Lap-band Post Fill Instructions

Short List: 

  1. When you leave the office if you vomit the water you drank after your fill, it will not get better. Please, turn around and come back to the office, we will take some fluid out.
  2. The first few hours drink only liquids. If you cannot tolerate thick liquids - we need to remove some fluid. If you do tolerate a meal of thick liquids then try some soft food. After the 24 hours go to solid foods but remember to measure your portions.
  3. Your band will be tighter so eat slowly and very small bites.
  4. Do not eat between meals – no snacks, no fruit, nothing.
  5. Foods to avoid:
    1. Breads - this includes crackers, Danish, donuts pretzels, goldfish (all of which have caused obstructions and some lead to slips)
    2. Pasta (use spaghetti squash instead)
    3. Sticky Rice (if you are serious about weight loss and health white rice isn’t an option)
    4. Rubbery Eggs (eggs cooked on high heat- like most restaurants serve)
    5. NUTS
  6. Watch your liquid calories. Starbucks, fruit juices, regular soda. Instead use Crystal Light or other sugar free products.
  7. Avoid dry meat. Do not reheat meat as it will get stuck.
  8. If you develop heartburn or reflux tonight you need some fluid removed. Please call the office so we can schedule you to come back in.

More about foods to avoid

Some foods become more stuck after your band is tighter, and there is no reason to eat any of them.  The big five are: Bread, Pasta, Sticky Rice, Rubbery Eggs, and Dry Chicken. Bread, especially white bread is not a worthwhile food group, and often band patients cannot tolerate it.  Do not test your band by eating this, or the other foods in the group listed.  Being able to eat bread does not mean your band is too loose, but there is no reason to test the band.  Dry chicken refers to the texture of chicken, and white meat has a lot of fiber in it, and tends to become stuck.  You can tenderize chicken with a lot of pounding or with marinades.  Chicken covered in sauces (Chinese food) or in soups is still dry, and often of poor quality – avoid these.

Two other foods to avoid are nuts and shrimp.  First off, nuts are not of any food value, and are simply fat. Nuts become stuck in the band. Avoid them.  Shrimp are a good food value, but sometimes they become stuck – chew carefully.

Watch your portions

The band will not tell you how much to eat. Measure your portions carefully.  The maximum you should eat is four ounces of meat and six ounces of vegetables (we do not consider corn or potatoes a vegetable we consider those to be starches).  Measure these out on a plate until you can eyeball this amount.  Always leave something on your plate.  NEVER, eat more than the recommended portion.  You may leave the table hungry; we promise it will be ok.  If you are hungry after a couple of hours you may eat again.

Sometimes a good Lap-band fill doesn’t hit for a couple of weeks

Give the adjustment at least two weeks before you see if it is working for you.  A good fill will not tell you what to eat, nor will a fill tell you how much to eat – that is your job.  If, in two weeks, you eat those small amounts and are hungry after a couple of hours then you may need more of a fill.

Drinking and the Lapband

After your body has accepted your fill and has normalized, you can drink small swallows of non carbonated fluids while eating. Drinking this way will moisten food and may help to avoid food sticking in your band. Warm liquids tend to open the band, and cold ones tend to tighten the band.  We recommend you drink a lot of cold liquids before dinner (most people find the band is tighter in the morning).

Band too tight - too much fluid in the Lap-band

If you vomit when you drink liquids then you need to stop drinking.  After we give you a fill we will give you some water to drink.  If it goes down well then you are on your way.  If it does not, please tell us then – it is a lot easier than you waiting to come in for an emergency un-fill.  If you cannot tolerate water, email us right away.  We will see you in the office and take out some fluid the next day.  Sometimes it means you will have to wait if Dr. Simpson is in the operating room he will see you between cases.  You will not become dehydrated if you do not drink for a few hours, it might be uncomfortable, but you will be fine.

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Something gets stuck

When something gets stuck the body will try to vomit it out—sometimes it will succeed and sometimes not.  But when food becomes stuck STOP EATING.  Once it comes up know that you are done eating for a while.  Your band will tighten for the next 24 hours so you will only be drinking liquids even if you are successful in dislodging the food.

Occasionally the only way to get something out is to have the band unfilled.  If you are out of town, you may need to see a lap-band surgeon to have them remove fluid from the band.  You can get a list of these surgeons at www.lapband.com.  Our office will sell you the special needle we use to fill bands with.  It is important that you use only the type of needle we use.  We will have a video posted on this site so that if something becomes stuck you can go to an emergency room and have one of the physicians there unfill your band.  If there are no band surgeons where you travel ER doctors can unfill them, also oncology nurses are pretty good at removing fluid.  Simply bring them the needle and have them remove all the fluid from the band and let you know how much is removed.  After your band has the fluid removed you will feel better, but you will need to only drink for the next 48 hours.

DO NOT eat on top of a band that is too tight.  Get it unfilled soon.  Too tight a band can lead to a band slip.

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Too tight a Lap-band leads to weight gain

When the band is too tight you cannot tolerate meat or vegetables you need to have some fluid removed.  You gain weight because you will always be hungry, and only eating soft foods, and never feel satisfied.  If you cannot tolerate meat, or vegetables, then we strongly suggest you come in and get some fluid removed.  It will make your life easier, and you can lose weight.

Lap-band slips

Band slips happen when you eat too much food against a tight band.  Do not over eat. And if you vomit, do not eat for at least 24 hours after you vomit.  If your band is too tight, have some fluid removed.

There are days we do not do Lap-band adjustments (fill/un-fill)

We do not adjust bands on Fridays.  The reason is that if a band is over filled then we do not need to come in on weekends to remove fluid.  If Dr. Simpson is leaving town we will not fill bands.  Sometimes Dr. Simpson has to leave town unexpectedly and so we have to rearrange those who need fills.

What if Dr. Simpson is out of town and I need fluid removed?  Dr. Simpson will have a fellow band surgeon who will cover for him when he is out of town.  So if you need fluid removed you can contact their office.  Our office will give you the contact information for them.  Even if Dr. Simpson is out of town, he typically will check and respond to email (although in 1996 he did take a vacation and turned off his email).

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