LAP-BAND FILLS AND ADJUSTMENTS
An important part of lap-band surgery success is getting regular “fills” after surgery. Learn more about these adjustments and why they are an essential part of your weight loss journey.
WHAT IS A LAP-BAND FILL?
During lap-band surgery, an adjustable gastric band is placed around the top portion of the stomach. This band is an inflatable silicone tube similar in shape to an inner tube. It is usually empty when it’s positioned. This band has a long, narrow tube that connects the band to a small port that is placed just under the skin in the lower abdomen during surgery. A needle can be inserted into this port after surgery to add or remove saline from the band. When saline is added, the band inflates and the opening between the pouch stomach and the lower part of the stomach is made smaller, reducing the amount of food that can be eaten at once. If saline is removed, the tube deflates and the opening is made bigger to allow more food to pass into to the stomach more quickly.
Lap band “fills” are the adjustments that are made to the saline after surgery. This procedure is generally painless and only takes a few minutes in the doctor’s office.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A REFILL?
Usually, the first fill is done 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. During this lap-band adjustment, your surgeon may use an x-ray or other imaging device to determine how much saline to add. After this initial fill, adjustments will be made based primarily on the feedback you give your surgeon during your regular checkups.
It will be up to you to monitor your appetite and make sure you remain in the healthy weight loss zone. If you are losing weight too quickly or having trouble swallowing, contact your doctor to have the band loosened. If you are losing weight very slowly and notice that you can eat more than a few ounces of food at a time, your doctor will likely recommend tightening the band. Pay attention to your appetite, including how much you can eat at once and how long you can go between meals without getting hungry again.
After your initial fill, your doctor may want to see you every one to two months. It’s not uncommon to have as many as eight fills within the first year as your body adjusts to the lap band. The frequency of follow up visits and fills will often decrease after a year or two, depending on your progress.
Manatee Memorial Hospital, Medical Office Building
250 2nd Street East, Suite 1A
Bradenton, FL 34208
Phone: (941) 896-4788 | Fax: (941) 896-4791