Lap Band Adjustment

Achieve Healthy Weight Loss

The success of your lap band surgery depends, in large part, on learning to know when you need to have fluid added to or removed from your band. The amount of fluid in your band will determine how much food is needed for you to feel full and comfortable, which generally determines how much weight you lose. Your doctor is responsible for adding and removing fluid, but you will play a significant role in determining whether or not your band needs to be adjusted.

How Your Band Is Adjusted

About 6 weeks after your lap band surgery, you will visit your doctor in the Jacksonville or Valdosta office for your first adjustment, commonly referred to as a “fill.” Your doctor will locate the port that was placed under your skin during your surgery. A thin needle will then be used to inject saline solution into the port. Your doctor may use an X-ray to locate the port site or to help determine how tight the band is after saline has been added.

Getting Into The Zone After Lap Band Surgery

Think of your lap band as being in one of three zones: the yellow zone, the green zone, or the red zone.

Yellow Zone

  • You’re frequently hungry between meals
  • You can eat large portions, generally more than 4 ounces at a time
  • You’re not losing weight

If you’re in the yellow zone, your doctor will probably add fluid to your lap band.

Green Zone

  • You’re easily practicing portion control
  • You don’t feel hungry between meals
  • You’re happy with your rate of weight loss

If you’re in the green zone, your gastric band is properly fitted and no adjustment is needed.

Red Zone

  • It’s difficult to eat more than a few bites
  • You experience regurgitation
  • You have nighttime cough

If you’re in the red zone, your lap band may be too tight and need fluid removed.

Ideally, you spend most or all of your time in the green zone. Your lap band is fitted so that you can eat about 4 ounces of food about every four hours, allowing you to get the nutrients your body needs without feeling full between meals. Because you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning, you’re enjoying steady weight loss.

If you are not in the green zone, contact your doctor. It is not unusual to require several adjustments during the first year after surgery in order to get in and remain in the green zone. Don’t assume that you are doing something wrong if you need an adjustment, even if you were in the green zone previously. The key to lap band surgery success is to listen to your body and honestly communicate your individual needs with your doctor.