Archives for October 2013

My 1st Lap Band Fill


My happy place

My happy place

Today was finally the day…time for my 1st fill.  What you ask is that???  Well it’s a process where the doctor sticks a needle into the port located at my belly button and injects saline into my lap band to cause it to tighten around my stomach.  This will cause more restriction which will help me to eat less and stay full longer between meals.

Of course, I had the normal worries that plague all beginners to the lap band lifestyle:  Did I damage my band already with my poor eating habits? Is my port ok? Will the doctor give me a hard time for not losing weight over the past couple of weeks?  and biggest…..will the shot hurt!!???

To my relief, I found out once I was there that my doctor didn’t really expect me to lose weight between the time the band was placed and the 1st fill appointment.  It’s an added bonus if you do lose but many patients do not.  This “healing” time is used to get the patient used to the eating habits of having the band without the restriction to help you prepare for when you do get that restriction.

It’s a huge step to go from eating the way we are used to, to eating 4-6 oz meal, basically 1 cup of food per meal.  I have had a few hiccups during the past couple of weeks even with no restriction… (we will save that for another post)

So, I went in, was weighed, asked how I have been, if I had any questions…  Then after the small talk, I was taken into the room where I had my original surgery and asked to lay on the table.  The doctor inserted the needle into my stomach about 1/2″ above my belly button.  Here’s the funny part….This needle was at least 4″ long and I didn’t feel a thing!!  I mean it didn’t hurt at all and I’m the biggest baby when it comes to needles.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Then with the needle in my stomach, I was asked to stand so they could inject the saline under X-ray.  I was given a Dixie cup of barium and asked to drink half of it.  It was the coolest thing to watch the fluid go down my esophagus and stop where my band was!  The doctor had injected 5 cc’s into my band which had stopped the fluid from passing through.  He then started removing some fluid until the fluid started trickling through the band.  We ended up with 3 cc’s of saline in my band for my 1st fill.

I was asked to drink the rest of the barium as a precaution to verify the fluid passed through the band correctly, scheduled another fill appointment for 4 weeks, given some instructions, and sent on my merry way.

This whole process took less than 30 minutes and I was back at work.  I did try to stick to fluids for most of the rest of the day having a protein shake and some Progresso soup blended.  I could only have about 1 cup of the soup before I felt full so I really noticed the restriction.  But the real test came when I went home for dinner…

It being Halloween and knowing I would have company and knocks at the door all evening, we decided to hit Jack-in-the-box for dinner<yikes!>.  I ordered the grilled chicken strips because it has 43 gm of protein.  Unfortunately (?) , I was only able to eat 1.5 of the 4 strips.  I was completely full!  Now this is what I signed up for!!  I’m hoping I am on the way to my happy place…

So Yes, the first fill is when the real work begins.  Since the surgery to now was just a test.  We are to use that time to get you into the new mindset and prepare you for the new life of eating less, feeling full and getting skinny.