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What to expect after Gastric Banding Surgery

Gastric Band Surgery: What to Expect After Surgery

After lap band surgery, you can expect to lose weight consistently and continuously.  This can lead to a much improved quality of life.  However, if you want to enjoy the all the benefits of your weight-loss surgery, you will need to make positive changes to your diet.  Healthy eating habits and following the advice of your nutritionist will help maximize the benefits.

The first few weeks after your surgery, you can expect to feel some soreness.  This is quite normal with any surgery.  Most of the time you will get some pain medication to help with the soreness, but if you experience soreness for more than just a few days, you should call your surgeon.  You may also experience a few minor physical reactions, as well.

With the advice of our nutritionist and the team supporting you through this life changing surgery, you can experience the benefits that originally attracted you to the surgery.  These benefits include:

  • Sustainable weight-loss
  • Improvements to hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, heartburn, and many other disorders.
  • A decreased appetite
  • Improved confidence and a better self image
  • A better overall life

Severely obese patients will experience the best results with any weight-loss surgery since they have the most to lose.  This is also true of those unable to control their weight with diet, exercise, or even drug therapies.  Even if a patient has tried other methods without long-term sustainability, they will experience the best results after lap band surgery.

Many patients expect to lose weight right away, but this isn’t exactly how it works.  For the first month, you need to concentrate on following the plan given to you and recover.  This is the healing period and it is more important to allow your stomach to adjust to the lap band.  Once your stomach has adjusted and healed completely, you can start concentrating on actually losing weight.

After Lap Band Surgery

Since lap band surgery is not as invasive as other surgeries, the discomfort you experience will not last very long.  As long as you get plenty of rest and follow the instructions of your weight-loss team.  You will feel some emotional changes after the surgery as well.  Stay connected to the emotional feelings you have, as it will aid in your progress.

Your diet will go from liquids to soft foods gradually, and you need to make sure you follow the 12-week program given to you after your lap band surgery.  This will ensure you heal correctly and recover in a timely manner.  A timeline will be provided to help you with the progression of your diet.  Everybody is different, so don’t be afraid to consult your doctor and dietician whenever you have questions.

Fills & Adjustments

The Lap Band is connected by tubing to an access port that is placed beneath the skin during surgery.

Later, the surgeon can change the stoma size by adding or subtracting saline inside the inner balloon through the access port. This adjustment process helps drive the rate of weight loss. If the band is too loose and weight loss inadequate, adding more saline can reduce the size of the stoma to further restrict the amount of food that can move through it. If the band it too tight, the surgeon will remove some saline to loosen the band and reduce the amount of restriction.

When a Lapband patient is experiencing one of the following symptoms, the band needs adjustment.

  • Poor results in weight loss.
  • No Satisfaction after eating.
  • You feel hungry between meals.

All fills/adjustments are done under fluoroscopy due to the precision involved. 

Expect to see your doctor every couple of weeks throughout the first few months.  They want to ensure your recovery is going according to plan and they can offer advice to help you with the next step in your weight-loss journey.