LAP-BAND® Fills and Adjustments
Adjusting, or “filling” the LAP-BAND® adjustable gastric band or REALIZE™ band is often a quick, virtually painless treatment designed to tighten the band around the stomach created during the procedure. A LAP-BAND® or REALIZE™ band fill further restricts your likely food intake in order to help you lose weight more effectively. At the DFW Bariatric Institute, our LAP-BAND® System surgeons provide LAP-BAND® fills for bariatric surgery patients who are changing their lives by losing weight and fighting the damaging effects of morbid obesity.
When a Fill or Adjustment is Necessary
The band placed around the upper portion of your stomach during LAP-BAND® System or REALIZE™ Band surgery is typically empty for the first four to six weeks, giving the stomach some time to heal and allowing the band to firmly affix itself. Although it is possible to reach your goal weight without ever having the band filled, you will likely need at least one fill at some point while the band is attached to the stomach.
Patients will likely need a band fill if they are eating more than a third of their pre-surgery solid food intake and are still feeling hungry. Following the six-week period after the initial bariatric surgery, your DFW Bariatric Institute Surgeon can inject a saline solution into the band which will provide a bit more restriction for the stomach chamber, allowing less solid food intake and an earlier feeling of fullness. Since every person is unique, it will depend on your own circumstances and needs to determine how many, or if any, band fills will be necessary.
The entire band fill procedure is performed under x-ray and takes only a few minutes to complete. It is virtually pain-free and you should not experience any discomfort after the procedure. The DFW Bariatric Institute recommens you intake only liquids for a couple of days after the fill, but after that, you can eat solid foods. Our team will give you detailed instructions on what you will need to do after the procedure. It is important these instructions are followed in order to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the band fill.
$200 Band Fill
The DFW Bariatric Institute recognizes that many patients have had the LAP-BAND® System procedure elsewhere and for various reasons, have not had the after care necessary to lose weight successfully. The LAP-BAND® System is a very popular operation, but without after-care a patient will not lose weight. Identification of complications, such as a LAP-BAND® slip, is also important to discover after surgery. This can occur in a year, to many years after the LAP-BAND® has been inserted.
The $200 LAP-BAND® fill is actually a very comprehensive evaluation of the LAP-BAND® patient and the current status of the LAP-BAND® inside the patient. Our physician assistants, dieticians, and nutritionists will listen to any problems a patient is having, for example, if a patient has heartburn, we will perform a barium swallow under X-ray (flouroscopy) to look for a band slip. We will go over these findings with the patient. And in this case, we will be doing an unfill which is equally important. If a patient is not losing weight and is hungry and no problems are identified, the appropriate fill will be performed under x-ray.
During your session, whether it be for a fill or unfill, you will have an expertise dietary consultation to answer your questions. We may find, under flouroscopy, your band is already tight enough. In that case, nutrition counseling will be discussed.
In essence, the $200 involves a flouroscopic (x-ray) examination. The course of action will be determined based on this examination and the patient’s symptoms. This is a “state of the art” LAP-BAND® experience that may include a saline fill, saline unfill or just nutrition counseling. You may be referred to one of our surgeons for evaluation if complications related to your band are suspected.
Please contact our bariatric surgeons for more information on LAP-BAND® and REALIZE™ BAND fills and adjustments.