Conversion Surgery

Conversion surgery at Fitzwilliam Hospital


Some patients are not always successful with losing their target weight after their chosen weight loss surgical procedure. This may be due to many reasons including problems with the original surgery and inability to maintain the necessary diet and lifestyle changes required to lose weight.

We endeavour to prevent complications and manage them effectively if they do occur. We also offer full support for patients to encourage the adoption of the new and required lifestyle changes.

However sometimes success is not achieved. In these instances, we offer one to one consultations to discuss conversion surgery. Patients are screened carefully to help determine the cause of failure and they are medically evaluated prior to any further surgery taking place.

Gastric Band Failure

Gastric band failure is rare, occurring in around 5% of patients. It can be caused by gastric band slippage or gastric band erosion and these require your band to be removed.

The gastric band removal is performed under general anaesthetic and requires an overnight stay in hospital.

Gastric Bypass Conversion

If you have had a gastric bypass and you are experiencing pouch dilatation allowing you to eat a lot more than you could initially after your bypass surgery, then a gastric band may be recommended.

The gastric band operation is performed under general anaesthetic, takes 45 mins to 1 hour and requires one night stay in hospital.

A gastric band, also known as a lap band, can be placed around your bypass pouch to offer restrictive weight loss. It is reversible and can be tightened or loosened depending upon your needs.

The band often needs regular adjustments to reduce the size of the opening to the rest of your stomach below the band. The number of adjustments needed can be different for each patient.

These adjustments are fairly pain free and are carried out on an outpatient basis via a port (button) which is connected to the band by a small, thin tube and positioned under the skin and fat and is not visible.

Like any surgical procedure, there are possible risks and complications and these will be discussed with you by your weight loss surgeon. Complications are rare and we endeavour to prevent them from occurring.

Gastric Sleeve Failure

If you have had a gastric sIeeve procedure and you are not losing the weight you desire you may consider converting to a gastric bypass. A gastric bypass procedure offers a two prong attack to reducing your weight by being a restrictive and malabsorptive procedure. The gastric sleeve is a restrictive procedure only.

Gastric bypass surgery is performed under general anaesthetic and takes approximately two hours. You will need to stay in hospital for two to three nights following the procedure.

A gastric bypass offers rapid weight loss from day one and doesn’t require you to attend any adjustment appointments.

After having a gastric bypass, you will need to take daily nutritional supplements for the rest of your life. Vitamin B12 injections are also recommended every three months to prevent pernicious anaemia.

Overeating and poor eating habits can cause dumping syndrome with side effects of nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, sweating and dizziness. You will learn to avoid these high sugar and fat foods.

Gastric bypass surgery is major surgery and carries possible risks and complications, although rare. Your weight loss surgeon will discuss these in depth with you.

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