my morning at band camp

This morning I attended a 4 hour lapband homecare session for patients at my surgeon’s office. It was sort of like band camp for the day. It is part of a comprehensive program that patient’s being banded in the coming month must attend as part of his program. There were four other patients in the class with me. They were all female.

I learned quite a bit about my future band. They had one that you could hold and touch. It is pretty flexible and sort of reminds me of one of those Lance Armstrong rubber wrist bands; about the same width but much smaller in diameter. It was bigger than I expected, about the diameter of a golf ball. A flexible silicone tube stretches from it to the port that will be under my skin just above and to the right of my belly button. The port is also not what I expected. It is probably a little smaller than the diameter of a dime. It is a soft rubber button that is self sealing. When the needle filling it with saline solution is removed, it seals itself. I had expected a small tube opening and wondered how they ever found it when doing the fill.

My band is a newer model. The inside bladder has been redesigned to kind of wrap around the sides in a “C” like configuration. It will be a 14 CC band with a low profile port. Men generally get this larger band. Men with most of their excess body weight in their belly get the low profile port. This is due to the fact that the majority of weight loss will be in the belly and the port would be more visible if it was the standard higher profile port.

Recovery will be pretty fast. I will be in surgery for about an hour. I should be walking within 4-6 hours of the surgery. The good news is that I do not need to do the colon cleansing the day before surgery and I will not have a catheter. Both were things I definitely did not want. I will spend the night in the hospital; have an upper GI in the a.m.; have a liquid breakfast and lunch; and then be released around 3 p.m. if everything is going as planned.

Dietwise: I will be on a clear liquid diet for 3 days which includes things like sugar free Jell-o, broths, and juices. For the next 11 days, I will be on a full liquid diet which adds puddings, dairy including no/low fat cottage cheese and yogurt. After those 2 weeks, I will be on a soft food diet for 2 weeks that includes many food items that can be easily chewed. After that, I start back on normal food.

So, my morning was very informative. It answered every question that I had. Questions just seem to constantly pop-up during this process. I now have an owner’s manual of sorts. It’s a 1” binder filled with information and directions. Surgery is very close and I am getting so anxious. Anyone who knows me knows that I am so anal retentive and like to plan out everything. This surgery and the processes surrounding it are almost impossible to control. I just got to trust the surgeon and his staff. Easier said than done for me!

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