How to Take Care of Yourself after your Lap-Band Surgery

Post-Operative Care

More About Your Lap-Band Procedure

After Surgery Care for your Lap-Band Procedure
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After Surgery Care

The first few days

Local anesthetic will wear off after about 6 hours and it will be more tender at the incision sites. Ice packs for 10 minutes on 10 minutes off will help during the first two days. People frequently will feel pain in their shoulders usually the left and sometimes chest due to the air placed inside the abdominal cavity at the time of surgery. This will wear off with time. A heating pad will help on those areas. Walking tends to help this as well.
Getting up and walking several times an hour will help expand the lungs and lessen the chance of blood clots in the legs.
You will be on a liquid diet as your healing continues around the lap band sight tried to focus on liquid protein to help with healing. You can take your usual medicines one at a time with liquids.

Work and Activity

Most patients should plan on being off work for one to two weeks, depending on how quickly they heal and how strenuous their job is. You will be sore and might feel a little weak both from the surgery and from the liquid diet you go on the first few days following your surgery. You should not drive while you are taking narcotic pain medicine. You will be fine to get up and walk and take care of your personal needs.

Wound Care

You can get your incision areas wet in the shower immediately after surgery if the sticky plastic coverings are in place. These can be removed in a week. If they must be removed for any reason, then leave the incisions dry for 48 hours. As a general rule, you can do what you can tolerate. I have not had any hernias or had anyone do something to damage their healing other than vomiting.


Be very careful to avoid vomiting. If you eat too much, too fast, or don't have food in a very fine consistency, then it can back up into your esophagus. This is the "No Loitering" organ of the body, and if it doesn't go down, it will be sent back up. Repetitive vomiting can dislodge the band or tear out the sutures placed to help hold the band in place and contribute to developing a "Slip" where the lower stomach can slide up through the band and make it too tight.

After Surgery Diet

After your surgery, you will be on liquids for a week, then transition to puree food or anything that you can eat without having to chew. These guidelines are to ensure that the band heals in the proper position. Liquids and pureed foods are necessary to prevent any undo pressure on the band while it is healing into the correct position.

When starting the puree period, don't drink with meals and wait for two hours before drinking again. This continues for a total of three weeks until the fourth week after surgery, when you can carefully eat solid food for a week before coming in for your first fill. Remember to only eat the smallest amount of food until you are not hungry but keep your portion size to no more than a cup of food. This will help train you in portion size, your weight loss will continue, and we will better know how much to place in the band at your first fill appointment five weeks after surgery.

What To Do During The First Year After Your Lap-Band Surgery
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First Year After Surgery

Those who've experienced bariatric surgery of any kind know that the process extends well beyond the day of surgery. Weight loss surgery is the beginning of a journey to a better, healthy life.

Excessive obesity is a serious health risk. Bariatric surgery, including lap-band, counters excessive obesity and, at the same time, works to decrease those risks.

So after a weight loss surgery, can the individual just go living how they want? The answer is no. While bariatric surgery is incredible and has changed an amazing number of lives, only when it's accompanied by a lifestyle change does it have the greatest effect.

The first year after bariatric surgery is when the most dramatic results are generally seen. Directly after the surgery, you might need to follow a special diet. Also, you should follow a new exercise regimen, where you'll work up and up until you're able to keep a sustained higher heart rate.

As the days transition into months, you'll still want to keep a careful eye on your diet. You'll need to closely monitor how your body responds to food and then formulate a healthy diet plan around what your body can handle well. The quantity of food is a factor that will always be important and will be something you'll need to get used to since your stomach no longer has the capacity for the same amount of food.

Lap-band, being a less invasive bariatric surgery than other weight loss procedures, will most likely allow for a broader eating strategy than other procedures. But that said, you'll need the discipline to learn how to take time with your meal and chew your food well. And when you feel full, you'll need to stop eating immediately.

The first year after bariatric surgery demands quite a bit of discipline. But if the advice of Dr. Hansen is followed closely, chances are you'll see lasting weight loss that will make your life better and your future more secure.


What to Eat

Portion size is a major factor in your success with the Lap-Band System. However, the types of foods you eat can affect your weight loss as well. A healthy diet will have items from each of the following food groups. Quantities and suggested foods are listed in each group. Always talk to your doctor or dietician about your particular dietary needs.

