Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I had my first Lap-Band fill under fluoroscopy today and it was the most super cool thing I have ever seen.  I love my RNY friends, but their surgery does not provide this level of entertainment for the easily amused.  OMG!!!

Today was a pox on my ass until I got into the fluoro suite.  I actually made a list while I was sitting in the maniacal atmosphere of the diabetes clinic.  Perhaps I'll share that on my other blog.  But the day kept on being a pain, as I went from the main hospital, to the allergy clinic (my arms are killing me from the shots!!!), to the mall where the bariatric clinic is.  I hoped to squeeze in a mammogram (get it?  Squeeze?  Mammogram?!) while waiting for my 3:10 pm fill appointment, but I ran out of time.  And by the time I was finished with the fill, the breast clinic was closed.

But that's okay, because I wanted to hurry home and upload my video!

First, they had me lie down and spent lots of time jabbing me.  My pork was not being helpful and Dr. Carpenter had a hard time getting in there.  Finally, Dr. Williams came in and helped get things going.  I don't have any images of the port shots because I had to lie down and behave.

For fluoro-fills, they use a long length of tubing attached to the needle instead of the syringe directly attached.  This makes standing up and walking around the room MUCH easier.  They got me positioned in front of the x-ray and took a picture to make sure I was standing in the right position.  The squeal you hear when the video starts is me laughing when I realized you can see the hooks of my bra and the lovely underwires!  Baahahahaha!  Oh, also you can see my scoliosis where my spine kinda bends to the left.  Lovely!

So they had me drink a swallow of the barium icky juice.  You can see it (black on the x-ray) go down my esophagus, hit the band and then squirt right through!  I new I didn't have any restriction and I think even the docs were a tad surprised at how quickly that stuff shot through the stoma created by the band.  If you look closely, you can see the band as a dark shadow, kind of canted on a 45 degree angle before the collection of barium in my stomach. Just south east of the bra hooks, if you will.  He added 1.75 ml to my band initially but with that much saline, stuff pretty much came to a screeching halt once it got to the band (about 2:50 in the video) and settled in my esophagus.  

So he pulled out 250 ul and left me with an extra 1.5 ml.  You can see at around 3 min 30 sec in the video that the barium slows down and goes into my stomach instead of chilling in the wrong spot.  But it doesn't zip through the stoma, either.  

I've had 3 ml added to my band in 2 fills.  There was probably about 1.5 ml added at surgery, so I have approximately 4.5 ml in my 10 ml band.  I can't wait to see how things work now, eating wise.  I'm on liquids today and tomorrow, then I'll progress back to mushies on Friday. The real test will begin as I transition back to solid food.

I'm sure it'll still take a few more fills to get to the fabled sweet spot, but having some restriction is better than NO restriction.  And just getting to watch my innards is the coolest thing ever.

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