Gastric bands are restrictive rings placed around the top part of the stomach, close to the junction of the esophagus. Their mechanism of action is to create a small tight band to restrict the flow of the food into the stomach. The theory has been that the band will decrease the time food travels down past the narrowing thereby eating less with the end result of weight loss. One of the many complications from the band is erosion of the band into the lumen of the stomach. This results in the patient presenting with nausea, vomiting and some patients develop abdominal accesses. This may present itself with symptoms of abdominal pain, fever, and redness at the port site under the skin.
The treatment for this is urgent removal of the band and repair of the erosion/ulceration. Patients who are contemplating a revision to another weight loss surgical procedure are best advised to stage the procedure because of the potential for leak from the repair site. Almost all of these procedures can be done laparoscopically.