First Few Weeks After Your LAP-BAND Surgery

The first few weeks following your LAP-BAND surgery are important to your recovery and for you to adjust to your new life with the LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System. Successful and healthy weight loss will entirely depend on how motivated and committed you are towards achieving your weight loss goals. The collection of recipes that we have created should help you to prepare healthy and delicious meals for every step of your recovery. Apart from changing the way you eat, it will also be necessary for you to commit to an exercise plan, regular check-ups with your surgeon, ongoing LAP-BAND adjustments, as well as support group meetings and much more. It is important for you to be patient with yourself during the first few weeks after your LAP-BAND surgery because you have already taken the biggest step - the first one. It will take some time for you to create your new lifestyle and this will not happen overnight. Your LAP-BAND Team will work with you in order to address your specific needs, but here are some guidelines to help you begin :

Recovery From Your Lap-Band Surgery

The following key points will help you during the first few days and weeks after your LAP-BAND surgery.

The First Days After The LAP-BAND Surgery

  • You may feel some soreness, especially at the point where the access port is placed, but this should subside within a few days after your LAP-BAND surgery. If this soreness persists after a few days, then you should call your surgeon and let them know.
  • Your surgeon may ask you not to shower for a day or two after your surgery to prevent an infection.
  • In order to regain your strength and to help prevent blood clots, you should try to slowly walk around as much as you can comfortably do.

The First Week(s) After The LAP-BAND Surgery

  • Allow yourself time to rest and recover from your LAP-BAND surgery during the first week following the procedure.
  • If your job is not very physically demanding, you should be able to return to work in about a week.
  • If your job requires you to be physically active, then allow yourself 2-3 weeks to recover before returning to work.
  • Within 4-6 weeks, you should be able to resume all of your normal activities as well as start a new exercise program, but you will need to consult your LAP-BAND surgeon before engaging in any physical activity or exercise program to make sure your body is ready.
  • Your LAP-BAND surgeon will most likely ask to see you weekly or biweekly during the first month after your surgery to ensure that your recovery is going on well, and to answer any questions that you may have as they come up.

LAP-BAND Dietary Guidelines

After undergoing the LAP-BAND surgery, you will need to start a new nutrition plan to make sure that you lose as much weight as possible, while getting all the nutrition you need to stay healthy. Your Lap-BAND surgeon and/or dietitian will help you learn about the positive changes that you will need to make in your diet, as well as in your lifestyle. You will need to start following your new eating and drinking habits immediately after your LAP-BAND surgery.

During the first week after your LAP-BAND surgery, you will be on a liquid diet as only thin liquids will be tolerated by your body during this time. As your body continues with its healing process, you can gradually move on to pureed foods (the second week after your surgery) and then to soft foods (3-4 weeks after your surgery). In about 5-6 weeks after your LAP-BAND surgery, you should be able to comfortably eat solid foods again.

LAP-BAND Diet For The First Few Days After Your LAP-BAND Surgery

  • Always remember that it is very important for you to follow the eating and drinking instructions given to you by your Lap-BAND surgeon after the surgery. These dietary instructions are important in helping your stomach pouch to heal as quickly as possible as well as keeping your LAP-BAND System in the right position as your stomach adjusts to its presence.
  • During the first few weeks after your LAP-BAND surgery, it is extremely important that you take the precautions necessary by following your surgeon’s post surgery instructions so that you do not to stretch the small stomach pouch that is formed above the LAP-BAND system. Vomiting should be avoided as this may increase the chance of the stomach’s tissue slipping through the band.
  • Other than an occasional sip of water or sucking on an ice cube, you shouldn’t drink any liquids immediately after your LAP-BAND surgery.
  • The day following your LAP-BAND surgery, you can drink a little more fluid, but you need be careful to only take a small amount at a time. Including water, you should only sip clear liquids that give an adequate number of calories for recovery. Avoid nausea or vomiting by sipping your liquid, and not drinking too much at any one time.

