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Delia
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   02/02/13, 09:53 pm

Look up non coring needles and you will see why they have to be used.
I think the doctors don't like to do it incase they do it wrong and get the tube or damage the post.
Glad you are feeling better. I would be staying on drinks for a few days to give the band area a chance to settle. Go to the doctor as soon as you can to get it checked out.

n-coring needles are used to puncture through silicone or rubber while not removing any of the material in the process.

For example if a regular needle was used to access a port (Portacath - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_%28medical%29 ) it would damage the port septum (think pushing a straw through a potato) and cause the port to leak.

The geometry of a non-coring needle is such that it will not remove material on insertion.
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Bushlander



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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   02/02/13, 10:35 am

Thanks for that Delia. Can't imagine George giving me a needle, as much as I'd love one, but I might hit up one of the other GPs I go to and see what they say. I'm with you Delia, I wouldn't have thought it was rocket science to jab the port with a needle and take out some fluid. Yet, they all seem to baulk at doing it.

So glad I live in a city, can't imagine what people out in the sticks do if their band plays up. I spoke to a friend who used to live in Weipa and her band tightened up once and because nobody knew what to do about it they put her in hospital for five days (don't know why, she could've been doing the same amount of suffering at home) and waited for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to arrive with the right needle to do the adjustment. What is it with these needles - they're sounding as rare as hen's teeth...

Anyway, my band seems to have eased up a bit since lunch time so I'm taking it very easy and very slowly with my fluids at the moment. Don't want to upset it any more than it already has been.
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Delia
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   02/02/13, 06:04 am

I don't know of any but you could try the Brisbane General or Wesley.
I now carry a needle with me. My doctor gave it to me. Incase I am somewhere where and they don't have the right needle.
If you get another Dr to take it out tell them they need a non coring port-a-core needle so it does not damage the port. I would like to think they all know this but apparently they don't.
I am at a loss as to why any doctor can not do this as to me it is like injection into any port???
Delia
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Bushlander



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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   02/02/13, 05:22 am

Just had a visit to Prince Charles Hospital Public Emergency (Brisbane) with a tight band. Bloody hopeless! They told me that no one there has experience with lapbands and that they most likely don't have the right needle for the job. It's a good thing I'm not dying and have decided to battle it out until Monday when I can see George rather than spend umpteen hours down at the Royal where I know they can deal with bandits.

I have found two GPs who will do unfills, but that doesn't help me when my band is strangling me on a Saturday or a Sunday because they're not open. I'm finding it really frustrating when my band tightens as usually you get a bit of restriction, don't think anything of it because you've recently had a fill, but then 2-3 days later that restriction turns into tightness and by then it's the weekend and you pretty much just have to suffer with it.

My band tightened up on me back in October and it was very sudden and very fast! It was that bad that I couldn't even swallow my own spit and was getting up through the night to vomit the spit that I had swallowed (or tried to swallow). So I ring George's office and they can't help me because he's overseas. I was desperate - I had dehydrated so quickly and I felt dreadful. Like getting blood out of a stone I managed to get the phone number of another GP who I could go to and thank God he was available that day. He didn't know what he was doing and after taking out some fill (twice) I had relief, but was down 1.8mls. I've been playing catch up with my fills and weight loss ever since.

It just seems as though not enough people are trained in lapband unfills and this excuse that they don't have the right needle is pathetic. Bands are so finicky and unpredictable and we bandits should have the services available to us 24/7.
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   10/05/12, 05:45 am

Are you a good tackler Tara? I don't think I would be 'cause I never played team sport. I really don't know if I could take down a doctor, though people do unexpected things in Emergency rooms.

Thanks for that :)
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tumultuous-tara

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   09/05/12, 01:27 pm

Hiya Tanya,

The GP's were awesome as they all had been trained by band surgeons.
One guy is freelance as such and the other 2 are linked with one obesity clinic and therefore one surgeon but they'll see any surgeon's patient at any of their clinics which makes things soooooo much easier as you are bound to get one of them on the same day and all with in a 15 minute drive.

