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 "laparoscopic" surgery?
Laparoscopic surgery, 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.
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.
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.
Am I a candidate for laparoscopic surgery?
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.
What type of tests are required before surgery?
Before your surgery you will have a medical examination and a blood test. Depending on your medical history the doctor or anesthetist may also require a sleep test. These must be completed prior to the date of your surgery.
How long is the procedure? Will I have to stay overnight?
The procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes. It is performed right at Prince Arthur Medical Clinic, with comfortable facilities for the few hours you will be staying after your procedure. It is usually performed as a day surgery, and generally doesn't require an overnight stay.
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'll lose most, if not all, of your excess weight over the next few years.
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's covered in the Slimband program?
- the adjustable gastric band
- the procedure
- unlimited adjustments to the Slimband
- follow-up support group meetings
- follow-up nutritional consultations
- seminars on nutrition
- group coaching sessions
How can I pay?
The Slimband Clinic accepts cash, money orders, certified cheques, and credit cards. Financing is also available through Slimband's exclusive SlimPay financing program.
Can I finance my laparoscopic surgery?
Absolutely - the Slimband Clinic has its own in house financing program, exclusively for qualified Slimband clients.
- Fast and Easy credit approvals
- Flexible repayment terms (12 months up to 60 months)
- Loans are Open and can be paid out at any time
Ask your Slimband Consultant about applying for SlimPay today! Call 416.923.7546 to get started.
How long will I be away from home and work?
With most procedures after a few hours of recovery time at the clinic, patients are sent home the same day as their surgery. Because the Slimband is inserted laparoscopically the recovery time is very short and you should be able to get back to work in a week. However, if you have a physically demanding or high-stress job, we may recommend a longer recovery period.
How much swelling or bruising should be expected after laparoscopic surgery?
You can expect some mild swelling around your port site and the incisions, accompanied by mild bruising, which should subside in a week or two. We recommend that you apply a warm compress for 20 minutes a few times a day for the first few days post-operation.
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 (Demerol® or Tylenol®) to be taken for the first few days immediately 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 any swelling or bruising has subsided, you shouldn't notice the port at all, 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 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 only takes a few minutes, and can be performed right at Prince Arthur Medical Clinic.
Occasionally, an x-ray machine may be used so the doctor can clearly see the position of the port and the Slimband.
Do I have to get my fill adjustments done at the clinic?
No, we provide information for remote fills so that you may get adjusted outside the Toronto area, or if you prefer that your family doctor perform your fills. We'll provide you with a DVD and an information sheet that will instruct your doctor on how to properly perform a fill or de-fill adjustment.
How many fills will I need?
The number of fills largely depends on each patient's progress. Some patients feel the Slimband is properly adjusted after their first fill adjustment. However, usually three or four fills are required before the patient feels completely comfortable.
How often should I come back to the centre after surgery?
We recommend that you have the Slimband adjusted every few weeks, until you feel that you're able to eat comfortably yet feel a restriction. After this is achieved, we encourage you to come in every six to twelve months for a check-up and a regular weigh-in, to monitor your progress.
Do I need to follow a special diet?
We provide pre- and post-op food guidelines for patients that help prepare you for the procedure and ensure you easily adapt to the Slimband during the healing phase. With your band you will not have to follow a restricted diet, and we also provide recipe ideas and nutritional tips for all our Bandsters.
What types of food should I stay away from?
We recommend that you choose nutrient-rich foods. This means avoiding high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like milkshakes, ice cream, pudding, mashed potatoes, carbonated drinks and other junk food. Some patients may also have a bit of difficulty processing some breads and pastas, so eat these in moderation.
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 adjustments 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 by your three small meals a 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.
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. 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.
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 their support seminars.
What can Slimband do to help?
At Slimband we pride ourselves on our support system. We are with you every step of the way, helping you prepare for your procedure and providing support, group meetings and seminars you can attend thereafter. Our nutrition and patient-care experts are there to help you with your weight-loss journey.
We also have a community site, MySlimband.com, where people can find more information about Slimband and our Bandsters can get support from the convenience of their own homes, join discussion groups, ask our staff questions and access a calendar of upcoming events. Your weight loss is a journey we will take together, and we're committed to helping you start your own success story.
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's a life coach?
