What to Expect After Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, you will be placed on a temporary post-operative diet. You will be provided detailed eating and drinking instructions. Please follow them carefully. They are designed to help you heal completely and to keep the LAP-BAND® properly positioned. It can take a month or longer for the complete healing process to occur.
The first few days
During the first few days, you will be restricted to liquids. Following the surgery, you may have an occasional sip of water or suck on an ice cube. The next day, it’s fine to have a little more fluid in small amounts. In addition to water, drink liquids that have an adequate number of calories. To prevent nausea and vomiting, it is important to drink smaller, more frequent amounts.
Days 1 - 4
Your initial diet will consist of liquids. For example:
- water, tea and coffee
- protein shakes
- clear broth (no other ingredients and not creamy)
- milk (skim is recommended)
- flavored gelatin (no fruit or other ingredients added)
Initially you may be allowed to consume liquids that will be discouraged later due to their high caloric count. The goal of the first few weeks is not to lose weight, but to let your stomach adjust to the LAP-BAND® System.
Days 5 - 14
You may begin eating soups that are creamy or slightly thicker. You may also begin eating puree-consistency foods such as yogurt, pudding, apple sauce, oatmeal, or any other food that you are willing to puree. You should not be eating anything that requires chewing.
Days 15 - 21
At day 15, you can start eating soft foods. This will help you transition to solid foods. To be safe, you will want to avoid bread, rice, red meat and other foods that can be difficult to digest. You may start to include moist foods such as white meat (chicken or pork) and fish.
Be sure to chew all food thoroughly. You may want to cut your food into small pieces, especially if you have dentures. Improper chewing could irritate your stomach and cause vomiting, swelling or stomach obstruction.
If you experience problems with solid foods, become nauseated, or vomit, resume the liquid diet and slowly add the soft foods.
Be sure to consult your surgeon and/or dietician with any questions, concerns or discomfort.
Your Role in Your Success
The LAP-BAND® System is an effective weight loss tool, but it is not magic. The band does not enable you to eat as you please. It is an aid to support you. Your weight loss success still depends on you.
The LAP-BAND® System can provide an important jump start by helping to limit your food intake, reduce your appetite and slow your digestion. But this alone isn’t enough. You must commit to new lifelong eating habits and exercise, which the LAP-BAND® helps make easier. The combination of smaller portions, good eating habits and exercise will not only help you to lose weight, but to feel good and enjoy a greater quality of life. The LAP-BAND® System is the first step. It’s your motivation and commitment that will make the difference.
As you begin your weight loss journey, rest assured you’ve got the entire Malley Surgical support team and tools to help you on good days and bad. We are your trusted partner for long-term success.