LAP-BAND Port Placement

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Video Transcript

Alright, I want to give you some insight about port placement. As you know to make the lap band work you have to access the band and add fluid to it through a port which is placed under the skin.

Most surgeons place the port in the abdomen we choose to place our ports up here in the shoulder. We use a very small low profile port, it’s very cosmetic, the incision is made under the arm you can’t really see that. It is much more convenient to get the fills. If it’s more convenient to get the fills and less costly you get more fills and if you get more fills you get more weight loss.

The ports are also less likely to flip and move because they are in the upper part of the chest where there is hardly any movement as opposed to the abdomen where every time you bend or move, the port has a tendency to wiggle.

The port placement in the shoulder allows us to have easy access. We have a clinic set up at the hospital where you can get your fills; it usually takes about 15 minutes.

April Johnson
I got the lap band back in 2009. I never knew I had a port in place to fill. I never had a fill done at all. Never got called back in to see the doc after the follow-up from the procedure. All these years never not one fill. I was lead to believe that the port was optional. I lost 30lbs in the beginning and gained it all back struggling to lose the pounds and keep them off not knowing that I needed a fill or the fill would help me. I thought I wasnt eating the right foods or not exercising enough, and 30lbs was all I ever lost only to gain it back all those years. I didnt know that I was to get a fill when the weight wasnt falling. I thought the rest was up to me. My understanding was to do portion control, diet change and exercise. I was eating puree or soft foods, or i would vomit it up in the begining 30lbs came off and I gained it back and found it extremely hard to lose it again as I found my intake tolerant to be easier and I starting eating more. It wasnt til today, 8yrs later, I went to see a doctor about a gallbladder issue and as I gave the doctor my past surgical history, thats when I was told that the port had to be implanted, that it was a part of the lapband surgery, and the fills controlled my intake. Her husband happens to be a surgeon that does gastro bypass in tears. All these years I failed with losing weight by this lapband... missing out on fills. And Im still trying to feel all over my body to locate the port which should be easy to find if its placed under the skin. How stupid I feel. Now I probably have to have it removed and maybe try the sleeve. I cant locate that port on me no where. 8 years!!!
Brittany Lytle
My port is in my chest and after 90+lbs lost my port definitely does stick out but it is not very noticeable.
Lori Cruz
Dr. Bagnato did my lap-band on August 10th, 2012. I haven't had my first fill yet so I'm not positive exactly where it is but I think it's in the shoulder/chest area and you can not see it under the skin. I can't imagine it showing even after weight loss and it seems to be the best area for placement.
Dr. Bagnato
Port placement is always at the direction of the patient. But there are pros and cons of all port placement sites. My job, and the job of our staff, is to educate our patients so you make the decision based on good information.
I plan on getting the lap band but I would perfer the port be placed some where other than my chest. I have seen others with the port there. I like wearing low cut shirts and I do not want the port seen. Are there any other areas the port can be placed.
I love the port being in the shoulder, It makes for a pleasant visit for a fill
Leslie E.
As a lap-band patient, I know it is easier and more comfortable to get a fill with the port placed in the chest rather than the abdomen. After the initial soreness is gone post-operatively, I did not even notice my port. It is very comfortable, and I have no physical limitations.
Michelle C.
As a practitioner who accesses the port everyday, I can say it is very easy to access the ports placed in the shoulder. We are able to feel it very easily, which makes it more comfortable and convenient for our patients. Some patients whose ports are placed in the abdomen incur extra cost for a fill because they have to undergo special x-rays for the procedure. With the port in the shoulder there is no need for special equipment to get a fill, therefore, it saves the patient time and money.

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