I've been banded for six years and in that time have reached my goal weight (115 lbs loss). I can easily attribute half to the band and half to the love of exercise I developed, along with a healthy mostly vegan diet. I currently have very little restriction. Is it really so crazy to think I could maintain my weight if I opted to have the band removed to avoid future complications?
Will Lap Band Removal Always Result in Weight Gain?
Doctor Answers 2
The Lap Band is designed to be a permanent implant. If the Lap Band is removed, studies show that patients will likely regain the weight they have lost. During the Lap Band procedure there are no permanent changes made to the stomach, so if the band is removed the stomach will return to the configuration and function it had prior to the procedure.
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Options after successful lapband
It is not crazy to think about lapband removal after successful weight loss. As you have made the necessary lifestyle and behavior changes needed for long term success, many of my patients have wondered about removal. The only worry is that without the device to allow hunger satisfaction with small amounts of food, will you be forced to eat larger quantities and possibly put some or most of the weight back on. The best way to test this is by completely defilling your band for 6 months to a year. If you can maintain your weight without any difficulty, you should be ok to remove it. As long as you understand that most people regain the weight, and you would have to be very vigilant for life not to put the weight back on. Many patients are content leaving it defilled so there is no restriction, but it will be there as a safety net just in case.