Heartburn and the LapBand

By Dr. Rachael Keilin September 17, 2012



Imagine this scenario:

You just got a fill a few days ago.  Suddenly, you notice that if you eat past 7pm or so, you have trouble falling asleep.  There’s a burning in your chest and maybe even a bad taste in your mouth when you lie down.

Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta all help a little, but not much. After a week or two of this, you notice that you wake up in the middle of the night coughing or feeling choked.

You call your general doctor who prescribes a powerful antacid.  This, too, helps a little, but does not really make all of the symptoms go away, especially the coughing and poor sleep.

Yes, this is heartburn, also known as “reflux” to most doctors.

But it’s not like the reflux that unbanded people have.

These are all symptoms of the band being too tight and the only “cure” is to loosen the band.

When the band is too tight, even saliva won’t pass easily.

When you lie down at night, you lose the assistance of gravity and the spit pools in your throat (esophagus) and eventually starts to “go down the wrong pipe” causing you to cough.

If left unfixed, you can eventually breathe in your own secretions and get pneumonia.

Because these can also be the symptoms of a LapBand slip, it is important to call your doctor’s office right away if these symptoms suddenly develop.

Many fear getting the band loosened because they’re fearful of gaining weight.

But how is not being able to eat healthy, solid foods going to help you lose weight?

(Wo)Man cannot live by ice-cream alone.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, contact your surgeon and get an unfill.  You’ll be amazed at how much faster and easier you can lose weight when you can actually eat healthy foods without pain.

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Dr. Rachael Keilin Dr. Rachael Keilin

Dr. Rachael Keilin

2717 Summerhill Road, Texarkana, TX, 75503