One of the most unique and beneficial elements of the LAP-BAND® System is that it can be adjusted to accommodate your individual needs. Adding saline solution makes the band tighter, limiting how much you can eat and slowing down the emptying of the stomach pouch. Removing saline makes the band looser, allowing more food to pass through the band.
The “sweet spot” is different for every patient, but ideally, the band restriction should be enough that you gradually lose weight while being able to eat a nutritionally balanced diet.
Patients usually have their bands adjusted for the first time 5 weeks after surgery, during their second post-operative visit.
You should schedule an appointment for an adjustment if:
- ✔ You have not lost weight in 2 weeks or more
- ✔ You have gained weight
- ✔ You feel significantly less restriction
- ✔ You can eat regular size portions
- ✔ Your band feels too tight
The LAP-BAND adjustment is a quick and relatively painless outpatient procedure. First, we will perform an x-ray to determine the exact location of the band’s access port under the skin. Next, your surgeon will pass a fine needle through the skin into the port and begin adding or removing saline as needed. Local anesthesia is used prior to beginning the procedure.
Note: Only a trained medical clinician can adjust your band. Never attempt to adjust your own band or allow an untrained person or non-medical professional to do it.
The adjustment usually takes only a few minutes to complete, and you will be able to leave our center immediately following the procedure. You may be placed back on a liquid diet for a few days following the adjustment in order to give your stomach some time to adapt to the restriction change.
Every patient has different needs, and the number of adjustments you require may vary. Some patients need only one adjustment, while others may need two or three during the first year depending upon their individual responses to the band and the degree of weight loss desired.
Currently, most insurance policies pay for band adjustments. If your insurance policy provides coverage for your LAP-BAND surgery, it will most likely also cover the LAP-BAND adjustments. If you didn’t meet your insurance policy criteria for the LAP-BAND procedure and had to pay for it yourself, you will likely need to cover the cost of adjustments yourself as well. If you have health insurance and aren’t sure if your adjustments are covered, we highly recommend that you contact our insurance coordinator so you don’t miss out on any benefits you are entitled to.
LAP-BAND adjustments are an essential part of proper after-surgery follow-up care. Although LAP-BAND adjustments are especially important during the first two years following surgery, it is recommended that you visit the clinic at least once every six months. Even if you feel that your band has stayed well-adjusted, you should regularly check in with your surgeon to make sure everything is fine.
Your LAP-BAND is well adjusted if you have no issues with swallowing and you feel full after eating approximately half a cup of food. A band that is too tight may cause symptoms such as discomfort, heartburn, coughing, and regurgitation.
Because your surgeon needs to see how well your band is restricted on your x-ray, you should come to your adjustment appointment with an empty stomach. Please avoid eating and drinking for four hours prior to your visit.
Depending on your surgeon’s recommendations, you may be put on a liquid diet for 24 hours following an adjustment, or you may be allowed to eat right away.
Important LAP-BAND® System Safety Information
Indications: The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2with one or more obesity-related co-morbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.
Contraindications: The LAP-BAND® System is not recommended for non-adult patients, patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results (e.g., inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, GI conditions, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, cirrhosis), who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, who have alcohol or drug addictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.
Warnings: The LAP-BAND® System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.
Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND® System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.
Important: For full safety information please click here, talk with your doctor, or call Apollo Customer Support at 1-855-551-3123
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