Your Questions Answered
In your weight-loss journey it’s not unusual to have some questions. The Slimband experience is unlike any other weight-loss journey. As a result, we’ve listened very carefully to those who’ve had the procedure and have compiled a list of some of the most important and frequently asked questions along with some insightful answers that should serve as a useful reference tool in your quest for success.
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What is Slimband and how does it work?
Slimband is a clinically proven, 30 minute procedure paired with a comprehensive one year success program, based on insights from your very own DNA. You’ll receive one-on-one coaching with a team of healthcare professionals like our Naturopathic Doctors, giving you the tools and skills to optimize and maintain your weight loss, supporting you along your journey.
An adjustable gastric band (the Slimband) will be placed around the upper portion of your stomach using a laparoscopic technique. The Slimband procedure is minimally invasive and completely reversible, unlike other surgical weight loss procedures. The Slimband helps you to feel full faster, sending a message to your brain to help you eat less and still feel satisfied.
Am I a good candidate for Slimband?
Based on your age and BMI (height and weight), we can determine if you are a good candidate for Slimband.
What is a "laparoscopic" procedure?
A laparoscopic procedure, also known as laparoscopy or "key-hole" surgery is a minimally-invasive method of performing a procedure. It is commonly associated with abdominal operations. A series of tiny incisions are made in order to insert miniature cameras and special instruments that can be manipulated by the surgeon externally. The advantage is minimal scarring from incisions, a shorter hospital stay, and a greatly reduced recovery period.
Am I a candidate for a laparoscopic procedure?
If you qualify for most elective surgeries, you are a candidate for laparoscopic surgery. If you're a busy individual who doesn't want to spend much time away from work or family, this is the preferred method of surgery for you.
If I am allergic to some medication, does this affect my eligibility?
Generally, no, however you will need to provide our doctors with your complete medical history, including all allergies.
What type of tests are required before surgery?
Before your surgery, you will be required to complete a medical history and lab tests. Depending on your medical history the doctor or anesthetist may require additional tests. These must be completed prior to the date of your surgery.
How long is the wait for the surgery?
We can schedule your surgery as early as a month after your consultation, provided that you complete all the required tests and submit your results to us.
How long is the procedure? Will I have to stay overnight?
The procedure itself is very quick and takes approximately 30 minutes. It is performed at the private Prince Arthur Surgical Center, with comfortable facilities for the few hours you will be staying after your procedure. The procedure is typically performed during the day, and generally doesn't require an overnight stay.
Where do consultations take place?
Consultations happen in person at the Prince Arthur Surgical Center in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood, or via telephone consultation. A consultant who has had the Slimband procedure will speak to you about their weight loss experience, and answer any question you may have about the procedure and support program.
How much weight will I lose?
Immediately following your surgery, with the post-op menu guidelines, you may find that you lose weight fairly quickly. After the healing period, when you return to your normal diet, you should lose between one to two pounds per week. It's important that the Slimband be properly adjusted, and that you follow our recommendations so you can lose those excess pounds and achieve your goal weight.
Ultimately, the amount of weight you lose depends on you. Keep in mind that the Slimband is a tool. If you make the appropriate adjustments to live comfortably with the Slimband, you can expect to lose upwards of 50% of your excess weight.
When the band is properly adjusted, you can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. If your start weight is less than 180 pounds, however, you can expect to lose about 0.5-1 pound per week. Studies have shown that adjustable gastric banding will help you to lose up to 50% of your excess weight in the first year. 1
In the second year, making healthier lifestyle choices and including some form of exercise should help you to lose additional weight.
1 Niville E et al. A mid-term Experience with the Cousin Bioring – Adjustable Gastric Band. Obes Surg 2011; May 5. [EPub]
Can I expect to gain weight after a few years, even with the band?
If you maintain healthy food choices, start becoming more physically active, and have your Slimband routinely adjusted, you should not gain any weight back, even a few years after surgery. When using the Slimband properly, weight loss is a long-term and sustainable result.
What payment forms are accepted?
Prince Arthur Medical Clinic accepts cash, certified cheque, bank draft, online banking, and credit card. Financing options are also available, providing the flexibility to start your Slimband journey now.
Can I use financing for Slimband?
Absolutely – many patients choose to finance their Slimband procedure. We work closely with approved financial companies to help make this life change a reality at an affordable rate.
Interested in learning more about financing? A consultant who has had the Slimband procedure can walk you through all the options for making your decision. Don’t be shy to ask any questions.
How long will I be away from home and work?
Slimband patients are usually sent home the same day following a few hours of recovery time at the clinic. The Slimband is inserted laparoscopically; therefore, recovery time is very short and you should be able to get back to work in 2-4 days. However, we may recommend a longer recovery period if you have a physically demanding or high-stress job.
How much swelling or bruising should be expected after laparoscopic surgery?
You can expect some mild swelling and bruising around your port site and incisions, which should subside in a few weeks.
How much pain will I experience after laparoscopic surgery?
You may expect some mild discomfort and some slight pain in your abdominal region immediately following surgery. We prescribe pain medication to be taken if needed for the first few days after the procedure.
