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Pregnancy- Lap Band Horror- emergency removal


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I want to give everyone a precaution about my experience with the band. I had it put in on 2/13/07, and have had nothing but trouble. I followed all of the doctor's advice, and got my fills done at approved providers, but they could never get the fill right. 6 months ago I got pregnant and had all of the fluid removed. I could still feel restriction but no discomfort until 2 weeks ago when it began tightening on me, again. It got tighter and tighter until I was unable to get any food or even liquid down. I spent all night throwing up my own saliva that would not even go down. I went to the ER for fluids on Wednesady morning. My OB was so concerned that she called in a local bariatric surgeon to consult. He accessed the port and was unable to extract any fluid, verifying that the band was in fact empty. He ordered a barium swallow, which showed that the band had been placed too low on my stomach and at the wrong angle. This had been causing all of my problems and misery for the last year and a half. Less than 3 hours later I was on an operating table going under general anesthesia, 7 months pregnant, having the band removed. I must say that there was very little pain when I had the band placed, but having it removed is nowhere near the same. I am in EXTREME pain at the 6 incision sites that he had to make. Now I am facing recovery from this surgery only to turn around in 10 weeks for a c-section.

I know that not everyone has a bad experience with the band, and it is very successful for some. I wish I had never wasted my time, money, energy, or risked the health of my unborn child just to lose the 20 pounds that I am down total. I believe that if I had adequate aftercare, they would have caught the problem with the band much earlier and could have had it fixed or removed/replaced prior to my pregnancy. I would not recommend having the surgery more than a few hours drive away from where you live. I live in Tennessee and had the surgery at OCC in Tijuana. Not exactly convenient. I am not an opponent of the band, because, as I am told, my case is rare, but to me it is not rare since I am the one it happened to.

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Hey , I am sorry you had such a bad experience. And pray to God that yor baby is healthy and will be born well. You should of returned to OCC, maybe they could of help. Who put your band?

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Hey , I am sorry you had such a bad experience. And pray to God that yor baby is healthy and will be born well. You should of returned to OCC, maybe they could of help. Who put your band?

Dr. Ortiz put my band on. I called OCC Wed morning and they instructed me to go to the hospital immediately. I could not fathom the idea of going under anesthesia pregnant in a foreign country. I think I did the right thing by going. Thank you for the kind words.

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I think she said OCC put it in. I am sorry that you had to go through this. I just got my band I am have found aftercare near where I live so I feel safe with it. If I end up getting pregnant, which I hope that I do not at this point. I plan to have it watched closely to make sure it does not move. The minute I start to have problems, I am back on a plane to get it checked out or even removed if that is what I need to do. If that is what the dr here says is necessary, you bet it would come out. Unfortantely, I have way more than 20 pounds to lose, so to me, it was worth the risk. I hope for you, your baby and you share a wonderful experience with the birth of your child and you can put all this behind you. I understand your being upset. But for some people, as I can say for myself, this is what I needed to do to take care of my health or with the weight gain, eventually I would be looking at diabetes and possible death. I understand my risk and I will have to live with that. Again, I am sorry you had such a bad experience and wish you and your baby the best of happiness in the future.

Stormy

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I think she said OCC put it in. I am sorry that you had to go through this. I just got my band I am have found aftercare near where I live so I feel safe with it. If I end up getting pregnant, which I hope that I do not at this point. I plan to have it watched closely to make sure it does not move. The minute I start to have problems, I am back on a plane to get it checked out or even removed if that is what I need to do. If that is what the dr here says is necessary, you bet it would come out. Unfortantely, I have way more than 20 pounds to lose, so to me, it was worth the risk. I hope for you, your baby and you share a wonderful experience with the birth of your child and you can put all this behind you. I understand your being upset. But for some people, as I can say for myself, this is what I needed to do to take care of my health or with the weight gain, eventually I would be looking at diabetes and possible death. I understand my risk and I will have to live with that. Again, I am sorry you had such a bad experience and wish you and your baby the best of happiness in the future.

