Some of you may be reading this and saying, ‘”what is a PORT?” A gastric band, commonly known as the Lap-Band®, is a silicon band that is placed around the upper portion of the stomach. On the inside of the band is a balloon. Attached to the balloon is a tube that attaches on the other side to a port that is located just under the skin typically placed closer to the belly button. See image below.
For the first year and a half following my surgery, it was difficult for me to feel my port unless I pressed very hard on my abdomen and felt around. Now, mind you, at this time I was carrying more than 100+ lbs on my body and my waistline was inches thicker.
As time went by and I continued to shed lbs, my waistline became smaller and the port positioned itself closer to the surface of my skin. The first few times I felt my port without searching for it (by my pants waistband or my rib cage touching it) it was a realization that I had really lost a lot of weight!
The port is similar to what you would see at the end of a stethoscope, only smaller. It does not hurt or cause discomfort. Now that I have been living with my band for over eleven years I barely even remember it is there.
I’ve also been asked if I am uncomfortable with a device being placed inside my body on a permanent basis. My answer is, “no.” It is no different than a pacemaker, plastic joint, steel rod or other medical devise that is used to help an individual achieve optimal health. The Lap-Band helps me maintain a healthy weight and BMI — one that I was unable to obtain/maintain prior to my surgery.
Can I feel my Lap-Band? This question was answered in my last article, which can be found here.
Grace & Gratitude,