Do I have to be careful with the access port?
The port is placed under the skin, near your abdominal wall. After the incision sites have completely healed and swelling or bruising have subsided, it will not be noticeable, nor will it limit your physical activity in any way.
Will I be able to see the access port?
Since the access port is placed under the skin, you will not be able to physically see it. After you lose most of your excess weight, you may notice a small lump.
What is a naturopathic doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are regulated health professionals that provide primary care to a wide range of patients. Our ND’s work with patients pre and post operatively as support care specialists and in some cases also act as fill providers. They specialise in treating patients with non-invasive methods and focus on behavioural change, nutritional counselling, identifying triggers and providing natural options for primary health concerns.
How is the Slimband adjusted?
When the Slimband needs to be adjusted, a doctor or nurse will do a "fill adjustment" by inserting a saline solution into the port via a hypodermic needle, filling the Slimband with the solution. A "de-fill" is simply the opposite - the doctor or nurse removes some of the saline solution via the port with a hypodermic needle, loosening the Slimband. This procedure is quick and relatively pain-free.
Do I have to get my fill adjustments done at the clinic?
No, there are fill locations across Canada, and we will find the most convenient location for you. If you would like your family doctor to perform your fill adjustments, we will send a DVD and an information sheet that will instruct your doctor on how to properly perform a fill or de-fill adjustment.
When do I receive my first fill?
During your Slimband procedure, your surgeon will determine your estimated optimal fill level and provide you with a low level of saline in your band. As you begin to learn how to use your band as a weight loss tool you will gradually work up to your fill level while minimizing any adverse symptoms. Most patients receive their first fill after they have finished their recovery period roughly 6 weeks after their procedure.
How many fills will I need?
The number of fills largely depends on each patient's progress and individual needs. Some patients feel the Slimband is properly adjusted after their 2-3 fill adjustments. Others may need additional fills before their band is properly adjusted. Throughout your post-op support program, you will be working closely with a naturopathic doctor to monitor your progress and help determine when it’s necessary to have your band adjusted.
How do I schedule a fill appointment?
During check-ins, your personal ND will have a consult with you to monitor progress and help determine if you would benefit from an adjustment. You can also contact your ND directly. You will be put in touch with one of our nurses to help facilitate your fill appointment. You may also be asked to complete a fill assessment form from slimband.com/fills for additional information. If you live in a remote area, we will provide you with contact information for a doctor who is a registered Slimband fill provider and work with them to make sure you receive your fill.
Do I need to follow a special diet?
We provide pre- and post-op eating guidelines for patients to help prepare you for the procedure and ensure you easily adapt to the Slimband during the recovery phase. After the recovery phase there are eating guidelines but you will not have to follow a strict diet. We also provide many recipe ideas and nutritional tips to help you achieve your goals.
What types of food should I stay away from?
Slimband recommends that our patients choose whole, nutrient-rich foods. The band works to help you feel full faster when eating dense foods, so it is important to avoid high-calorie, low-nutrient soft foods such as ice cream, mashed potatoes or sugary beverages.
What about dining out?
Try to order smaller amounts of food, and eat slowly. Finish smaller meals at the same time as your dining companions finish their larger meals. You can also let your host or hostess know that you need smaller portions, similar to a children's menu option.
Will I feel hungry or deprived with the Slimband?
You'll probably feel slightly hungry for the first six weeks. This is your body's natural response to the changes you'll be making in your eating habits and patterns, and also to the post-op nutrition plan. Eventually, when you have fully adjusted to your Slimband, the feelings of hunger will subside and you'll find yourself satisfied with five small meals each day.
Can I eat any food in moderation?
After your recovery period, once you're back to eating solid foods, you can eat anything that does not cause you discomfort. However, because your portion sizes will be smaller, the ideal foods to choose are vitamin-rich and filled with nutrients. Filling up on fatty and sugar-laden foods will reduce the efficacy of the Slimband.
What about alcohol?
Alcohol is high in calories; it breaks down important vitamins, and it can also irritate the stomach lining. Drinking in moderation with an occasional glass of wine is fine; however try to avoid consuming alcohol often.
Will I need to take any vitamin supplements?
Unlike the gastric bypass, you will not be required to take any supplements after the procedure. As long as you are following a balanced diet, you should be able to consume enough food to achieve the required daily amounts. If you are uncertain, our naturopathic doctors and registered dietitians can work with you to ensure you are eating appropriately.
How will I need to change my behaviour?
Part of losing weight with the Slimband is eliminating habits that contribute to weight gain in the first place. Adopting a nutrition plan and regularly exercising are very important, but many behavioural and habitual changes have to do with the way you eat.
The Slimband program is dedicated to helping you figure out which is which, and guiding you to make the right choices with your post-operative support specialist. It’s important to remember that you are in the driver’s seat of your personal weight loss journey and we want you to have all the support you need along the way – lasting change doesn’t happen overnight!
How will I need to change my attitude?
