Feeling stuck with sinus drainage and the Lap Band

By lapmin March 5, 2013


Here’s a post we put up about 4 years ago. It’s true every year; people with sinus drainage feel more restriction and sometimes get food stuck.  It can be something as simple as a runny nose or more extensive such as sinusitis that causes problems.

Around winter time and spring we have some of our Lap Band patients get sinus drainage from either a cold or seasonal allergies.  For some of those patients, they feel a lot of restriction and have trouble get food and liquids down.  I call sinus drainage “Lap Band cement.”

That sinus drainage just seems to sit their and get stuck.  If you notice you are starting to get sinus drainage I suggest the following:

1)  Switch your food intake to something easier to get down like liquids and mushy foods.

2)  Drink warm fluids like coffee or tea to see if that will help you “loosen up.”

3)  If you have a tough time getting stuff down and nothing seems to help, you might need to get in touch with us and get some fluid removed from the Lap Band to loosen it up.

Back when we first posted it, we got over a dozen questions. We are reposting the questions, comments, and our responses:

Kathy Harris Says: 26. January 2009 at 12:33 pm Is this normal if you only have a half cc in the band. I cannot eat food such as meat and veg. or fruit but only every once in a while.

Rachael Keilin, MD Says: Kind of depends – everyone’s band fits them differently, so 1/2 cc for you might make for a very tight fill. HOWEVER, if you can’t eat meat, veggies or fruit, I think it’s important for you to analyze what you can eat. If you’re still getting adequate protein from dairy sources, protein shakes and fiber from grains that’s okay, but if your band is so tight that you can only eat chips then it’s too tight.

Random T. Says: 24. April 2009 at 5:06 am e Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is more than I expected when I found the link. The info here is quite decent. Thanks.

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 25. April 2009 at 9:20 pm Glad you enjoyed it. If there are any specific topics you want us to address, let us know.

Debbie Clanton Says: 12. May 2009 at 5:39 pm I had lapband on 4-19-08, by October I had lost 47 pounds. I have a size 4 with 2.4cc of fill at this time. I have not lost another pound, but gained by 6 pounds through the winter. I am excited at the thought of swimming daily again soon. My issue though is extreme e xcess of not keeping “anything” down. This is due to sinus drainage. I have tried warm fluids all the way through to ice cream. How embarassing to be in a store check-out line only to grab a bag from the bagger then turn around and “burp-regergitate” into the bag. This is so common, I now am scared to even try to eat. Now I am having severe headaches plus being in menopause and thyroid issues, I am a bear to be around. I need advise – help – anything!

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 13. May 2009 at 12:27 pm  Thanks for the question. Firstly, since you had a 4cc Band placed last year, I wonder if you had your Band somewhere out of the U.S. such as Mexico. Since 2007, in the U.S. nearly all doctors use the Lap Band AP band, which is the latest generation LapBand. There is nothing wrong with your band, but people seem to get more sensitive to small fills with the 4cc Lap Bands. There is no doubt that you should have fluid removed from your Lap Band as well as considering getting an upper GI X-ray study to check the position of your Lap Band. We recommend regular follow up to all of our patients, and if you had your Lap Band in Mexico, that creates a potential problem with long-term followup. Remember, Lap Band surgery is only one step in your journey. The after care is very important.

Ben Says: 22. August 2009 at 10:58 am My operating doctor told me that I have this issue, but I am worried that I do not. I cannot eat or drink unless I have a large quantity of water first. By large quantity I mean a full nalgene bottle, all at the same time. Interestingly enough I was able to eat fine with my current fill for a long time and then this developed suddenly in the middle of the year. I do experience quite a great deal of mucus though, and it’s suddenly a year-round experience for me.

I’m going to have all my fill removed shortly here and I hope that helps, but I’m also afraid this might be a bizarre type of slipped band — even though I don’t experience any other symptoms besides difficulty eating.

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 22. August 2009 at 9:59 pm  Based on the little I know, I would certainly ask your doctor to remove fluid from your Band. You also might benefit from an UGI swallow to look at the Band position and tightness, but again I would leave this to the discretion of your doctor. Best wishes!

della dubbert Says: 8. September 2009 at 12:43 pm I also have the “burp regrergitate” problem bad and flemm, one bite of food for breakfast and up it comes on it’s own with lots of flemm. how can you not lose weight when nothing stays down? only lost 50 lbs in one year.

