Revisional Bariatric Surgery

Meet Dr. Joshua Long:
Our Bariatric Surgeon

A nationally renowned and double-board-certified Denver bariatric surgeon, Dr. Long uses a partnership care model with each patient to tailor care to their individual needs. Patients routinely thank Dr. Long for his warm, compassionate bedside manner. He’s considered to be at the top of his field, having performed over 1,000 bariatric surgeries. Peers praise his technical skill, and he has some of the lowest complication rates among bariatric surgeons in the nation. Dr. Long and the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado consider it an honor to serve every patient with the highest quality of care.

Dr. Joshua Long headshot

Dr. Joshua Long

MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS

What is Revisional Bariatric Surgery?

Our Colorado team can sometimes perform revisional bariatric surgeries to help reduce a stretched initial bariatric operation back to an effective weight loss size or to convert patients who have previously had another bariatric operation to a different bariatric surgery to treat some problem. If a patient has a malfunctioning LAP-BAND®, for instance, our Denver center can offer LAP-BAND® removal with simultaneous conversion to a different, more effective bariatric surgery at that time. If a patient’s operation were merely reversed, without revising to another operation, nearly all patients would regain all of their weight within a year of reversal.

Why would you need Colorado revisional bariatric surgery? Here are the most common reasons:

If you’re experiencing complications, these revisional bariatric surgeries our Denver center offers may help*:

Primary SurgeryIdeally revise to
Gastric Band without effective weight loss (and/or unresolved diabetes)Intestinal Bypass (Gastric Bypass or Loop Duodenal Switch)
Gastric Band intoleranceSleeve or Gastric Bypass
Sleeve with reflux problemsGastric Bypass
Sleeve without reflux problemsAdd loop to complete Loop Duodenal Switch (SADI-S)
Gastric Bypass with weight regain1. Surgical revision of pouch, stoma or limb length
2. Conversion to Loop Duodenal Switch (SADI-S)
3. Investigative endoscopic revision of pouch or stoma only (ROSE or APC procedure)
Loop Duodenal Switch with severe refluxGastric Bypass

It is very important to understand that when weight regain or ineffective weight loss is the reason for revision, making appropriate changes to the behaviors that have resulted in weight regain will be absolutely necessary before our Denver team can consider a revision. Otherwise the revision will not be any more effective than the first operation.

LAP-BAND® Removal

Up to half of all LAP-BAND® patients eventually need to have their band removed. This can happen for a variety of reasons. At least 40% of patients don’t see the weight loss they were hoping to achieve with the band: they only lose about 25% of their excess weight. Other patients suffer from band infections, band erosions (when the band grows into the stomach), or band slippage. LAP-BAND® patients may also experience difficulty swallowing or keeping their food down, or develop severe and worsening reflux.

Often these problems can be fixed with a LAP-BAND® removal* by our Denver team. Our Denver bariatric center can replace your LAP-BAND® with a safer and more effective procedure such as a gastric sleeve*. Revision surgery can help you regain your life and start making the most of what Colorado has to offer.

Gastric Bypass Revision

The gastric bypass is usually a successful bariatric surgery in Colorado, and when patients receive strong support, very few need a gastric bypass revision*.

When patients do, many times this is because the patient hasn’t followed their diet and exercise regime, or their plans may have been flawed. If you have weight loss issues, we’ll work with you to make sure that your diet and exercise plans are effective and tailored to you, and that you’re able to follow through with them.

However, sometimes the problem is that the gastric pouch has become stretched, which means you have to eat more in order to feel full, leading to weight regain. If this is the case, our Denver surgeon can use a variety of procedures to revise your gastric bypass so that you can lose weight and keep it off*.

Do I Need Revisional Bariatric Surgery In Denver?

Revisional bariatric surgery can often help, but you do need to know that most studies indicate that the scarring present after the first surgery increases the risk of a revisional operation.

What Is a Hiatal Hernia?

The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. Normally there is a small key hole for the esophagus (your swallowing tube) to pass through down to your stomach. In some patients this small key hole can stretch, allowing a portion of the stomach to slide upward into the chest. This forms a hiatal hernia.

While hiatal hernias do not always produce symptoms, they can cause severe reflux or swallowing problems that may not respond well to medical therapy. In these settings anti-reflux surgery or a hiatal hernia repair can be an effective way to treat these problems*.

Anti-Reflux Surgery

How Is Reflux (GERD) Diagnosed?

Reflux is definitively diagnosed by using a test called a pH study. Sometimes, your doctor may also diagnose mild to moderate reflux by looking at your symptoms and by placing you on an antacid medication to see if symptoms improve. In cases of severe reflux, an upper endoscopy (EGD) may be necessary to look for damage to the esophagus and to test for an ulcer-producing bacteria in the stomach known as H. Pylori. A swallow study (UGI) may also be performed if you or your doctor suspects that you have a hiatal hernia.

How Is Reflux (GERD) Treated?

Reflux is usually treated by your primary care doctor, using one or more of the following:

When these measures fail to adequately control symptoms, or when a large hiatal hernia is present, anti-reflux surgery may be needed*.

What Is Anti-Reflux Surgery?

Anti-reflux surgery is an option for severe reflux or heartburn (also known as GERD) when antacid medications fail or (sometimes) when a significant hiatal hernia is present. Anti-reflux surgery is called fundoplication. Fundoplication involves wrapping a portion of the upper stomach around the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to reinforce this valve-controlling reflux.

If a hiatal hernia is present, it will need to be repaired to control reflux or other symptoms caused by the hernia, such as difficulty swallowing or chest pain. The hernia can be repaired by pulling normal abdominal contents (including the stomach) out of the chest down below the diaphragm into the abdomen where they belong, and then repairing the enlarged hole in the diaphragm to restore the normal-sized key hole. This prevents the stomach and valve from slipping back up into the chest and can help to restore normal external pressure on the valve, which resolves reflux*.

In some cases a mesh may be used to further reinforce the diaphragm and keyhole. Usually a fundoplication will also be performed with the hiatal hernia repair.

When patients suffer from reflux and from morbid obesity, the best surgical treatment is a laparoscopic gastric bypass. This cures more than 90% of reflux and also effectively treats morbid obesity*.

Bariatric Revision Surgery and Emerging Bariatric Technology

Bariatric surgery is evolving as we discover new procedures that are safer and less invasive. At the BMCC, we’re committed to incorporating cutting-edge treatments and technologies when they are both safe and effective and can provide additional benefit for you. Some of these therapies are being used in revisional bariatric surgery. The ROSE (Restorative Obesity Surgery, Endolumenal) and the APC (Argon Plasma Coagulation), for instance, are endoscopic procedures that can shrink down your gastric pouch if it’s become stretched out*.To learn more about emerging bariatric technology like the endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty, see our full page on emerging bariatric technology.

If you’re experiencing pain, vomiting, weight regain, or other complications after your initial bariatric surgery, call our Denver office or send us a message. We can generally help.

Dr. Joshua Long headshot

This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: February 24th, 2020

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*Please note that individual results can vary and are not guaranteed.