Monday, August 3, 2009

Geographical Differences in Getting Filled & SLEEEOOOWWW Fills

I posted this on Brooke's site just a minute ago and wanted to re-post here because it tells a little about my fill experience and what I believe is a different approach to fills that has a relationship to geography (from those doctors I've spoken with when I was trying to get scheduled for my first fill--several--and the other posts I've read, doctors in my part of the country are slower with the fills). Also, I was curious if anyone knew much about stretching the pouch. I haven't really talked about that much with my surgeon. I don't want to do it if I can help it.

Here's the post: As far as fills go, it seems like the doctors all vary. My surgeon who installed this puppy would have filled me up all the way in about six weeks (after surgery). He and his staff told me so and said that there was no reason to 'inch me up' to an appropriate level of fill. I have read from others' posts that many other doctors in many other parts of the country have this approach or are at least willing to give quick fills up front to get to the sweet spot ASAP.

However, my fill doctor (I don't live near my surgeon though my fill doctor is, of course, a bariatric surgeon) only rations out small portions at a time because he says that it is better to prevent slippage and problems with the band later. I don't want problems and don't want to have to go through another surgery (yikes!), so for me it's best to be more cautious just in case my fill doctor is on to something. And what choice do I have really?

The bad part is that it is taking sooooo long to lose (and yes, I've been able to and have eaten a lot more than I thought I would/could after being banded until JUST recently) and that it is probably costing me more--$150 a fill for more fills. Is there a hidden agenda for some surgeons to make easy money off of fills? I've wondered that, but, again, I have to trust that he has sound medical reasons to treat me the way he is. I also don't want to be overfilled. I've read about how painful that is. And I can't imagine not being able to drink!!!! That would be terrifying!

But whatever course you take, I think a lot of it depends on what your surgeon WILL do--probably moreso than what you want. Although I could be wrong, if they will fill you immediately or not is probably their call. You could shop for a doctor though. You may find another surgeon like Amson who is willing to take the same path he does.

As far as eating solids right after being banded, I would probably worry about throwing up too soon like Amy mentioned. I've also heard people talking about stretching pouches. Someone else might know more about that.

Either way, it sounds like this Amson guy has had good results. He probably knows what he's doing. I'm no medical doctor; that's for sure. I just thought I'd share my experiences so you'd have some more 'food for thought'--good one, Amy! :)


  1. My doc is a slow(er) filler but I am glad. Turns out I am VERY sensitive to fills and was overfilled at 3.5cc in a 10cc band. I am just finally back up to 2.5cc after that ordeal. I do want another 0.5cc when I go this month, because I am thinking that the fat pad around my stomach has shrank quite a bit recently.

  2. Thanks for posting that. I definitely feel mystified by the different info available out there for lapband fills, the stages of solids and mushies.

    It would help if it was consistent. Like most ppl I'm having the surgery because traditional dieting just doesn't work for me, so when I see other ppl bypassing the crappy part before and after lapband, I'm really curious about it.

    Having said that I think I will be taking it slow and trying to stick with the plan :-)

  3. Lacey: We share the same fill doc (Nye). :) I'm not as sensitive to fills unfortunately, so I'm just now, after seven months, starting to feel SOMETHING. But yours was one of the overfill situations I read. It didn't sound so glamorous. It actually scared the heck out of me!

    Brooke: I know what you mean about getting past the annoying 'waiting around to lose weight' stage. But it will come. We have to trust that. And, though I'm coming around later than some, I am finally feeling fuller I suppose that means it's working! But maybe you'll have a sensitive stomach like Lacey.

  4. I actually asked about stretching the pouch at my last appointment, because I was paranoid I was eating too much. My Dr. said that conceivably you could if you ate whole pizzas every night, but that's not how the band works. She said that if we eat too much we'll throw up. The food won't stay there long enough to stretch it. She did say that bypass patients can definitely stretch their pouches- so maybe some myths of pouch stretching comes from them.
    To answer your question on my blog- my second fill has kind of fizzled. I know I'm close, but still get hungrier than I should. I'm hoping the next one does it for awhile.

  5. Thanks for posting that Linda. I have been wondering a lot about the stretched pouch thing with lapband, but that makes sense that you'd throw it up cuz it can't get down.

    Man oh man, I think I need a t-shirt or a tatoo to keep reminding me: slow and steady wins the race ;-)

  6. My doc also goes the slow and steady route. He mentioned this right off the bat at the seminar I went to before I was banded. No if's or buts.. if you don't like it, go somewhere else. His reasoning was he used to do more aggressive fills when he first started out but now has cut it back because he was seeing a lot of newly banded people ie just a few months in, calling him in an emergency OR ending up in the ER themselves with stuck food.
    I must admit I wish he would go a LITTLE harder, but since I'm the newbie and he's the experienced one, I just follow his lead.
    Thanks for the info on the stretched pouch too. I always wondered about that.. (and also wondered, if we can stretch the pouch.. wouldn't it be likely it would shrink again just like when we dieted pre-band and we would say: I think my stomach has shrunk through little amounts of food.) Wonder if that could happen? You've actually put my mind at rest a little. Great post x
    P.S. Love the new page layout. Pretty :)

  7. Cara, thank you about the page. Now you've got me thinking about the shrinking back thing. :) I should only have to think at work! :) :) :) I agree about wanting my doc be more aggressive, but we'll get day. :)

    Brooke: LOL about the shirt or tatoo. I could've used one throughout these past seven months! :)

    Linda: Interesting about the pizza example. That put it in more concrete terms for me (I like concrete). :) And I hope your next fill gets you there.