Rachael Keilin, MD Says: 8. September 2009 at 1:43 pm  Ms. Dubbert- usually if you can’t eat anything for breakfast and have a lot of built up phlegm from the night before it means you’re too full. When you’re too full (in the red zone on the chart) it’s too easy to make bad food choices since often they’re easy to get down. Things such as ice-cream and chips will slide past a band that will not allow much else. This means that although you’re not eating much volume, you’re eating a lot of calories and the weight will not come off. An unfill can allow you to eat nutritious, healthy foods and get back in the box.

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 8. September 2009 at 10:31 pm I also want to thank you for your comment. It’s great to see someone from another practice find our blog helpful! Take a quick pick at the Lap Band zone fill chart. http://blog.noscales.com/lap-band-green-zone.html I agree with Dr Keilin, you sound like you might be in the Red Zone and you should discuss this with your Lap Band surgeon. Good luck!

Lynne Anne Hughes Says: 9. September 2009 at 6:45 pm This is my first visit to this (or any) blog. And I am pleased to find an easy way to ask and answer questions! My lapband is four weeks old today and I refer to it as my symbiote (Star Trek – TNG). I am still watching my scars heal and wondering when I will be able to wear a bra again. Such a problem.lol. I also have post nasal drip during the night, but so far, it hasn’t been a problem.

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 9. September 2009 at 11:29 pm  Congratulations on your first visit to a blog. I suggest you sign up by entering your email address in the “Subscribe Now” box on the right sidebar. So Wikipedia tells me that a symbiote is “is a living, sentient, extraterrestrial organism that bonds with other living organisms in order to survive.” Not sure if that is applicable. The Lap Band doesn’t need you to survive, but we hope you use it properly as a tool to help you improve your health. All the best.

Samuel McVay Says: 17. November 2009 at 1:43 pm This is my first time to write on the blog.I had my lap band last year in DEC.I lost for awhile but not very much.I had 6 or 7 fills and didn’t see much difference in filling full. I got real discouraged and stopped going to your office. Why is it not working for me?????

Rachael Keilin, MD Says: 17. November 2009 at 3:11 pm  Even with that many fills, you may still have not reached your sweet spot – it’s simply different for every person. Come on back into the office, we’ll put you on the re-start diet, re-train you on how to use your band, then try to get you to the fill point you need. Don’t give up hope!

Dr Ron Hekier Says: 17. November 2009 at 3:49 pm  While we can’t discuss individual cases here on the Internet, people need to remember that you didn’t gain the weight right away and you won’t lose it all right away. I personally think there is nothing wrong with losing 60 lbs in a year for example. Don’t give up hope; if you stay with the program you have the tools to succeed.

Cher S. Says: 26. November 2009 at 1:49 pm I was banded on Oct. 27th; I have had no fills yet; over the last few days I have had a lot of difficulty eating or drinking anything, what to speak of taking my regular meds. Pretty much anything I try to swallow comes back up. It doesn’t seem to matter how small the bite is or how long I chew it. That said, I do have issue with lots of allergies and concomitant post nasal drip. ANY ideas on how to put the post nasal drip in check wo9uld be greatly appreciated.


Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 27. November 2009 at 12:43 am  You might benefit from speaking with your surgeon. They might have put a little bit of fluid into your Band at the time of surgery and maybe taking that out would help. Even if they didn’t intentionally add a “fill” to your Lap Band, the Lap Band tubing is always flushed with saline to get the air bubbles out, so there is often 1 or 2 cc’s left in the Lap Band after surgery. Perhaps accessing your Lap Band and removing fluid might help. You might also want to talk to your PCP about seeing what might be done about your post nasal drip and alleviating that. BTW, Did you have your surgery in the U.S. or did you have it out of the country? If you had your Lap Band done outside of the U.S. it is often harder to find a doctor in the U.S. to assume your care.

