LAP-BAND patients are seen on a monthly basis during active weight loss. The adjustments are customized to each individual. We will help determine the need for an adjustment. If you are hungry between meals and you are NOT drinking with your meal and waiting two hours after you eat before you start drinking, you probably need an adjustment.
Your first adjustment will take place about five weeks after surgery. The adjustment is a simple process:
- We will locate the access port underneath the skin of your abdomen—by feeling for it on the surface of your skin.
- Some numbing medicine will be injected into the skin—you may feel a slight sting at that time.
- A fine needle is inserted into the access port.
- Sterile saline fluid is added to the band in your LAP-BAND® System.
As you gradually lose weight, it’s not unusual for you to need more than one adjustment. During the first year, most patients get between five and eight adjustments (adding or removing fluid). The most common reasons for adjustments are hunger, being able to eat too much without feeling full, not losing weight, or discomfort or vomiting. Once you reach your goal weight, your adjustments may become less frequent.
Only a trained and authorized clinician can adjust your LAP-BAND® System. Never let an untrained clinician or a non-medical person do it. And never try to make adjustments yourself.
Life After Surgery
Correct eating patterns
- Set aside 20 to 30 minutes to eat each meal
- Chew your food thoroughly
- Cut your food into pieces the size of a pea
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full
- Do not drink liquids with your meal
The feeling of fullness may be different when you have a LAP-BAND. You will need to learn to recognize the signal to stop eating. These may include:
- A feeling of pressure or fullness in the center of your chest under your sternum
- Pain in your shoulder or upper chest
It is important to make changes in your eating patterns in order to produce the desired weight loss and also to prevent pain and vomiting. Inappropriate eating habits can lead to obstruction of the stoma (the opening for foods leaving the upper stomach) which can cause vomiting then leading to a complication known as a slip or gastric prolapse. Care needs to be taken to avoid vomiting whenever possible. Causes of vomiting include:
- Eating too fast
- Not chewing food thoroughly
- Drinking liquids right after eating
- Lying down after a meal
- Eating foods that don’t agree with you
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