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Port Expelled?

Cazbo

New Member
Hi All,

I a newbie on here and my 1st post... now I have plucked up the courage to post I hope one of you lovely people can help / advise on what to do..

I had a Band fit in 2005 in belgium, it was the best thing I ever did, within 12 months I had reached my goal weight, I started at 15 stone (Size 16/18) went to 8 stone 2 (size 6/8), no lose skin (surprisingly).

October last year I had a large swelling around the port site, pain was excruciating and it took about 6 weeks for pain and swelling to resolve, No idea why this happened, I don't recall any trauma at all.

Once the swelling had reduced the port looked like an alien trying to escape from my abdomen, then a abscess formed on the port site eventually it burst then about 2 days later another abscess appeared again, this process went on and on, the abscess site just would not heal, it began getting painful, it felt as though the port was trying to escape through my skin, I had no restriction, I was gaining weight, I contacted the surgeon and arranged a review.

The morning of the review I went to change the dressing and was horrified to find the the port had in fact broken through the skin and was hanging out of my abdomen :( When I saw the surgeon he too was shocked as he had never witnessed this before, there and then he removed the port, finally pain free what a relief....He said I would have to wait at least 3 months before arranging to go to Belgium for a replacement to allow the wound to fully heal.

My dilemma now he has moved the goal post, NOW I have to return in 3 months to have the band removed THEN wait a further 3 months because he says the band will STILL be infected? and needs to make sure the infection is cleared?
He will be charging me full price for 2 separate operations!

I questioned how the band could be infected as it is indeed a piece of plastic, Since he took the port out I have had antibiotic cover, the wound site is almost healed (packed daily) and no clinical signs of infection, if there was any infected fluid in the band or line this would have leaked into my body and I would have been ill, (would I not?) but am not and haven't been....In 3 months if I don't become ill surely that proves the band is ok to just be replaced? I feel this is just an excuse to get more money What do you guys think? What would you do in my position?

I am now looking closer to home in the UK and actually thinking of having revision to sleeve rather than have foreign object in my body and it try again to get rid of it, but so far no one company has reported they will not do the sleeve as my BMI is now normal?

Since October I have put on a stone and half, I am mortified at the weight gain and also having to wait 6 months before replacement, I dread to think how much weight I will put on during this time :(

Cazbo
 

countrywench

Well-Known Member
Are you still under the are of Belgium ? Still within your aftercare package ?
You know what I'd do , I would book and pay for a second opinion in U.K. .. this may cost you a couple of hundred but in my view would be worth it .. do a bit of research and find the best gastric surgeon in your area and go and see him.. Be totally honest about why your there and see what he says ..
I wouldn't know yet what your band would be infected as it is a sealed unit .. so any fluid from the abscess would not be able to get into the band internally ? Don't know that one ..
but that's what I would do if I was you ..
Lots of luck and let us know how it goes
Xxxxx
 

Hannah2

Well-Known Member
Wow @Cazbo

That sounds such a horrible thing to have happen and seems that you have suffered for quite a while waiting for it all to heal too.

I don't know about bands really, but I guess it is possible that infected fluid could have got from the port/tubing into the band and I suspect he is worried if he replaces the port/tubing that the infection might transfer back and cause problems again. However, it does seem a lot to have to pay for two separate operations.

I would agree with @countrywench and seek a second opinion in the UK, especially if you are considering switching to a sleeve. If they are wanting you to pay for 2 operations in Belgium, to be honest the cost for a sleeve in the UK might be a similar cost and it would probably set your mind to rest more if you are concerned about have the band/foreign object inside you.

There are some members who have had band to sleeve revision, @Mazza is one, but I think she had to have her band removed first and then go back for a second op to have the sleeve. Hopefully they will be able to respond and give you more info.

As far as weight maintenance is concerned, have you considered going to a slimming group as an interim measure? I used to do Slimming world prior to my bypass and although long term I found it difficult to follow, in the short term/focussed timescale it did work for me. It might help you keep focussed whilst you get your band sorted, or at least help you maintain/limit the damage that you might do and that you are worried about.

Good luck - keep posting for support - maybe start a diary with your journey?
 

FeeBee

Well-Known Member
I'm not a bander either but I hope someone can help you. It sounds like a truly horrendous experience that you've been through and a second opinion would make a lot of sense. I am a bit confused too about the idea of the band being infected too plus the cynical part of my brain is also wondering about you being charge for two seperate ops. Maybe that's how it all works, I don't know but getting an informed opinion from someone with nothing financially to gain sounds sensible x
 
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