Is Your Lap Band Causing You Heartburn?

Adjustable gastric banding or lap band surgery is a weight loss procedure that is rarely performed nowadays. A few years ago, however, lap band surgery was quite common. The concept of adjustable gastric banding revolves around creating stomach restriction, forcing the patient to eat less. The band is progressively tightened around the stomach by injecting fluid inside its lumen. Unfortunately, most patients were over-restricted in hopeless attempts to make them loose weight. Over-restriction resulted in near obstruction of the esophagus. Food passage into the stomach was hindered. Patients developed heartburn, food regurgitation, nocturnal cough, and vomiting.

If you have a lap band and suffer from heartburn, food regurgitation, nocturnal cough, or vomiting you may be over-restricted. Band over-restriction, if left unattended, leads to irreversible damage to your esophagus. You may develop esophageal dilation and difficulty swallowing. The esophageal lining may herniate through its muscular wall, creating a blind pouch we call diverticulum. Food accumulates in the diverticulum, causing pain, regurgitation, and nocturnal cough. Nocturnal cough results from food material backing up into your upper airway and lungs when you lay on your back. This is a dangerous condition as it puts at risk for aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is lung infection, developing from stomach content entering your lungs.

If you have a lap band, you need to follow up with your doctor on a regular basis for adjustments. If your band is causing you heartburn, Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center offers the most comprehensive heartburn evaluation and care in the greater Houston area. Contact us to alleviate your symptoms.