Is there a chance the REALIZE Band will be recalled because of complication rate?

by Ann
(Dalton, Georgia)

I had the Realize band which has a higher rate of irritating the stomach – when mine is adjusted enough to work it irritates until it swells my esophagus shut. I have had to have an emergency adjustment 3 different times to get relief from horrible spasms and pain. I can’t swallow at all when this happens – not even my saliva.

This is a more common problem with this band I’m told – will there ever be a recall on it since it is obviously defective?

I have regained my weight and wish that I had not gone through this terrible two year ordeal with this band.


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by: Laressa

I got my band October of 2011 and at first everything was perfect. I was loosing weight and everything but then I started having the problems. At first it was just occasional vomiting and pain. But now every time I eat or drink I vomit and the pain is so sever it is to the point I am passing out. I never thought it would be like this. I just want it out

I hope there is a recall

by: lynzi

I heard there is a recall as well. I am actually working with a lawyer now I had my bag and put in less than 2 years ago and now I am in so much pain I can't even begin to explain to you. I'm having the ban removed on December 29th and converting to a gastric sleeve. I paid for everything out of pocket I sure hope to god there's a recall so that I can at least recoup what I paid into it. It has ruined every vaccation event,party,I go to! I'm constantly worried about it. My life has been completely miserable for the last year and I have gained all my weight back. So I basically gave 15000 for pain and misery!

relize lapband recall

by: Jane Balestrieri

The band was a nightmare, i kept on vomitting and had the most painful acid reflex. I had to have surgery to remove the band, which also caused a huge hernia by the port. i was hospitalized for four days. even when my band was completely empty i still had horrible acid reflex and vomitting.

Bariatric surgeon at CBGSA, Arcadia, California

by: Dr. Troy LaMar

Hi Ann,Your issue with fills and a dilated esophagus are not specific to the Realize band....actually it can occur with the Allergan Band as well. They both are foreign bodies placed around the top of the stomach, and really make it difficult for patients to eat.....this is how they work. However, it is easy to cheat the bands by eating/drinking carbs that just melt and go through. So, this is why a high percentage of band patients regain weight.I do not know of any specific recalls for any bands, but the Gastric band procedures are being done much less frequently, especially here in the United States. And, many are being removed, and patients are converting to the Sleeve gastrectomy or Gastric Bypass.See your surgeon and ask him about your options.Good Luck,Troy LaMar MD

los angeles bariatric surgeon

(click here for Dr. LaMar's full bio & contact info)

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the details provided. The above should never replace the advice of your local physicians as they have the ability to evaluate you in person.

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had to have removed

by: Anonymous

I had the Realize band placed and had trouble almost from the start. Had abdominal pain, gastric pain, constant diarrhea, bloating and then by accident, an erosion was found and I had to have emergency surgery. I am still having complications so I expect some sort of class action suit. The surgeon no longer does the band because of such a high percentage of patients had complications and had them removed.

I have the same complications...

by: Kris

Could not find a date on your post, but I have the same problem. Gained my weight back and problems with fills. I want this out. Have you had any new info.? Thanks so much!

Diet After Each Lap Band Fill

by: Mindy

I have kind of the same issues you have, however I do not have the Realize band. I found out I am more sensitive to fills than most people.I would suggest a few things:Get smaller fills. By that I mean MUCH Smaller fills. If you usually get a 1cc fill, get HALF OF HALF a cc fill! You might think I am crazy but this will be all you may need. If it means going in sooner for another fill, then that is better than throwing up and risking a lap band slip.The other thing I recommend is what my doc does to all his patients. At first I thought he was nuts, but it makes sense to me now.After every fill, my post-fill diet is: 3 days clear liquids, 3 days liquids, 3 days mushies, 3 days semi-solids. His reasoning? After each time you get a fill, your stomach is being manipulated; it's an invasive procedure. It causes swelling (obviously, since you and I both have problems). This post-fill diet allows your stomach to heal and the fill to kick in! The other thing I would suggest is when you eat eat a small amount, wait 20 minutes then eat some more if you feel ok. My doctor suggested this to me and I end up eating 5 or 6 small meals a day rather than 3 "larger" meals. Hope that helps!

