About LAP-BAND® Adjustments
The LAP-BAND® System can be adjusted to meet your specific needs. That is one of its more attractive aspects. This feature allows you and Dr. Fore to find the right level of restriction just for you!
The gastric band is usually left empty or only partially inflated for the first few weeks after surgery, allowing time for healing to occur around the new band site. These first few weeks are a critical time. You need to avoid vomiting. You also need to avoid putting pressure on your new small stomach above the band. The first time it is adjusted is usually 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery, although the exact time will vary from one patient to another. You and Dr. Fore will decide when the right time is for your band adjustment.
To determine how ready you are for an adjustment, Dr. Fore will consider:
- Your weight loss
- The amount of food you can comfortably eat
- Your exercise routine
- How much fluid is already in your band
Being able to adjust the LAP-BAND® System gives you and Dr. Fore control. If it is too tight, Dr. Fore can “loosen” it by taking out some of the fluid. If the band is too loose, Dr. Fore can tighten it. Dr. Fore does this by injecting fluid. Only a clinician trained and authorized by Allergan, Inc. can adjust it. Never let an untrained clinician do it. Never let a nonmedical person do it. And never try to adjust your own band. You could cause yourself adverse reactions. You could also damage it.
To adjust your band, saline is injected into the self-sealing access port. This port is located just under your skin. It can also be adjusted by removing saline from the port. This is done with a special fine needle. You may feel a pricking sensation when this is done. The feeling is similar to when you give blood.
Adjustments can be made in the convenience of Dr. Fore’s office. To get the best results, you may need more than one adjustment. During each adjustment, only a very small amount of saline will be added to or removed from the band. The exact amount of fluid required to make the stoma the right size is unique for each person. An ideal “fill” should be just tight enough to let you gradually lose weight. That means you should still be able to eat enough to get the nutrients you need while still reducing the overall amount you can eat.
The LAP-BAND® System is meant to offer you a way to obtain steady and safe weight loss. Don’t be in a hurry to have an adjustment before you’re ready. To work, the LAP-BAND® System needs your participation. Your success will depend on you and on the partnership between you and Dr. Fore.
The Ideal Fill Level
The LAP-BAND® System journey is different for each person and the exact amount of fluid required to make the new stomach opening the right size varies from person to person. An ideal “fill” level should be just tight enough to let you gradually lose weight. That means you should still be able to eat enough to get the nutrients that you need, while still reducing the overall amount you can actually eat.
- If you are hungry between meals, still eating large portions, or not losing weight, you probably don’t have enough fluid in your band and should come in for an adjustment.
- If you are experiencing regurgitation, discomfort while eating, a night-time cough, poor weight loss, or making poor food choices, you may have too much fluid in your band and should come in for an adjustment.
- If you are experiencing good weight loss, easily practicing portion control, and are not hungry between meals, you’re doing great and your band is at the “ideal” fill level!