Good luck, and welcome to the Lap Band Tribe!

esha moore Says: 30. March 2010 at 4:25 pm I really love this blog. I find it very helpful. The and can sometimes be frustrating and the fact that there are actual Dr.s on this site to answer questions is awesome.

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 30. March 2010 at 5:13 pm  Thanks Esha! There is so much questionable information on the Internet, that we hope we can clear up confusion about the Lap Band! Keep checking in!

Alice Says: 7. May 2010 at 2:46 pm Hi! I had my lapband on Nov 16,2009- i have lost 100 on my own prior to my lapband, and after the lapband ive lost 46 lbs. i am so happy with the results, but on my last feel, i decided to exprerience the full feel of 6cc’s.. i hardly eat anything, an you are right… i never enjoyed much mashed potatoes and ice cream, however there is then only thing it goes down without hurting too much…I will never ask for the “maximum feel agin… it is worthed to lose little by little than this fast>>> after all, why the rush???? I am not exercizing as i SHOULD, BUT I AM GOING TOO.having the band too tight is not worthed, since we have no choices but to choose the wrong food….

chelle Says: 10. May 2010 at 8:06 am I had my surgery on Dec 4. 2010. I have lost about 37 lbs but I have beeb at that for a little more than 2 months. I did have the sinus drainage issue also but I seem to be stuck at this weight. why and what should I do?

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 11. May 2010 at 10:49 pm  Take a look at the multiple posts on this blog. Do a search for “plateau” in the search box at the upper right. Good luck!

Deborah Says: 9. January 2011 at 1:42 pm i had my surgery in 7/09. very happy with the results. i got sick in mid 2010 with flu and after recovery experienced severe acid reflux, burping and regurgitation. I had some fluid removed in November because of this and felt better at once. However, now that allergy season is here in arizona with the accompaning PND and mucous production i am burping up a storm. doesn’t matter what i eat or drink and it is driving me crazy. i am taking mucsinex 1200 2 x a day and have put myself on a liquid diet to soothe the irritation in my esphogeous. is there anything else i can do other than get more fluid removed?

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 20. January 2011 at 12:38 am  I would consider getting some fluid out. It’s not a big deal. Get better and then the fluid can be put back in. You probably don’t need much out. Talk to your doctor.

misty grimm Says: 28. February 2011 at 8:41 am Dr. I have had lap band for nearly 5 years I have lost 135 pounds and usually feel great – BUT about 6 months ago i started haveing so much drainage discharge at night when i lay down it makes me cough all and i do mean all night long – I have elvateed my bed w/ bricks, i take Nexeum before bed and a benadryl at night or nyquil i still cough all night long and really ususally get about 2 hours off spleep and that is usually broken – i have seen an ear nose and throat dr. , and allergist, and chiropractor I atill want to go to beg but just can’t andy suggestions i can not keep going like this i am tired and suggestions i will take any

thank you Misty Grimm

misty grimm Says: 28. February 2011 at 8:59 am I forgot to also say that i have not had a fill in a year so i do not know how suddenly it could need to be unfilled and it seldom every seems to tight during the day every once in awhile i will get something stuck but it is my own stupid self trying to eat one more bite because it taste so good –

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 8. March 2011 at 12:32 am  Misty, It is possible to get too tight even after not having had a fill for a very long time. I strongly suggest seeing your Lap Band doctor. They might want to get an Xray swallow study to see how tight you are, or they might want to take a little fluid out of your band to see if that helps. See your doctor!

maxxie Says: 14. May 2011 at 3:02 pm Any info on a person with AP band no fill 4 weeks after surgery and the band being too tight? Everything gets stuck. No slippage never vomitted no problems except everything feels stuck in the back of my throat i cannot get even 1/4 food down. I feel this with everything I eat. Thanks

Dr. Ron Hekier Says: 8. June 2011 at 11:54 pm  Maxxie, It should get better a few weeks after surgery. I would ask your surgeon to access the port to remove fluid. Even though you haven’t had any fills, we have place a small amount of fluid in the tubing of the LapBand to remove air bubbles. Infrequently, that small amount of fluid is enough to make a person too tight, and removing that fluid helps.

Print Friendly

lapmin lapmin


Lorem ipsum