a few years ago and over the last few weeks what I can eat and keep down and minimized to where its only liquids at this point. I was admitted into the hospital a few days ago and the Gastro Dr. has referred me to surgeons to possibly remove the surgery or revise it to a VSG or RNY. Honestly I just want it out and to be done with it completely. I am not sure what this process entitles though and if it can safely be done. Wanted to know if anyone has removed the VBG or has had it revised and their experience. I read online it is a pretty invasive surgery but then have read they could do it laparoscopic? Before I travel to a specialist, as the closest one that will even consider doing it is 4 hours away, I would like to get opinions from anyone that has gone through this. Thank you in advance! Its a bit scary!

on 7/10/19 4:04 am, edited 7/10/19 10:19 am - WI

I had a revision from VBG to RNY in 2010. It literally saved my life. I had developed Barrett's Esophagus from 25 years of GERD and was headed toward cancer rapidly.

My revision surgery was very complicated, so I'm not sure I'm the best person to respond to you. The surgeon who did my original VBG in 1986 did not do it right and I had some pretty severe deformities that had to be repaired. I went to 7 specialists *****fused to help me because they said they had never seen anything like it. I finally got a referral to Mayo Clinic and a surgeon that was willing to try. He basically had to rebuild my entire digestive system, so my revision would probably not look like the average revision.

My surgery took almost 8 hours. It was an open surgery (not laparoscopic) and I was kept in the hospital for more than a week to make sure there would be no leaks. My recovery was very difficult, but I woke up from surgery with no more GERD and it has never returned. I still have to have regular endoscopies to watch the lesions on my esophagus, but there has been no more damage done since my revision.

Short answer...run...don't walk to the nearest surgeon and get this revision done. Almost everyone who had the VBG done has had to have it revised. It can be done safely...in fact... you are in more danger if you don't revise. You will feel so much better if you go with a revision to RNY. I have not felt this healthy in decades.

HW 270 SW 236 GW 160 CW 145 (15 pounds below goal!)

on 7/24/19 8:19 am

Thank you for your response! I have a feeling mine was also done incorrectly as they keep passing me from Dr. to Dr. I have an appointment next week to talk with a Dr. who is willing to help me but wants to convert me to a sleeve? I am not sure what to do as I have heard these have problems as well. I will talk to him about the RNY but at this point I will convert to whatever will make the GERD and these issues stop as I am sure esophageal cancer will be my future! VBG was the best and worst thing I have ever done.

on 7/24/19 5:22 pm

Do your research on converting from a lap band to a sleeve. That is exactly what I did originally. I was told today by a very knowledgeable person that studies are showing now, if you had problems throwing up with the band, you will probably have the same problem with the sleeve. Again, do your own research and make an informed decision. Good luck

on 7/31/19 3:34 pm, edited 7/31/19 8:35 am - WI

DO NOT REVISE TO VSG (sleeve)!!!!

I know dozens of people who had the VSG surgery and had to revise to RNY because of terrible GERD. RNY can eliminate GERD.

Stomach acid is produced in the lower part of the stomach. RNY cuts that part of the stomach away. They leave the remnant stomach in place, so it still produces acid to aid digestion, but it happens further down the digestive tract and can not creep up the esophagus. There may still be areas that produce acid in the RNY pouch, but not enough to cause serious problems.

With VSG they leave the stomach long and cut away the side of the stomach and leave the pyloric valve in place. It creates the exact same high pressure system that your VBG did. The only thing that is different is that they will remove the band that they punched through the top of your stomach. Your surgeon sounds like he does not want to do the more complicated surgery. I would get a second opinion. VSG will not get rid of GERD and will likely make it much worse.

I have not had a problem since my revision.

HW 270 SW 236 GW 160 CW 145 (15 pounds below goal!)

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