What is Revision Weight Loss Surgery?
Revision (or corrective) weight loss surgery is a procedure to help correct problems associated with weight loss (bariatric) surgery.
If your BMI is below 30, you will not meet criteria for revision. Either way you will need to schedule a consult with a surgeon to discuss your options. Insurance may cover the procedure if you meet certain requirements, but you will need a visit first to determine that. There is a fee for this consultation.
A common reason for revision weight loss surgery is insufficient weight loss after the initial weight loss procedure. Another common reason for revision surgery is to correct complications associated with the initial procedure.
Reasons for Revision Weight Loss Surgery include:
Problems with anatomic changes of weight loss surgery, including:
- An enlarged gastric pouch opening, which can prevent weight loss and promote weight gain
- An increase in intestinal absorption of calories, which can prevent weight loss and promote weight gain
- A slipped gastric band, which can cause nausea and vomiting or destroy stomach tissue
- The formation of an opening (or fistula) between the stomach pouch and bypassed stomach, which can prevent weight loss and cause abdominal pain, fever, and a rapid heart rate
- Leaking staple lines, which can cause abdominal pain, back pain, pelvic pressure, hiccups, fever, and a rapid heart rate
Medical complications, including:
- Ulcers, which can cause pain, blood loss, nausea, and vomiting
- Scar tissue (stricture) that can build up and close important passages for food in the digestive tract
- The inability to absorb vitamins and minerals (malabsorption), especially vitamin D, vitamin B12, and thiamine needed for good health (malnutrition)
- Bone loss (or metabolic bone disease / osteoporosis) from absorbing too little calcium and other bone-building minerals
- The inability to absorb enough iron for good health (iron deficiency or anemia)
Unresolved conditions, diseases, and disorders (comorbidities) associated with obesity can include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, vascular problems, and genitourinary problems, among others. If you have had weight loss surgery and you are not losing weight and improving some or all comorbidities, your bariatric surgeon can recommend revision weight loss surgery options to help you achieve your weight loss and overall health goals.
Types of Revision Weight Loss Surgeries include:
- Gastric Bypass Revision Surgery – If you have had gastric bypass surgery and you are not losing weight, you are gaining weight, or you are having medical complications such as a stricture, fistula, ulcer, dumping syndrome, or an enlarged stomach pouch that prevents you from eating to promote weight loss, your surgeon can discuss weight loss surgery options to help eliminate the complications and allow you to continue working toward your weight loss goals.
- Lap Band Revision Surgery – Lap bands that have slipped, eroded, or failed for any other reason require revision weight loss surgery. In some cases, it is best to remove the band altogether. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass procedures are revision weight loss surgery options that can help promote weight loss in patients whose lap bands have been removed.
- Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Revision Surgery – If you have had vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery and are not losing or are gaining weight, your procedure might need to be revised to a gastric bypass to help better promote weight loss.
Whatever your unique needs, your bariatric surgeon can evaluate you and tell you which revision weight loss surgery options can help you achieve your goals for weight loss and overall health.
Risks of Revision Weight Loss Surgery can include:
- Longer surgery time
- Open incisions
- Blood loss
In addition, revision weight loss surgery does not guarantee you will lose as much weight as you lost after a first-time weight loss surgery. For these reasons, it is important to balance benefits of revision weight loss surgery with its risks.
It also is important to consider other factors that can strongly influence weight loss after a bariatric procedure, including life-long behavioral changes such as eating less food and fewer calories, making healthy food choices, eating very small meals, taking a small bite of food and chewing it thoroughly before swallowing, taking vitamin and mineral supplements as prescribed, exercising regularly, and getting regular medical checkups.
Revision Weight Loss Surgery can give you the second chance you need to lose weight and achieve your health goals!