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Possible Slipping Band?


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Hi All!

I had surgery on Jan. 17th, 2008. I've lost about 115 lbs and have had a total overhaul of how I view/consume food and am very happy with my success so far.

It took 4 tries for my band to be filled to the "correct" place where I actually felt any kind of restriction. I ended up with 8 ccs in a 10 cc band, and I got that final fill done in August of '08.

About 3 times a month, since that final fill, I would mistakenly injest something that will make me vomit. I was doing exactly what all the literature says to do, I wasn't trying to down huge servings of white bread or soda, but since my diet was so full of new things, I would mistakenly trip across healthy things that would stick above the band no matter how well I chewed them, like certain raw vegetables and whole-wheat pasta. Also, I have always had a really sensitive gag reflex, so this is only slightly more than the norm from before I had the lap-band.

Anyhow, every time I'd vomit, I would revert to a liquid diet for a few days, load up on the Ibuprofren, and then gradually get back onto a regular diet, no problems. No consistent pain or anything like that, the liquid diet was more a precaution than anything, and I would always be just fine resuming a normal diet within a day or two.

However, I vomited several times about 4 days ago and even with a liquid diet I've been uncomfortable (not a lot of pain, just enough so I notice it) right around the lap band. I've stuck to a liquid diet this whole time have in fact vomited up the liquids twice more in the last two days, however I'm able to keep down the majority of what I'm ingesting. I'm still relatively hydrated but definitely getting a run-down feeling from not getting enough protein/carbs/calories.

My main question is: Do you think I've slipped the band? If the inital 3-times-a-month vomiting was a sign that the band had slipped, why was I okay to eat a normal diet 90% of the time inbetween the vomiting? I thought that once the band slipped you were unable to injest anything? Do you think this is a simple matter of the band being over-filled?

I have an appointment with our friend the Flouroscope on Monday, so I'll know for sure at that point if the band is slipped. If it has slipped, does that automatically mean I have to have the band removed? How much is that going to cost me? I don't have a single spare cent to pay for any kind of surgery. If I can't afford the surgery, can I still function with all of the saline removed?

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give the backstory. I'm pretty darn nervous about all of this right now and would appreciate any input I could get.

Thanks so much!

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Sounds like you're jumping the gun a bit. While vomiting is a sign of a slipped band the band is fickle and sometimes can just decide to tighten. I had that happen to me a month or two ago. Getting some saline removed took care of it instantly. You've had a lot of fill and so you have more room to work with as far as loosening it down to a comfortable level again.

If it is slipped then depending on the type of slip they can treat it with completely deflating your band or removal, however from what you said I don't think that's the case and you'll be fine with an unfill. However the sooner you can get in to have that happen the better as something like this can lead to a slip. Have you told your doctor it's an urgent situation? My doctor could see me this afternoon to have me unfilled if it was serious. I'm surprised they'd make you wait until Monday.

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Sounds like you're jumping the gun a bit. While vomiting is a sign of a slipped band the band is fickle and sometimes can just decide to tighten. I had that happen to me a month or two ago. Getting some saline removed took care of it instantly. You've had a lot of fill and so you have more room to work with as far as loosening it down to a comfortable level again.

If it is slipped then depending on the type of slip they can treat it with completely deflating your band or removal, however from what you said I don't think that's the case and you'll be fine with an unfill. However the sooner you can get in to have that happen the better as something like this can lead to a slip. Have you told your doctor it's an urgent situation? My doctor could see me this afternoon to have me unfilled if it was serious. I'm surprised they'd make you wait until Monday.

AGREE WITH YA HERE, I'D BE IN FOR AN PARTAIL UNFILL ASAP

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There are so many factors to help determine if your band has slipped, or if your pouch has stretched. But it really all comes down to the fluoroscopy appointment. Watching the barium go down will tell ALOT about your pouch, and the band.

For example, your 3 vomits/month - are they around the time you PMS? Or stressed? Did you drink enough water that day? Or is it maybe food specific?

Good job for your weight loss and good luck with your appointment!

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Thank you so much for responding, it has really put my mind at ease! Once I read your post I did some more research on simple unfills being able to solve the problems I've been experiencing and I have some more hope. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that pain=slip=surgery and that's it. I knew that vomiting was a sign of a slip, but I do that all the time anyhow and it's never hurt me like this before. At least I'm no longer worrying so much about if the band has slipped, that maybe I'm just having a really "bad band" week. (Hehe, that would make a funny musical band name, bunch of recent-weightloss-ees playing instruments and calling themselves the Bad Band.) I guess I'll know for sure on Monday. But as of today I was able to get water and juice down, and even some yogurt, so I'm feeling much better.

In response to specific questions, I unfortunately couldn't get into the clinic sooner than Monday because I'm a caregiver and that's the earliest time I could get a replacement. I also am traveling to TJ to get this done as there is no one with a fluro in my state. TJ because is only a 6 hour drive from here, but it still took me some time to make those plans. I'll just have to tough it out until then, but I'm being super cautious and I don't think anything has gotten worse in the last day or so.

Also, almost every single one of those 3 vomits/month were mostly food specific. I am trying so many new fruits and vegetables in my diet these days and every once in a while I just find one that doesn't agree with me and gets stuck. About once a month I would try to eat at a certain time of day and end up vomiting everything back up, I've learned that early in the morning and later at night my band tends to be tighter and I'm lucky to get even liquids down. But, from looking around other parts of the board, this seems to be a common problem for others. I guess there are just certain times of day when our bodies are more inflamed and the band is tighter? Anyhow, I've learned to avoid those, but you also have a very good point about the PMS and dehydration issues, I'll be sure to look back over my food journal and see if these vomiting episodes occur around my period or not, or if my water intake was low that day. Thanks for the great suggestion!

