When an adjustable gastric band is first placed in the body, the band itself is usually empty or only partially inflated. Immediately following surgery, your goal is not to start losing weight, but to allow your body to heal and get used to your band.
Four to six weeks after your surgery, you will return to your doctor to have your first band adjustment. Using the port underneath the skin of your abdomen, your doctor will insert fluid into your band to adjust your restriction, or the degree to which your band allows food to pass into your stomach.
Depending on your individual needs, it may take a few adjustments, or fills, to reach the “sweet spot” of restriction that allows you to lose weight with no adverse side effects. Too much fluid in your band, or a band that is too tight, can lead to complications such as discomfort, heartburn, or regurgitation. If your band is too loose, you may not have enough restriction and may not be able to lose weight.
Review the infographic below to learn more about gastric band adjustments.