Lap band being removed

by: Martha

I am having my lap band removed on 6/15/16 due to it having caused esophageal spasms. I had to have all of the water removed because it sent me to the ER several times. I thought each time I was having a heart attack because esophageal spasm pain mimics the pain of a heart attack. Of course I have regained all of my weight. So if there is a lawsuit in the making please count me in. I had to pay $25,000 out of pocket to get the band since my insurance wouldn't cover it. This has been a total failure and a huge disappointment for me.

Realize Gastric band

by: Charnette Harrison

Iynzi and Laressa, I too had multiple problems with the Realize band to the point that it had to be emergency removed and I lost a portion of my stomach. With almost all of my adjustments, I experienced complications.

Pain at the Port

by: Joyce

Has anyone had pain at the port? I had the band put in about 8-9 years ago. I'm not having trouble with the band but having pain at the port. I went to the doctors and they have taken x-rays and a CT Scan but they don't see anything. They keep saying that the band is in place. It's not the band, it's the port. Can something go wrong at the port? Can it get dislodged? I'm in pain all the time, it feels bruised to the touch, and if a doctor pushes on it, I think I'm going to die. Any suggestions or ideas?

Thank goodness I'm not alone

by: Lisa

At first, the lap band surgery went pretty well. I lost weight and then had a few problems that I consider my fault for not chewing the vegetables enough.

However, for the last year I've been having more difficulties with esophageal spasms. It's not just carb related foods I'm having with, it's everything. I take a bite of something, chew very well and then it just sits there in my esophagus until it either goes down or I vomit. Usually the latter.

Occasionally I'll have sharp pains in my abdominal area for no reason. This was a mistake. I'll have to wait until next year to have it removed due to insurance but it's going to be a long year.


by: Amy

Our experience sounds identical. My surgeon says he can remove the band and do a gastric sleeve while he's there. I just don't know what I want to do anymore. It makes me mad irritated and sad. I hope you find a happy resolution.


by: Sarah

I am scheduled to have my lap band removed next month. For years I have been throwing up and having severe acid reflux. There needs to be a recall of this product and a class action suit.

Even my doctor says he would never had used this item if he was aware of the issues people have had with it

Agony with my Band

by: Susan Romero

I had my band put in July 2014. At first everything was fine. I lost 40 lbs and that's where it stopped. I exercise 5 days a week, stopped eating all bread, rice, sugar & caffeine.

I chew everything very well but still vomit continuously. I live in constant fear of esophageal cancer because food just sits in my esophagus until it eventually goes down or I throw it up. The doctor gave me so many x rays to check for blockages that my hair began to fall out in bunches.

I had a huge bald spot on the left side of my head. I kept telling the doctor but they didn't help me at all. I spent hundreds of dollars on different supplements to help restore my hair. Rogaine for women is the only thing that helped but it is not cheap.

I had so much liquid put it and taken out but could never reach that sweet spot of satiety. I finally just gave up. I have ruined many outings because I was stuck in the bathroom vomiting.

It seems to be more phlegm than food that comes out. Whenever I go out to any restaurant, the first thing I look for is the bathroom just in case I need to make a run for it.

I only drink hot water before each meal to help with the food intake. I'm in constant pain where the port is. I have esophageal spasms that feel like I'm having a heart attack.

I paid $12,000 in Care Credit and am still making payments. When I am done paying, I will get it removed. This has been a nightmare for me and my family.

my lap band

by: Ronda Davis

So what i am understanding is that this was a design problem with all lap bands. The pain is real my life was effected in a way that i will not recover. my Dr. treated me like it was my fault. he was so angry with me that when i had to have the last of the fluid removed so i could swallow. he snatched the needle out so forcefully that it displaced the port and left a soft ball size bruise.

My Lap Band Injuries

by: Lisa

I had my lap band in for 12 years. I had it taken out on May 4th of 2018. I suffered from acid reflux so bad it burned my mouth. But that was the least of my problems. I would get esphogeal spasms that sent me to the hospital because I thought they were heart attacks.

The constant vomiting to bring up the food that was "stuck" in my esophagus. What concerns me is to this day I have no idea what type of band I had inside of me. The doctor wouldn't commit to a name and the operative reports simply stated a "10cc lap band".

And what scares me is the same doctor's office is still promoting this device as a way to safely lose weight. What some people will do for money.

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