Bariatric life coaching is a partnership between a patient and a coach. A coach is a guide, dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and understanding your individual needs, goals, obstacles, and your strengths. Coaching will help you find clarity about what you want to achieve, deepening your understanding about what holds you back, and acting on that knowledge to make lasting changes in your life.
Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
We recommend that you take some form of vitamin supplement because it can be difficult getting a complete dosage from your three small meals a day. It's best to take chewable or liquid vitamins so that you may process it easier with your Slimband.
Are there any medications I shouldn't take?
If possible, you may want to avoid any medications that irritate the stomach, like ASA (aspirin) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine. Remember to always consult your doctor or the Prince Arthur Medical Clinic for a better overall analysis of your general health.
What about other medication?
Prescribed medication will not interfere with the Slimband, although you may want to cut larger pills in half, or try dissolving them in water. You should consult your doctor or pharmacist first to make sure that cutting or dissolving will not hamper the effect of the medicine.
What happens if I become ill?
If you end up requiring a greater food intake to help you recover from a serious illness, the Slimband can be loosened or adjusted appropriately. Once you have recovered, and are ready to get back on the program, it's a simple step of having the Slimband re-filled. If loosening isn't enough, the Slimband can also be removed.
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?
Most infections, rare as they are, can be treated with antibiotics.
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 that you will have less bowel movement. If difficulties arise, check with your family doctor. If you do experience constipation you can take a mild laxative and drink plenty of water. You can also ask our Nutritionist about fibre supplements that are recommended for weight loss surgery patients.
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?
Eating solid foods before your body is adjusted to the Slimband can induce vomiting, and can distend the upper gastric pouch. 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 does my computer freeze when attempting to join a seminar?
- Make sure you have the most updated Java software downloaded on your computer. (java.com)
- Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Safari may have security settings that interfere with the platform. To rule out if this is the issue, try using from Mozilla Firefox as the browser which generally has the fewest issue (mozilla.org).
What are the system requirements for joining a seminar?
For PC users:
- Windows® 7, Vista, 2003 Server or XP (Linux is not supported)
- Internet connection with cable modem, DSL or better recommended
- Dual core 2.4GHz CPU or faster with at least 2 GB of RAM recommended
For Mac users:
- Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion®), OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard®) or OS® X 10.5 (Leopard®)
- Internet connection with cable modem, DSL or better recommended
- Intel processor with 1 GB of RAM or better recommended
To use microphone and speakers (VoIP):
- A fast broadband Internet connection with 384 kbps or more recommended
Why does my browser freeze when attempting to join a seminar from a Mac?
There is a known issue with Java update 10 that impacts Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) attendees. This update is causing browsers to freeze as GoToMeeting tries to initiate or join a new session. Apple is actively working on a resolution.
The latest version of Firefox (v5.01) can resolve this issue for Mac attendees.
Firefox can be downloaded for free from mozilla.com.
Once installed, you should be able to join or start meetings from Firefox.
If you continue to have issues, contact Citrix Support directly at 1-866-998-6710 for more immediate assistance. Do not worry-Slimband offers several sessions each week and you may re-register at your earliest convenience.
What is the My Slimband Community?
The My Slimband Community is a 24/7 online Slimband support group where you can connect with Slimband clients for support and advice. On our weight loss community you'll be able to join groups relevant to your life such as: Recently Banded and Ask a Dietitian. Your weight loss journey is one you will take with others, and the community is a great way to connect with other Slimband clients and Slimband Dietitians for support.
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?
To join the My Slimband Community, you'll need to type in: http://myslimband.com to your Internet browser. From there you need to click the purple Join My Slimband! button, and follow the steps. In just a few clicks you'll be a member of the community!
I'm receiving too many e-mails. How do I unsubscribe from the Groups I'm receiving e-mails from?
Unsubscribing from groups on the Slimband community is easy. Under the Groups menu click on the name of the Group you want to unsubscribe yourself from. Just below the paragraph describing the Group you will see a small yellow bar with the option to Stop Email. Click this button.
Repeat this process for every group you want to unsubscribe from and you shouldn't receive any more unwanted emails.
I want to start a blog on the My Slimband Community – how do I do this?
We are currently at the maximum available number of seats for bloggers in the My Slimband community. However, if you are interested in blogging elsewhere about your Slimband journey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.