The once I went to the local public hospital they did rush me straight in and run heaps of tests and fill me full of morphine, all the while refusing to listen that my band was too tight and with a slight unfill I'd be out the door and fine, and that no matter how many times they suggested it, I did not have gastro and black vomit is from a band slip and if they'd just unfill me like I'd asked 5 hours before we'd all be happy. Really NO ONE there was at all familiar with the band.

Finally by chance we stumbled upon a general surgeon wandering through A&E, tackled him, & explained. (Thank goodness too cos a nurse then informed me that only a surgeon could unfill me and had he not have turned up I would have to have been admitted till Monday. ERGH.)

He wandered off for a while, located the correct needle from another floor then stabbed me a few times till he found the port.

Then joy, peace, happiness, sweet relief he slightly unfilled me and I wandered off with renewed spring in my step.

LOL so I guess from that I would highly recommend the GP's if you are able to locate any.

Tara
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   09/05/12, 01:10 pm

Tara, was that a public or private hostpital you thought of / went too? I never condsidered that either. Did you find the g.p's and hostpital ok - i.e did they know what they were doing?
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tumultuous-tara

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   09/05/12, 01:06 pm

I was actually quite shocked how many of them came out of the woodwork when I started looking for them.

Prior to that I thought the Surgeon or the hospital were my only choices.

A few calls and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Cheers
T
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   09/05/12, 01:02 pm

Some GP's only charge a $10 needle fee? Well that's good to know y'all!

I will start making enquiries. I have had a tightish band for so long now that I think I am am used to it but it's not optimal. Problem being I live so far from my surgeon and after one roadtrip back for an unfill , it was still too tight (but tolerable) - so I just put it in the too hard basket.

Thanks for the tip girls :)


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tumultuous-tara

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   29/04/12, 03:30 am

LOL Bushlander ... I too have OFTEN thought if I had a needle I could unfill it myself. Never did but often think it.

Tara
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Losingit

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   29/04/12, 01:33 am

Bushlander - I'm glad you are feeling better. It's a no-win situation sometimes with the band. Mostly the advice I have read (and adhered to) suggests that if your band seems too tight, wait a few days as it may loosen. This happens to many people, so I can understand that you waited, hoping things might improve. I can also understand that you thought it might be something else, and obviously took the measures to have that checked out.

In my opinion, the band is so damn fickle that I wonder that any of us actually put up with it. I had some fill out more than 18 months ago, and had instant relief, and have never been back to have more put in. I can't possibly go back to the ridiculous situation I had prior to that unfill. Why anyone would persevere with such tightness is beyond my understanding. Losing weight is great, but suffering so much for it is simply, in my opinion, foolhardy.

Hope you are back on track and recovered from your hiccup.
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 12:00 pm

Delia - It had slowly been building up since Monday. At first it didn't feel like the band as I was getting sharp pains in the chest going through to the back when I ate. Never had that before. A friend suggested gallstones, but me being me (who never goes to the doctor because I don't believe I'm ever sick enough) had to wait until Thursday to see the doc and then Friday for an ultrasound to check for gallstones. I pretty much knew on Thursday that it was the band as the chest and back pain had subsided, but I wasn't keeping anything down. By then it was too late to see George and his earliest appointment was 4 o'clock Tuesday. So all in all I've had a rather expensive week paying for medical stuff that was totally unnecessary.

I usually ride it out when the band tightens for a few days in the hope that it will rectify itself (and to shed a few kilos) or until I can get an appointment with George. Same thing happened to me last year - got tight on a Thursday afternoon (after George had finished his clinic) and the next day was Good Friday. Had to suffer the whole weekend until Tuesday and I've got to say I was pretty miserable, tired and very, very dehydrated. I told myself I wouldn't let myself get that bad ever again. But it makes it hard when you have to wait for an appointment because your band has tightened the day after his clinic has finished and then it's the weekend.