The LAP-BAND Liquid Diet (The First Week After Your LAP-BAND Surgery)

  • During the first week following your LAP-BAND Surgery, your primary focus should be on protecting the new small stomach pouch that has formed as this will help you to heal quickly and properly. Remember that your smaller stomach pouch will only be able tolerate thin liquids and you should not try to cheat or speed things along at this point as it could cause serious damage. It is equally important however, for you to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other thin liquids frequently and in small amounts at a time.
  • Also recommended during this phase are other liquids like;
    • Clear broths or soups (these should not have any vegetables or meat at this time and should not be creamy.)
    • Skimmed milk
    • Fruit juice
    • Avoid popsicles with added sugar at all costs

The LAP-BAND Pureed Foods Diet (Second Week After Your LAP-BAND Surgery)

  • During your second week, you can start adding slightly textured foods to your LAP-BAND diet. These foods should have a consistency similar to baby foods and properly following the guidelines of this stage’s diet will be quite helpful in strengthening your stomach so that you may move on to more solid foods.
  • As you lose weight, protein is quite important for you in maintaining your muscles. It is very important for you to first eat foods that are rich in proteins at a meal before moving on to fruits and vegetables.
  • Foods that you can eat at this stage may include;
    • Pureed skinless chicken or fish
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Peas
    • low-fat Yogurt or low-fat pudding

NOTE; in the first few weeks after your LAP-BAND surgery, you may be allowed to eat high calorie foods that may not be allowed in your diet later on.

Also, during these first few weeks, it is much more important for you to allow your stomach time to adjust to the LAP-BAND than it is for you to be concerned about losing weight. Keep in mind that your personal timing and progression into each of the LAP-BAND dietary phases will largely depend on your adherence to your surgeon’s dietary instructions. Generally, when it comes to your nutrition, the advice of your LAP-BAND surgeon and or dietitian should be strictly followed.

The LAP-BAND Soft Foods Diet (3-4 Weeks After Your LAP-BAND Surgery)

  • During the Soft Foods Phase of your LAP-BAND diet, your meals can include tender cooked foods like fish or ground turkey.
  • Soft foods should be chewed well. This is a great opportunity to practice properly chewing your foods (around 30 times per bite) before graduating to regular meals again.
  • Cut your food into small pieces and again, make sure that you chew your food thoroughly (especially if you have dentures). Failure to chew your food properly may result in vomiting, stomach irritation and swelling. It may also lead to a stomach obstruction where the LAP-BAND system obstructs the stomach’s opening.
  • Choose softer foods to eat over products like bread, red meat and rice that may cause your stomach problems. Softer foods can easily be digested and may include foods like moist white meat (chicken or pork) as well as fish.
  • You should go back to the Lap-BAND liquid diet if solid foods are causing you nausea and vomiting. You can then slowly add soft foods back to your diet and eventually solid foods as well. Remember, patience during these dietary steps is the foundation for you to lose weight as quickly and healthily as possible.
  • Learn to always seek advice from your LAP-BAND doctor or dietitian that is specific to you. Do not forget that vomiting may increase chances of band slippage, stomach slippage or even stretching of the small pouch that has formed above the LAP-BAND System.

Your First LAP-BAND Adjustment

Usually, your first LAP-BAND adjustment occurs about 6 weeks after your surgery, although the exact time varies from one patient to another. You should never be in a hurry with the LAP-BAND System as it is designed to help you achieve weight loss safely and steadily. Your LAP-BAND surgeon will advise you on when it is best to have your first adjustment.

During your first LAP-BAND adjustment appointment, be sure to discuss your eating habits, exercise program and the rate of your weight loss with your surgeon. These facts will go a long way in helping your LAP-BAND surgeon determine whether it is the right time for you to have a LAP-BAND adjustment. If it is time for you to have a LAP-BAND adjustment, then you can expect the following ;

  • That your LAP-BAND surgeon may perform an evaluation to determine your pouch size and your stomach size before an adjustment to the band is made.
  • After the LAP-BAND adjustment, an evaluation of your pouch size and stomach size will be performed to confirm that the LAP-BAND adjustment has been carried out properly.

To learn more about recovery after LAP-BAND surgery, as well as various post-op programs available in Los Angeles, please contact our offices at 800-561-9000.

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