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Thoughts on gastric band to sleeve surgery

Lap band to sleeve

Posted on 19 Jun, 2018

Is converting a failed lap band into a gastric sleeve a good idea?


Hundreds of thousands of gastric bands / lap bands were inserted in Australia and the rest of the world between the late 1990s and recent years.

Many people have been requesting their removal due to poor weight loss, weight regain, oral regurgitation, reflux, discomfort and simply unable to enjoy food. Furthermore, bands can erode into the stomach causing life threatening emergencies.

Dr Wong and team have now removed hundreds of bands. However, a lot of patients often ask for further weight loss surgery such as a gastric sleeve. 

We do not recommend a gastric sleeve after removal of lap band. Gastric sleeves in people who have never had stomach surgery such as a lap band have had amazing results and currently is the most popular weight loss procedure.

However, gastric sleeves after someone has had a band simply does not achieve the same weight loss effects. Why?

Both gastric sleeve and band work by effectively the same mechanism. Both restrict stomach size. In order for the body to achieve weight loss, it must be subject to new influences. When we do sleeve after band, the body is not sufficiently stunned to achieve longer lasting weight loss. Hence, in patients who have had a failed band and require further weight loss surgery, we often discuss other surgical options such as gastric bypass - these procedures have mechanisms of effect beyond simple reduction of stomach size.