Wasn't actually admitted to hospital, just rocked up to emergency and the doctor saw me there. Like I said, he went through three needles and none of them were the same size as what George uses. Pretty sure if I had the right needle I could take the fluid out myself...

tumultous-tara - Will definitely be going to the Royal next time my band seizes up on the wrong day of the week. Will just have to be prepared to sit there for God knows how long. And yes, I do go to another GP who does the $10 needle fee, but she, too, was absent yesterday when I needed help.

Anyway guys, thanks for input and feedback, much appreciated. Have had my band for almost 3 years, lost 35 kilos (95kg when I started) and have had the band tighten on me only a few times. It's been a pretty good run and I'm so happy I spent the money and had it done. My friend, on the other hand, has just undergone gastric sleeving because she had so much trouble with her band, and she's well on her way to being a healthier and happier girl. She's only 6 weeks post-op and I reckon she's lost the best part of 20kg already. It's definitely showing, that's for sure.

Thanks again everybody!
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tumultuous-tara

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 10:25 am

Next time just rock up to the RBWH and get it done for free.

Or there are several G.P.'s that do fills & unfills and only charge a $10 needle fee.

Tara
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Losingit

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 10:22 am

Just for future reference, it might be wise to find out which PUBLIC hospital deals with such situations. I'm glad you feel better, however it's unfortunate you had to use a private hospital to get some relief.

When things are critical, the money is not so much of an issue, your health always overtakes that. Stings the pocket, but one has to 'suck it up' in an emergency. Hopefully you will get a reasonable rebate from Medicare.
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Delia
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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 07:58 am

Why on earth did you wait so long. I would have been at George's doorstep not ring for an appointment.

I know what you have gone through as I have had a band slip twice, If you can't get anything down within a day you have to be on a drip or you will dehydrate really fast and that can be very dangerous.

Also make sure they use a non coring portacore needle when taking out fluid. (not sure if that is spelt right)

Why did it cost so much? \Were you admited to hospital?

This is very insteresting to us all.

Delia
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Bushlander



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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 06:35 am

Thanks for that guys. Have just got back from the Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital. Apparently George does his private patients there. Anyway, after much poking and prodding, two different sized needles and bending the third needle I am now down 1ml and feel so much better for it. Usually I put up with the tightness until I can get in to see George, but this was a bit of a stretch for me and as I said to the doctor either I would be dead by Tuesday afternoon or I would have killed somebody!

Now my problem is the $340 the hospital charged for my visit! Will be very interested to see how much I recoup from Medicare on Monday. And will only ever be visiting this hospital for an unfill when I am on death's doorstep...
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Losingit

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 03:57 am

Sorry - I can't be a lot of help as I am in Melbourne. However, you might try calling the hospital where you had your surgery. They should be able to tell you if they have someone on call for such emergencies. Otherwise, hopefully they can direct you to the hospital in Brisbane which would deal with emergency unfills.

In Melbourne, I know the Alfred is the one to go to. I didn't have my surgery there, but I know they always have someone either present or on call who can assist with such things.

Good luck.
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Tralee (Trace)

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PostSubject: Re: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 03:44 am

Mine does them but way too far for you to come I have just been through same thing and it is hell. Good luck with it all and when you have the unfill it is instant relief :)
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Bushlander



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PostSubject: Need Unfill Urgently   28/04/12, 03:32 am

Just wondering if anyone can help me. I'm in Brisbane (one of George Hopkins' patients) and my band has been playing up since Monday. Thought it might have been gallstones as it didn't really feel like it was the band, but have had an ultrasound and it's not gallstones. Looks like it's the band. Urgently need an unfill as I haven't had a proper meal since Monday and haven't been able to keep anything down since yesterday morning. Can't get in to see George until 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon! Can anybody tell me where I could go to have some fill taken out on a weekend?

Many thanks,
Renae
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