Stormy

Thank you. I ended up only losing 20 pounds total. I had 90 to lose, but with all of the problems I was having I only managed to lose 20. I agree with the health need to lose. I am just wanting to STRESS the need for good (close) aftercare. I know that had I been able to return to OCC, they probably could have helped me, but unfortunately that was not an option, especially in an emergency situation where I wasn't able to even keep any fluids down.

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When you read about the Lapband Surgery you do know that there can be risks and they are very low. It is very unfortunate that it happened to you. There are many people on this forum that have had babies with no problems. However, it does not make your situation any less important.

Dr. Ortiz is an amazing Doctor!

Congratulations on your new baby & wish you the best!

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I certainly did understand the risks, but like everyone else, I thought I surely would not be the one to have problems, since we are told that it is approximately 1 in 100. It really changes your perspective when you are that one. Like I said before, I did everything I could do to make the band work as advertised, but the complications were completely out of my control, since it was implanted incorrectly. I am only posting this to advise everyone to have good local aftercare arranged before deciding to travel to get the band. It is essential.

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How do you know it was implanted in correctly? Did you just take this word from a Dr? There would be more of a chance of it slippling because of something done in your diet?

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How do you know it was implanted in correctly? Did you just take this word from a Dr? There would be more of a chance of it slippling because of something done in your diet?

The surgeon that removed it, who has done thousands of lap bands, said it was put in too low and at the wrong angle. It is not something I did via diet, since it was sewn in too low. Even he said that my case was very rare, which I understand, but please know that if you are the one that has to go through it, it doesn't matter how rare it is over the general population. I am not trying to degrade the band or the doctors, just stress the point that good aftercare needs to be available to you in case of an emergency.

I just want everyone to know that there are real risks and even though there is a good track record with the band, things do happen that are out of the patient's control.

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Becky,

Thank you so much for telling your story. I remember your posts and it did seem like you've had problems with your band from the beginning.

I think the lesson for us is just like you said, to find good aftercare, but also to really listen to our bodies and if we think something is wrong get in ASAP to have it looked at. Listen to that little voice and learn from other's experiences. It doesn’t mean this isn’t the right fit, for most of us it is, myself included. Things can and will go wrong and we need to make sure we think about it and are prepared, whether its having the money in the bank for emergency flights to the center, or finding an aftercare facility that has doctor care that can and will support us if needed.

I hope all goes well for you in the future, blessings for your new addition!

Lisa

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I'm so glad you and your baby are OK

I'm not a doctor, but my guess is that you had a slip, probably fairly early on and that's what may have caused your problems - did you ever have a fill under fluoro or was it "blind fills"? If you did have a slip, that would be why the band seemed too low and crooked upon removal - that's what a slip looks like and would explain why it suddenly became tighter - it probably continued to slip and felt tighter as your pregnancy proceeded and you started to retain fluids. Most women don't even need an unfill during pregnancy, but some do, a removal is very rare! But if in fact it was a slip, and was worsening, this is what would happen. I'm glad you and your baby are OK!! Keep us posted :) do you know what you are having?

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I'm so glad you and your baby are OK

I'm not a doctor, but my guess is that you had a slip, probably fairly early on and that's what may have caused your problems - did you ever have a fill under fluoro or was it "blind fills"? If you did have a slip, that would be why the band seemed too low and crooked upon removal - that's what a slip looks like and would explain why it suddenly became tighter - it probably continued to slip and felt tighter as your pregnancy proceeded and you started to retain fluids. Most women don't even need an unfill during pregnancy, but some do, a removal is very rare! But if in fact it was a slip, and was worsening, this is what would happen. I'm glad you and your baby are OK!! Keep us posted :) do you know what you are having?

MY THOUGHT EXACTLY ALSO LORI

THIS SOUNDS JUST LIKE MY FRIEND WHEN HER BAND HAD SLIPPED, SEE HOW LOW IT IS?

