Gastric Band Adjustments
The purpose of an adjustment is to ensure that you feel satisfied when you eat and that you are losing weight gradually, about 1-2 pounds per week. The adjustments are done by your surgeon or another healthcare professional by adding sterile saline to the band through the port. Adjustments can also involve removing saline from the band through the port. When filling the band, saline travels from the port through the tube and into the band, making the band fit more snugly around your stomach.
Your Steps to a Gastric Band Adjustment:
- Because your doctor wants to make sure that your stomach completely heals from the surgery, your first band adjustment won’t usually occur until at least 12 weeks after your surgery. This is usually due to insurance pre-authorization.
- Adjustments do not require more surgery.
- Band Adjustments can be scheduled at our office, or under fluoroscopy at the Band Adjustment Center or at one of our hospital facilities.
- An adjustment when fluid is added is referred to as a “fill”. Fills tighten the band around the stomach so you’ll feel full sooner and longer than you did before the fill, because the food will empty from your upper stomach more slowly.
Preparing for a Band Adjustment:
- Some insurance companies require pre authorization. Please check with your specific insurance company
- Always follow your doctor’s specific instructions
- Don’t eat any soft or solid foods for at least 2 hours before the adjustment
- Wear clothing that will allow the health care professional to easily access your abdomen
Locating the band injection port:
- The health care professional may use 1 of 2 methods:
- By gently pressing on the area of your abdomen where the port is fastened or
- Using fluoroscopy, which a special type of video image
Inserting or removing saline from your band:
- The health care professional will then disinfect the site and insert a fine needle through the skin and into the port
- During a fill, the health care professional will inject saline into the port until you feel some restriction
- During a saline removal, the health care professional will remove saline from the port until you feel less restriction
Checking the band tightness:
- You may be asked to drink small amounts of water to ensure you can swallow
A word of caution: If you vomit within 48 hours after a fill, or if food gets stuck in your stomach, you will need to contact us right away; these symptoms may indicate that your band is too tight. If so, please call us at (973) 410-9700.
To learn more, call (973) 410-9700 or contact us online.