Qualifying for Bariatric Surgery

Lap Band Adjustments Explained

At the time of surgery, the band is not filled with fluid but the tubing is primed with saline. This allows time for the stomach to adapt to the presence of the band. At 3-4 weeks post-op the first lap band adjustment or “fill” evaluation appointment is scheduled. The term “adjustment” means adding or removing fluid to the band. At the 3-4 week visit the “filling phase” typically begins. Adjustments are done in the office through a needle stick on the skin to the band port. Sterile saline travels up the tubing to the inner surface of the band to exert slight pressure on the stomach wall, starting the process of restriction.

Lap Band adjustments are done at our office by generally by one of our experienced Physician Assistants using a fluoroscopy machine for better visualization.

The decision to “fill” is always based on a person’s weight loss, food and fluid intake, hunger level, adherence to new eating and drinking techniques, absence of symptoms related to the band, and the manufacturer’s fill adjustments guidelines.

How Many Adjustments are Needed?

Generally speaking, about 5 or more fills (adjustments) can be expected in the first post-op year but this does vary person to person.

Lap Band Adjustment Zones

How Often are Lap Band Adjustments Needed?

Generally lap band patients will be needing an adjustment every 4 weeks during the first post op year and every three months for the next two years. However, lap band adjustments vary and depends on each patient’s ability to reach the green zone.

The most important thing for patients to remember is to be honest with yourself and with your health provider adjusting the band. The green zone can only be achieved if the patients answers the questions honestly.

Preparing for the Lap Band Fill

  • Your insurance company might require an authorization for the lap band fill. If so, you will need to get one from your primary care physician
  • It is important to follow our specific instructions
  • Don’t eat any soft or solid foods for at least 4 hours before the adjustment
  • Wear clothing that will allow the health care professional to easily access your abdomen

Gastric Band Adjustment Animation

Lap Band