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Before and After BMI

Within the first year of your LAP-BAND surgery, band fills and evaluations are integral to your weight loss success. Each body and appetite is different and you may find yourself returning every 2-4 weeks to have your band filled so that your band can properly help you feel full quickly.

What Is a LAP-BAND?

The LAP-BAND® is an FDA-approved surgical device from the company ALLERGAN, a well-established pharmaceutical company in Ireland that has brought us many common drugs like Restasis, Latisse, Botox, Lexapro and Juvederm. A LAP-BAND procedure may be done with the Allergan product, but since it’s been around for some time, there are now other reliable generic versions of it.

A laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB), aka LAP-BAND, is a minimally-invasive surgery that takes 1-2 hours to perform. It’s done through small incisions in the abdomen, through which thin tubes with cameras and tiny surgical instruments can proceed into the body. Using the instruments, a surgeon places a silicone gastric band around the upper portion of your stomach. A balloon-like structure rests on the inside of that band.

With the LAP-BAND in place, the food sits in the upper portion of the stomach, called the pouch. Here the food begins to digest. Once the food has digested a little, it can slide through the band to the lower stomach. This creation of a two-step system instead of one significantly limits how much you can eat at any one time.

After placing the LAP-BAND, surgeons place a port into the wall of the abdomen. It’s under the skin, so you can’t see it from the outside. A port is like a permanent entryway that allows doctors to later inject something into the body in the least invasive way possible. Without the port, they’d need to do another surgery every time you need a LAP-BAND fill. But the port makes access easy and painless.

That’s especially true because of the non-invasive way BMI of Texas does its LAP-BAND fills, as we’ll discuss a little later.

What Is a LAP-BAND Fill?

With the gastric band and port in place, doctors can now use the port to fill the balloon under the band with saline. This LAP-BAND adjustment slightly closes the opening that is covered with the LAP-BAND to meet a patient’s needs. If a patient isn’t getting enough nutrients, the balloon may need to be relaxed. If the LAP-BAND is allowing too much through, the filled balloon tightens the area.

How Often Do I Need a LAP-BAND Fill?

Generally, within the first year of having a LAP-BAND, you’ll need a LAP-BAND fill 3-5 times to reach the right fit for you. This may be more in some patients. After that first year, you can expect to visit your surgeon at least twice a year for a LAP-BAND fill.

How Does My Doctor Determine How Much Fill I Need?

Overfilling a LAP-BAND would make it impossible for you to eat, which would cause malnourishment and health problems within a short time. Underfilling the LAP-BAND would limit its ability to do its job because it’s too easy for food to slide through. Every patient is different. Determining how much saline needs to be in the balloon is about finding the right balance between the two. And this may take several attempts.

That’s why the port is in place to make it easy to adjust those saline levels.

In addition to running tests to determine that you’re getting important nutrients, your doctor will ask you some questions to achieve the right fit for your lifestyle and health. Your doctor may encourage you to keep a food journal to help you accurately answer these questions.

  • How often are you hungry?
  • How often do you snack?
  • How much do you eat during a meal?
  • What kinds of foods are you eating?
  • Are you getting enough protein?
  • What does it take for you to experience fullness?

Your doctor will consider your answers to these questions, along with your weight and ability to get vital nutrients, to either increase or decrease the saline levels.

How Is a LAP-BAND Fill Performed?

Your BMI of Texas surgeon uses advanced technology to guide the procedure and maximize comfort for the patient.

The Fluoroscopy Difference

BMI of Texas uses fluoroscopy for all of our LAP-BAND fill procedures. Fluoroscopy is a type of x-ray that allows us to easily see your port within 5-7 seconds. From there, we can see directly on screen where we need to stick the needle – no need to worry about second, third or fourth tries. Trust us, once you’ve had your band filled with fluoroscopy, you’ll never want to have it filled any other way.

Take Part in Your LAP-BAND Journey

Fluoroscopy doesn’t just allow us to see your band, you can see it as well! At BMI of Texas, we want our patients to take an active part in your band fill and your entire LAP-BAND journey. We’re here to help you maximize your weight loss efficiency and meet your goals by adjusting your band to the specifics of your needs and body each and every time.

To this end, we let you see your band, how well it’s performing and how your actions directly impact the LAP-BAND. As an active participant in the LAP-BAND journey, you can use this knowledge to make small changes to improve your results.

See Your LAP-BAND in Action

During your band fill procedure, your band is visible right on the screen! Often, our patients ask for an ‘upper GI’ picture so they can see just how tight their band is. This is a huge in helping you visualize just how much you should be eating so that you can better work with your band to achieve the best results.

Build Better Behaviors

Beyond being able to see your band, fluoroscopy also allows you to match how your band feels to that image and what you’re eating. This could uncover and demonstrate eating habits or behavior patterns that are harming your weight loss efficiency. Dieticians or a metabolic team will be critical to help you prevent or overturn these habits.

Whether your lap band surgery was with us or someone else, BMI of Texas welcomes all lap band patients! We will work to utilize your insurance for your band fills. Contact us today to learn more about band fills, LAP-BAND surgery and more!

If you would like more information or have a question, please Contact Us Today.
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