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help me out with this, any further advice or wisedom would be greatly appreciated. Plus, I'll be sure to let you know how my appointment turns out.

Thanks so much!

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WOW!!! You have super weigh loss - Congrats!!!

My surgery was one year ago today. I had my most recent fill on Wednesday and asked my PA at that time about the risk of vomiting as I am probably going to Honduras this summer their water does not agree with Americans. The last time we went 4 or 5 of our group members got really really sick even though we stuck to bottled water. We finally figured out it was due to using the plates and forks of the restaurant we ate lunch at each day. My PA said that since I have had the band for a year that I should have a pretty good supply of scar tissue around it and unless I am severly vomiting and getting to the point of dry heaves that more then likely I will be okay. Based on your weight loss I am guessing that you have had the band for significant amount of time as well and more than likely you just need a slight unfill.

Let us know how your appointment on Monday goes.

By the way, I have already volunteered to bring the styrofoam plates and plastic forks for this trip as myself and the leader both have the band and getting sick like our friends did last time is not a chance we want to take. :unsure:

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RE: I knew that vomiting was a sign of a slip, but I do that all the time

PBing ALL THE TIME ISN'T GOOD. PURGING ISN'T WHAT THE BAND IS ABOUT. EATING SMALLER HEALTHY PORTIONS IS THE KEY TO LONG TERM SUCCESS WITHOUT HURTING YOURSELF OR THE BAND

REMEMBER, IF YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR BAND, IT'LL BE A TOOL YOU CAN USE FOREVER, NOT SOMETHING YOU'LL USE FOR THE NOW AND RISK A POSSIBLE SLIP

I KNOW PEOPLE ON THIS BOARD HAVE SLIPPED, HAD THE BAND REMOVED, AND ARE NOW TO EMBARRASSED TO POST ABOUT IT

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RE: I knew that vomiting was a sign of a slip, but I do that all the time

PBing ALL THE TIME ISN'T GOOD. PURGING ISN'T WHAT THE BAND IS ABOUT. EATING SMALLER HEALTHY PORTIONS IS THE KEY TO LONG TERM SUCCESS WITHOUT HURTING YOURSELF OR THE BAND

REMEMBER, IF YOU TAKE CARE OF YOUR BAND, IT'LL BE A TOOL YOU CAN USE FOREVER, NOT SOMETHING YOU'LL USE FOR THE NOW AND RISK A POSSIBLE SLIP

I KNOW PEOPLE ON THIS BOARD HAVE SLIPPED, HAD THE BAND REMOVED, AND ARE NOW TO EMBARRASSED TO POST ABOUT IT

Easy there - read her earlier posts. She vomits about 3 times a month when she finds a new food that doesn't work well for her. She also said in her original post that she has a sensitive gag reflex. I think this is what she meant by "but I do that all the time". I do not think she is "purging" as a method of weight loss.

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So, time to wipe the brow, cause it's all good.

I drove to SD on Sunday, went over the border Monday morning, and by 9:30 a.m. I was on the table with the fluroscope and he said it definitely had NOT slipped. However, there was so much inflamation around the band and through my esophogus that it was a darn good thing I came in when I did. If I had let it go on like that for another few weeks I most definitely would have caused the kind of damage that only surgery can fix. He told me the safest course of action was to do a complete unfill and wait 4 weeks before coming back. At that point we're going to see how the inflamation is and if I even want want a partial refill or not. He also prescribed me a liquid diet for the next week and Maalox, which is nothing. I'm a liquid diet blackbelt at this point.

So...whew. The very last thing I wanted was to have to get it removed because it would put me in the kind of debt that I would never be able to emerge from, so that's a good thing. And really, since the final "big" fill, I would say that 1/3 of the time I was angry about the band and atypically grouchy because I would vomit and then for the next few days my emotions would run away from me because of lack of food, and 2/3 of the time I was so pleased with the effects it was having on my life. I've learned not to let the grouchiness get me down. Yes, I was in a lot of pain more often than neccessary, but looking back at it now it, if that is part of the price I pay to lose weight and get healthy, then I'm willing to pay it.

But the big news is that I didn't slip the band, which, after reading all the online forum posts, I was feeling pretty confident that I hadn't, but it was still a relief to hear the words come out of his mouth. I'm not too happy about having to go back again in a month, but I am also gonna look at this as a time to really test myself and see if the behavior changes can stick even without the band being full. I really hope they do, I'm gonna keep it simple and not put too much pressure on myself, but we'll see if I even need to get the fill put back in or not. I am NOT giving up on this final push of 30 lbs to get to my goal weight, no matter what happens with the band *grip on diet is so tight that knuckles turn white*

Thanks so very much to everyone who replied, you gave me untold comfort and I really appreciate you being here when I needed someone to talk to. Thanks for sticking up for me there too, Smiley...you are correct, I was being too vague when I said "all the time." I know for a fact that I haven't lost 115 lbs by purging through my lap-band, but instead by using that lapband as a tool for all the healthy habits I want in my life. Now, for 3 weeks (after the 1 week liquid diet) while I have absolutely no fill, we'll see how well those habits hold up. *I'm chanting to myself that they Will hold up, they will they will they WILL!* :-)

Thanks again!

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