Port has eroded through stomach wall. What to do? (photo)

I had lap band surgery in 2009. It was the best thing I've ever done. Sadly I developed a strange sore on my stomach 2 months ago. Then another one came up and they are both like open wounds which ooze puss every day. The whole area has been sore and this week the port eroded through by skin. You can see it in this photo. My surgeon doesn't come back from holiday for another couple of weeks, so I have to wait. If you were my surgeon, what would you do to fix this? I WILL NOT REMOVE THE PORT OR THE BAND

Doctor Answers 1

What to do about LapBand port erosion

The best case scenario is that only the port is infected.  More likely, however, the band has eroded into the stomach, causing an infection that has tracked along the tubing to the port, which is now secondarily infected and eroding through the skin.  You need to have an endoscopy to determine if this is the case.  If so, the whole system needs to be removed.

If the band has not eroded into the stomach, I suppose you could just remove the port and drop the tubing into the abdomen, to be attached to a new port at a later date after the infection resolves.  $$$$$$

If anyone else is reading this, you can see why it's a bad idea to get a Lapband.  Even in patients who initially do well, invariably something will go wrong, and the band will need to be removed.  This inevitably leads to regain of the lost weight.  The only good news is that one could still have a conversion to sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass, though it would be a more difficult operation.

To the poor patient who posted this question and exclaims that "I WILL NOT REMOVE THE PORT OR BAND," ... well, you will die thin.

Bloomfield Hills Bariatric Surgeon
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