Getting a Lap Band Fill
Having lap band surgery is only one step toward continual weight loss and a healthier lifestyle. The band that is placed around your stomach to create a small pouch is designed to be filled with saline, and regular “fills” keep this pouch the right size and prevent you from eating too much.
During your surgery, you’ll have a small port attached just under the skin of your stomach that connects directly to the band with a small tube. Filling the band is as simple as injecting saline solution into the port with a small needle. The saline will travel down the tube and fill the band. This is normally not painful, and if you do experience pain, be sure to let your surgeon know.
Typically, the band isn’t filled with saline until four to six weeks after surgery to allow you to heal fully. Your first fill may be performed under an x-ray fluoroscope so that the surgeon can see your band and ensure that everything looks fine.
After your fill Dr.Choi will typically request that you drink some water slowly, to make sure that you’re able to pass liquids through the band into your stomach. If water won’t go down, your band is too tight, and the surgeon can quickly make an adjustment to loosen it. For the few days after your fill, you’ll be asked to follow a restrictive diet, which is usually liquids for the first day or two, followed by soft foods. It’s important to follow these guidelines until your stomach has adjusted to the tighter band.
It can take a few fills before your band is adjusted properly, but once you get the right amount of restriction, you may be able to go several months without needing an adjustment. Your surgeon will be able to guide you on the frequency of your fills to maximize your healthy weight loss.