A fill is nothing to be worried about. The actual procedure takes only about 15 minutes. In the majority of cases doctors now do fills under fluoroscopy, or x-ray, so they can see the port and how the band looks.
When you arrive for your appointment you will be asked to stand in front of the very large x-ray machine. There will be a screen in front of you where you can see your band, tubing and your port depending on where it is placed.
You will take a small sip of barium so the doctor can see how liquids are flowing through your band. You will see the liquid come down your esophagus and fill your pouch. Then after a second it flows through the band and into your lower stomach.
When you are ready for your fill you will lay down on a table with a support under your shoulder blades. This arches your back somewhat so your port “rises” and is easier to locate. Once the port is located the doctor will use a syringe and stick the needle into the port. He or she can see the needle on the x-ray and can see it going into the port. Does this hurt? It is a small needle stick. It feels like getting a shot which is exactly what it is. Some people are more sensitive than others to this.
The doctor will then inject the saline into your band. How much he or she gives you is determined totally by the doctor and the patient’s individual needs. Some give more some give less. This is something you will discuss with your doctor.
After your band has been filled you will stand in front of the x-ray again. You will take several sips of barium to see how tight the band is. If the doctor believes everything looks fine and you are able to drink you are on your way. You will be on liquids for the next 24-48 hours in order for your stomach to adjust to the tightening.
The number of fills a patient will receive is a varied as the number of patients. Some will have one, others will have 5. This is purely determined by the doctor and the patient. The same applies to the amount put into a patient’s band. Some do great with 1cc while others may go as high as 2.5cc. Everyone’s body and needs are different so their treatment will be different as well.
Robin McCoy was banded on February 3, 2004 and has achieved her weight loss goal of 110 pounds. Robin is Vice-President and Senior Writer for Lapband Lifestyle, a resource and support group for banded people. [http://www.lapbandlifestyle.com] email@example.com