381397678206_0_BG.jpg

GLAD TO HEAR YOU AND THE BABY ARE DOING WELL :)

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It seems like you would have symptoms from the get go if the band slipped. I guess I am not understanding this. Is there no way to tell. I just got my band and it feels tight to me but I still can drink just fine. So I would think if it was placed wrong that a person would not be able to drink or eat when it came time to eat. It just doesnt make sense to me that a person would not know.

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It seems like you would have symptoms from the get go if the band slipped. I guess I am not understanding this. Is there no way to tell. I just got my band and it feels tight to me but I still can drink just fine. So I would think if it was placed wrong that a person would not be able to drink or eat when it came time to eat. It just doesnt make sense to me that a person would not know.

STORMY THIS WOULD BE YOUR FIRST CLUE

RE: had all of the fluid removed. I could still feel restriction

YOU'VE JUST BEEN BANDED AND ARE STILL TIGHT, HEALING

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I'm not going to guess about anything and I’m not a Doc either, but I remembered Becky's post about feeling that she had ripped something and it felt like stitches and I remember being very worried for her. I also remember that she had problems with fills and eating. LoriBecky may be correct that it could have started slipping early on, and then slipped down during her pregnancy, or it may have been on too low. I can't say, but I'm so glad she's better and praying for a safe birth of her child. Here's a history of Becky's posts, I really think there were warning signs that something had happened early on:

http://www.lapbandforum.com/index.php?act=...sult_type=posts

Stormy you most likely are fine, we all go through the stages were we are worried that we did something or something’s not right the first part of our journeys and it continues throughout - if something does keep bothering you please go in and have them check you out.

Becky, take care and hope all goes well for you! Stay strong!

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I'm not going to guess about anything and I’m not a Doc either, but I remembered Becky's post about feeling that she had ripped something and it felt like stitches and I remember being very worried for her. I also remember that she had problems with fills and eating. LoriBecky may be correct that it could have started slipping early on, and then slipped down during her pregnancy, or it may have been on too low. I can't say, but I'm so glad she's better and praying for a safe birth of her child. Here's a history of Becky's posts, I really think there were warning signs that something had happened early on:

http://www.lapbandforum.com/index.php?act=...sult_type=posts

Stormy you most likely are fine, we all go through the stages were we are worried that we did something or something’s not right the first part of our journeys and it continues throughout - if something does keep bothering you please go in and have them check you out.

Becky, take care and hope all goes well for you! Stay strong!

THANKS LISA FOR POSTING THE LINK TO BECKY'S POST, I SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT AFTER I HAD GONE THRU AND RE READ THEM MYSELF

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I did have one of my fills under fluoro (last December) at the advice of the fill provider, since I was having so many problems. They confirmed at that time that the band had not slipped. Also, after the surgery when the doc came in to talk to my family, one of the first questions my husband asked was if the band had slipped. The doctor said it was not a slip, that it was implanted incorrectly. I don't know what else I can say. I was told that it was not slipped and that the symptoms I was experiencing were a result of improper placement.

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That freaks me out. I can only pray that mine is right. All I can say is flouro should have showed that it was improperly placed. At least that is what I would assume. I am going to a clinic nearby when I get my fills so I am going to make sure mine looks ok. I guess all I can say is I am sorry that happened to you. There are a lot of people on here that have not had this happen so I am banking on this not happening to me in the future. I can only pray.

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Guest CaraMBA09
That freaks me out. I can only pray that mine is right. All I can say is flouro should have showed that it was improperly placed. At least that is what I would assume. I am going to a clinic nearby when I get my fills so I am going to make sure mine looks ok. I guess all I can say is I am sorry that happened to you. There are a lot of people on here that have not had this happen so I am banking on this not happening to me in the future. I can only pray.

I think this should be a lesson to those of us newly banded to not wait nearly a year afterwards to get a fluoro with our fill. It sounds like if a fluoro had been done very early on, this could have been caught.

I am also 'suspicious' of any American doctor being so critical of the band being put on crooked from a man who has done nearly 7,000 of these surgeries. Everyone is an expert...I had two american doctors tell me I had to "put on 20 more lbs" to qualify for this surgery in the US. Doesn't sound like good medicine to me.

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