Your Questions Answered
In your weight-loss journey it’s not unusual to have some questions. The Slimband Weight Loss Services 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 the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band and how does it work?
Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band is a clinically proven, 30 minute procedure.
An adjustable gastric band (the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band) will be placed around the upper portion of your stomach using a laparoscopic technique. The Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band procedure is minimally invasive and completely reversible, unlike other surgical weight loss procedures. The Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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 the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band?
Based on your age and BMI (height and weight), we can determine if you are a good candidate for the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band.
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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band is a tool. If you make the appropriate adjustments to live comfortably with the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band, 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® Adjustable Gastric Band routinely adjusted, you should not gain any weight back, even a few years after surgery. When using the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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 Weight Loss Services journey now.
Can I use financing for Slimband Weight Loss Services?
Absolutely – many patients choose to finance their Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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 Weight Loss Services patients are usually sent home the same day following a few hours of recovery time at the clinic. The Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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.
How is the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band adjusted?
When the Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band. This procedure is quick and relatively pain-free.
When do I receive my first fill?
During your Slimband® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band is properly adjusted after their 2-3 fill adjustments. Others may need additional fills before their band is properly adjusted.
How do I schedule an adjustment?
Adjustments can be scheduled by calling 1.800.298.0684 or emailing support. In order to qualify for an adjustment, you will be required to provide a photo food log as part of the review.
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® Adjustable Gastric Band during the recovery phase. After the recovery phase there are eating guidelines but you will not have to follow a strict diet.
What types of food should I stay away from?
Slimband Weight Loss Services 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® Adjustable Gastric Band?
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® Adjustable Gastric Band, 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® Adjustable Gastric Band.
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.
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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band: 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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 Weight Loss Services 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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® Adjustable Gastric Band.
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.
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® Adjustable Gastric Band 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 Weight Loss Services 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® Adjustable Gastric Band procedure yet?
Absolutely. The community is also a Slimband Weight Loss Services support group for those who are looking into the procedure. You will be able to join even if you're not a client yet.
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