After the lap-band is put in place, the doctor will likely have to adjust it to get the proper fit. The band should fit snugly enough that you feel full between meals, find portion control manageable, and experience the desired weight loss. If it’s too loose, you might have trouble controlling portions and losing weight.
However, the lap-band should never be too tight. It may seem like that would encourage even more rapid weight loss, but in fact the opposite happens: weight loss comes more slowly, and other symptoms can occur as well.
How will you know if the lap-band needs to be loosened?
The following symptoms might mean your lap-band is too tight:
- Finding it difficult to eat normal, solid food
- Regurgitation of food/inability to keep food down
- Discomfort while eating
- Coughing at night
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Unsatisfactory weight loss
When the band is first put in place around your stomach, it is deflated or only partially inflated with saline. About four to six weeks after surgery, you will have an appointment for your first adjustment. This is done in a simple office procedure during which saline is injected into the small port that has been placed beneath your skin.
If fluid needs to be removed, it is done through this port as well. When fluid is removed, the band relaxes around the stomach. If band tightness was the problem, this should ease the symptoms described above.
Most patients get about four to six adjustments in the first year after surgery. Once the patient has reached his or her goal weight, adjustments may be needed less often. However, you should still plan to be seen at least once a year over the course of your lifetime for a check-up and potential adjustment.
About Weight Loss Surgery in Los Angeles
Marina Weight Loss is available to answer questions relating to the lap-band and other types of weight loss surgery. Please call us at (800) 491-1977 for information or to schedule a Lap-Band adjustment.