This is a pretty good question that my post Lap Band patients pose when we are talking about doing their skin tightening procedures. The ports are safe for a couple of reasons.
Most of the patients that I see have ports that are fairly high up on the left upper quadrant of the abdominal wall. This puts them well out of the way of most tummy procedures. Now if we need to make a lower side to side incision and remove a vertical segment of skin, the port does come more into play but it typically still stays out of the way.
In the event it does come into play, and it has on several occasions in my experience, it’s not a big deal. First, as you know, the thing is pretty easy to feel so we know where it is. As I get close to it I just slow down and pay close attention not to hurt it. In fact the port itself is pretty indestructible. It’s the fill tube that can be injured and that is what I am really on the look out for. The body also does something that helps us, it surronds the port with a layer of scar tissue called a capsule. The capsule is dense, tough scar tissue that envelopes the port and adds yet another layer of protection.
All of this being said, as careful as your surgeon is, the port can be broken or may need to be moved and this possiblity needs to be part of your discussion with your Plastic Surgeon. Sometimes, your Plastic Surgeon may ask your Lap Band surgeon to help out.
Lee Corbett, MD
All posts on this blog are presented by Louisville Abdominoplasty surgeon, Dr. Lee Corbett.