Bariatric Revision Surgery: Why Would You Need One?

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After years of struggling with obesity, you finally commit to getting weight loss surgery. That should be the end of your troubles, right?

Unfortunately, surgery doesn’t always go as expected. As a result, you may require revisional surgery.


Why Consider Revisional Bariatric Surgery?

There are a number of reasons why someone would consider revisional bariatric surgery. For instance, a patient may not lose enough weight after their original bariatric surgery. Another issue lies with the potential of a patient regaining the weight they’ve lost.

After bariatric surgery (and after the recovery period), weight loss patients must return to their everyday lives. If a patient fails to change their lifestyle (such as exercising and eating healthy), they might start picking up weight again. Sudden changes in an individual’s life, such as a sudden breakup, stress in the workplace or pregnancy could also contribute to weight regain.

Medical complications may also occur which may need to be fixed through revisional surgery. The most common medical complications that require revisional bariatric surgery include:

  • Bone loss from the lack of absorbing essential bone-building minerals
  • Ulcers which could lead to vomiting, pain and blood loss
  • An inability to absorb sufficient iron which could lead to a variety of health complications


Which Bariatric Procedures May Require a Revision?

There are specific bariatric procedures that require a higher number of revisions. These include:


Lap Band Surgery

Over time, lap bands may erode, slip, or outright fail. As a result, revision surgery may be the only option to correct the issue. In some instances, the band may be removed to eliminate further complications. Patients who have their lap bands removed will often undergo a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, a surgery that promotes weight loss by removing a large portion of the stomach.


Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (AKA stomach stapling) Surgery

Patients who have not had success with vertical banded gastroplasty may require revisional surgery to insert new staples. While this method works in many instances, patients who experience complications will often undergo an entirely new procedure that’s better suited at helping that individual to lose weight.


Gastric Bypass Surgery

Patients who require revisional surgery after undergoing a gastric bypass procedure may be required to keep a food diary to keep track of their calorie intake. Patients who experience medical complications (such as dumping syndrome or ulcers) that inhibit their ability to eat properly will more likely than not require revisional surgery to fix that specific issue.

Dumping syndrome, for example, can be treated through surgery. Afterward, the patient can focus on adjusting their diet to promote weight loss.


What Is the Recovery Time for a Revisional Surgery?

Generally speaking, bariatric revision surgery requires a few extra days of recovery and observation in the hospital. Opening old scars may in some instances cause heavy bleeding which is the primary reason patients must be observed for complications for two to three days post-surgery.

When patients are allowed to go home, their recovery cycle will typically take around the same amount of time as their original recovery time. Most patients are able to return to their normal lives a few weeks after revisional surgery.


What are the Risks of Bariatric Revision Surgery?

This study suggests that revisional bariatric surgery comes with these risks of complications:

  • Pneumonia
  • Internal leakage from the surgical site
  • Acute kidney failure
  • The development of hernias
  • Nutritional deficiencies

In the study, a small number of patients experienced complications 30 to 90 days after revisional surgery.

Patients who experienced nutritional deficiencies saw most of their symptoms eventually disappear, however.


Is Bariatric Revision Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Every insurer is different, so it’s vital you check with your provider before considering bariatric revision surgery.

The vast majority of insurers will cover the costs of patients who experience complications with bypass, band, and sleeve surgery.

With that being said, the following criteria must be met to qualify for insurance coverage:

  • Your BMI is greater than 40
  • You have a BMI of 35 as well as medical issues related to obesity

As of this time, there are no coverage options for endoscopic surgery.


The Pros and Cons of Bariatric Revisional Surgery

You’ll find that the pros and cons of bariatric revisional surgery are primarily the same as the pros and cons of your initial procedure. These benefits and disadvantages vary depending on the type of procedure you undergo.

The pros of gastric bypass surgery, for example, include:


  • Rapid weight loss
  • Recovery from sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and even diabetes


  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Risk of blood clots
  • Possible infections

While the pros for revisional surgery can vary depending on the surgery you opt for, the primary benefits you’ll experience overall is the correction of complications made during your original procedure and a second chance to lose a significant amount of weight.

The primary con of revisional surgery is that patients may be prone to excessive bleeding, especially if they already have scar tissue from their first surgery.


Olde Del Mar Surgical Provides Quality Bariatric Revision Surgeries

It’s easy to be discouraged because your first surgery didn’t go as planned. However, for the sake of your health, you should seriously consider bariatric revision surgery if it applies to you.

If you’re nervous about revisional surgery, you have nothing to fear. Olde Del Mar Surgical has an amazing track record of bariatric revision surgeries.

We will ensure you’re taken care of by our world-class medical staff. Contact us for more information today.

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