Changing your attitude goes hand in hand with changing your habits. Your goal will be to develop an attitude that helps you lose weight, rather than gain it. This can be done by building a reliable support system of family, friends, and groups; setting realistic goals and expectations, and then committing to losing the weight. By acknowledging your successes and failures, and building self-esteem, you can empower yourself to lose the weight, change those bad habits and live healthier.
What can Slimband do to help?
At Slimband we pride ourselves on our comprehensive support program and our one-on-one post-op support. You will be working with your personal support specialist to help identify your strengths and areas of improvement with helpful strategies along the way. We are with you every step of the way, helping you prepare for your procedure and providing post-operative support through naturopathic doctors, registered nurses, and dietitians.
We also have a community site, MySlimband.com, where you can find more information about Slimband and our patients can get support from the convenience of their own homes. You can join discussion groups, ask our staff questions and share tips with other patients. Your weight loss is a journey we will take together, and we're committed to helping you start your own success story.
Will I be sick often after the procedure?
The band shouldn't negatively affect your health, if you are making the necessary adjustments to your eating habits. If you find yourself getting sick or nauseous on a regular basis, it may be that you're not chewing properly, that you're drinking while eating, that you're eating too quickly, or that you need a small de-fill. Vomiting can cause problems for the band, so be sure to adjust your eating habits or consult your doctor if you find it a constant problem.
Will I need plastic surgery to get rid of excess skin?
The weight loss associated with the Slimband is steady and relatively gradual. The excess skin is usually not a major concern, but may be present, as you will be losing a significant percentage of your excess weight. Plastic surgery is an option, but is not recommended until you've had a few months to adjust to the Slimband and your new lifestyle.
What if I develop an infection at the port site?
Infections are rare, but most can be treated with antibiotics if they occur.
How will I know if there is a slippage of the band?
There are a number of symptoms that might indicate slippage of the Slimband: acute pain, bloating, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and a failure to lose weight. If you are experiencing these on a regular basis, please contact us.
Is the band reversible? Can it be removed?
The Slimband can be removed laparoscopically. Usually, the stomach will revert to its original shape. However, the band is intended as a long-term weight-loss tool, and removal is only recommended in the event of extreme complication or illness. Once the Slimband has been removed, it's possible that you will gain all the weight back.
Will I suffer from constipation?
Given the decrease in food intake, you can expect to have less bowel movements. If you do experience constipation, you should increase the amount of fibre-rich foods in your diet and drink plenty of water. If difficulties arise, consult with the Slimband patient success team or your family doctor.
Can I expect any discharge or bleeding from my incision sites?
You may have some initial discharge or minor bleeding from the port site, but it should stop after 24 hours. The bandages placed over the incisions will fall off after 7 - 10 days. If you have any concerns, or there's an abnormal amount of discomfort or bleeding, contact us right away.
What can happen if I begin eating solids too soon after surgery?
An important part of your recovery period is allowing your stomach to heal and giving the band time to settle in the appropriate position. Eating solid foods before your body is adjusted to the Slimband can induce vomiting, and can increase the change of band slippage. You should follow the Pre- and Post-Op food plans we provide to have optimal recovery time, heal faster and to make returning to solid foods easier.
Are there complications during pregnancy?
The Slimband can be loosened during a pregnancy, and your stomach will function just like before you were banded. This allows you to eat as much food as you and your baby need, minimizing the risk of complications during your pregnancy. Plus, after birth, you can simply re-adjust your Slimband.
Why should I exercise?
Becoming more active, even at a gradual pace, is essential to help your fitness level and overall health improve. Working out increases metabolism, prevents osteoporosis and can improve some existing health conditions you may have. Your DNA results can give valuable insight into what type of activities may be best suited for you. As part of your post-op program your ND will help you create small achievable goals with activities that you enjoy, making sure you start small and at your own pace. Once that level of activity becomes too easy you can increase the length of time or intensity of the activity. Going for 10+ minute walks, aqua fitness or stretching classes to improve flexibility are some examples of how you can get started. A lot of fitness establishments or pools have specific classes for people who may have restricted mobility or concerns about the level of activity they can do.
Does the band limit any physical activity?
Beyond the initial recovery period, the Slimband should not hamper you physically at all.
When can I begin bathing and swimming again?
You should take a shower rather than a bath for the first four weeks following your surgery. Wait at least a month before you try swimming.
What is the My Slimband Community?
Whether you're considering weight loss surgery, have had weight loss surgery, or just need a place to hang out and share your story with friends, this community was created just for you!! Connect with others 24 hours a day. Participate in conversations on topics you find interesting, ask the experts, meet new friends and give feedback.
Am I able to join even if I haven't had the Slimband procedure yet?
Absolutely. The community is also a Slimband support group for those who are looking into the procedure. You will be able to join even if you're not a client yet.
How do I join the My Slimband Community?
Joining the My Slimband Community is easy. Click here to get step by step instructions on how to create a user profile.
I'm receiving too many e-mails. How do I unsubscribe from topics I'm receiving e-mails from?
You will automatically 'follow' any posts that you comment on or create. If you would like to stop receiving notifications, simply click "UNFOLLOW" at the top of the post. Repeat this process for every topic you want to unfollow and you shouldn't receive any more unwanted emails.