What shall I do with my port?

by Christine on September 28th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Today I had an appointment with my gastric banding surgeon. First of all, I got a tiny little fill, so I hope that helps me to lose this last 10 pounds. By the way, the fills hurt SIGNIFICANTLY more when you are thinner, without the layer of fat to numb the feeling of the needle.

Secondly, I talked to the doctor about my port site. He agreed that it has become dislodged, but he said that it is not a medical emergency to get it put back in place. In fact, he said that because I’m thinner, he can just flip it around and move to it wherever he wants it.  If I want to get it fixed, it would be considered cosmetic surgery.

Now he said that even if it was put into place, it would be very noticeable on my stomach because I don’t have a heavy layer of fat to cover it up; I’m thinner so it will show. He looked all around my body and said that there is nowhere else he can move it where it would be better hidden. He specifically looked on my side, near my hips, where the doughnut roll is, and said that wouldn’t work. What he said he would have to do is take the port off entirely; keep the hose but lose the port entirely. That means that if I ever needed a fill or unfill (because of future weight gain, IF that happens), then I would have to undergo surgery to get the port put back on. But that’s ONLY if I gained any weight back.

The only concern he has is that, without a layer of fat to protect the port site, that the port could easily begin to erode through my skin. He told me to watch out for that happening, and if it does happen, to come in right away. If that happens they will take the port site off entirely, end of story.

So my surgeon didn’t say that I can’t have it done, but it was interesting to hear what the options are.  He told me to think it over, then come back and visit him on my 2-year bandiversary to let him know what I want to do, if anything. That gives me until February…

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  • islandbandit

    hmmmmmmmmm….. that’s an interesting dilemma. Didya ever think when you started this journey that you’d have a problem created because you’re skinny!!!! I’ve never heard anyone talk about a port eroding through the skin. Is there another band surgeon in your area that you could possibly get a second opinion from? I certainly wouldn’t personally want to remove my port until I feel 110% that i’ve got this weight and food thing licked. but then you seem to certainly have it down… if not be on the right track. keep us posted on what you decide to do

  • Claynlesia

    wow in a way that’s good to be so skinny to not have enough fat but in another way how scary.Please be safe. ((hugs))

  • Patrick

    All in all sounds like a great issue to have to deal with. Otherwise you’d still bea heavier and that can’t be a better place to be. So, what to do. If you don’t have to decide until February then no reason to rush a decision. See what the site looks loike after the holidays and give it thought then I guess. Hopefully it dosn’t give you any problems and the decision is truly just cosmtic. If you lose that last 10 pounds you want to drop here, is that when you get the port removed with the intent being to not regain the weight and go port free forever more?

    Take Care!

  • Shane G.

    I am with the majority here in that I would be focusing on how great it is that you have this problem!! YOu have done a tremendous thing Christine, take 10 minutes and celebrate your conundrum for the success it is!

  • http://www.heathersbandedjourney.com Heather

    Wow! They don’t tell you that when you sign up for this. I would really worry about the skin eroding thing. That is scary. I know you have said before that you have caught it on things. Not fun. Well he gave you time to figure it out. I really wouldn’t want it removed, but that’s just me…

  • Dr. Fatty

    Get it out. You’re done and you’re never going back. Have faith in your self.

  • Libby

    Thanks so much for posting this. I was wondering what your doc would say. It doesn’t sound like he’s giving you any really great options. I agree with island bandit. I’d look for a second or even third opinion. I asked my doctor about this very issue when we met last week (FYI – I’m getting banded on 10/4 – WOOT!) He said he was going to start off by putting the lowest profile port in me to start with. He said if it becomes and issue like yours down the road we would explore options for re-location, etc. He was still a little vague but I am hoping that by the time it is an issue (and if it becomes one I will be happy that I am as skinny as you :-)) that there are new options available. I don’t think I would go with removal but if the alternative is erosion through your skin – yikes!
    BTW – how is the fill doing for you?