Good Choices

    Fruit and Vegetables.● 1 to 2 servings of fresh fruit daily.● 2 to 3 servings of fresh vegetables daily.
    Whole Grains.● 1 small portion of cornflakes for breakfast, or● 1 to 2 slices of toasted whole wheat or rye bread each day.If you find you have trouble with bread blocking your stomach opening, substitute other whole grains such as refined, cooked, or ready-to-eat cereal, oatmeal, cream of wheat, or grits.
    Protein.● 2 to 4 oz of meat, fish, poultry, or one egg for additional protein.Remove all visible fat from the meat. Remove skin from poultry/fish. And cook with little/no fat — grill, steam, microwave, or boil.
    Dairy.● 2 cups of low-fat milk or yogurt, or 1 oz low-fat cheese (max).Since milk and yogurt are calories in liquid form, you might think they should be avoided. However, the calcium and protein they have make them an important part of a healthy daily diet.
    Fats.● 3 to 4 teaspoons of margarine, butter, or oil per day (max).● Low-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise (in moderation).
    Drinks.● Unlimited zero- or low-calorie liquids per day, including:● Non-carbonated beverages.● Tea or coffee (black) with low-calorie sweetener.● Clear soup and broths.● Water.

Not-So-Good Choices

    Proceed With Caution.Some foods may cause problems as they may block or have difficulty passing your stomach opening. Introduce these types of foods to your diet slowly, one at a time, to see if they are tolerated. Remember: always be careful and chew these foods well before swallowing.● Dry meat.● Peanut butter.● Shrimp.● Untoasted or doughy bread.● Pasta or rice.● Fibrous vegetables (e.g., corn, celery, and asparagus).● Dried fruit.● Coconut.● Popcorn.● Citrus fruits.● Nuts.
    Steer Clear.Some foods contain too many calories and too little nutritional value to be of any use to you with the Lap-Band System. Avoid foods high in sugar or fat, including:● Syrups, jams, honey.● Candy, pies, cakes, and biscuits.● Chips, dips.● High-calorie soft drinks.Some doctors suggest patients avoid carbonated drinks, as they may contribute to enlargement of the stomach pouch. Alcohol should also be consumed in moderation (one glass of wine or less per day).
Follow-Up Visits with Dr. Darrin Hansen
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Follow-Up Visits

You should have an appointment 2 weeks after your Lap-Band. If you live far away and everything seems to be well, you can call in for a report and to review additional instructions and answer questions. Please call (801) 523-6177 if you are unsure about a follow-up appointment.

If there are concerns about any Lap-Band issues, please contact us by email or call. You can be seen if needed in addition to the usual follow-up schedule.

We would then like to see you every 2 to 4 weeks until your adjustment is at the point where the restriction from the band is adequate, and you are satisfied with smaller volumes of food, losing weight, and not hungry between meals.


Lap-Band patients are seen on a monthly basis during active weight loss. The adjustments are customized to each individual. We will help determine the need for an adjustment. If you are hungry between meals and you are NOT drinking with your meal and waiting 2 hours after you eat before you start drinking, you probably need an adjustment.

Your first adjustment will take place about five weeks after surgery. The adjustment is a simple process:

● We will locate the access port underneath the skin of your abdomen by feeling for it on the surface of your skin.● Some numbing medicine will be injected into the skin, you may feel a slight sting at that time.● A fine needle is inserted into the access port.● Sterile saline fluid is added to the band in your Lap-Band System.

Future Adjustments

As you gradually lose weight, it’s not unusual for you to need more than one adjustment. During the first year, most patients get between five and eight adjustments (adding or removing fluid). The most common reasons for adjustments are hunger, being able to eat too much without feeling full, not losing weight, or discomfort or vomiting. Once you reach your goal weight, your adjustments may become less frequent.

Only a trained and authorized clinician can adjust your Lap-Band System. Never let an untrained clinician or a non-medical person do it. And never try to make adjustments yourself.

Life After Lap-Band Surgery
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Life After Surgery

Correct eating patterns

    Set aside 20 to 30 minutes to eat each meal.
    Chew your food thoroughly.
    Cut your food into pieces the size of a pea.
    Stop eating as soon as you feel full.
    Do not drink liquids with your meal.

The feeling of fullness may be different when you have a Lap-Band. You will need to learn to recognize the signal to stop eating. These may include:

    A feeling of pressure or fullness in the center of your chest under your sternum.
    Pain in your shoulder or upper chest.

It is important to make changes in your eating patterns in order to produce the desired weight loss and also to prevent pain and vomiting. Inappropriate eating habits can lead to obstruction of the stoma (the opening for foods leaving the upper stomach), which can cause vomiting, then lead to a complication known as a slip or gastric prolapse. Care needs to be taken to avoid vomiting whenever possible. Causes of vomiting include:

    Eating too fast.
    Not chewing food thoroughly.
    Drinking liquids right after eating.
    Lying down after a meal.
    Eating foods that don’t agree with you.

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Dr. Hansen today!

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Darrin Hansen to find out more about Lap-Band procedure and if it's right for you.