We believe the LAP-BAND® System is a permanent medical device. Eating healthy food, exercise and behavior modifications are very important in the post-op period.
It is important that patients comply with specific dietary and other instructions after the LAP-BAND® System is in place. These instructions include the following:
- Eat 3 smaller meals per day
- Avoid snacking between meals
- Eat slowly and chew food well
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full
- Do not drink liquids during meals or for one hour before and one hour after meals
- Drink plenty of non-caloric liquids such as water in between meals. (at least 8 glasses per day to avoid constipation, to maintain normal kidney function and avoid kidney stones)
- Avoid alcohol which is high in calories
- Avoid high calorie foods (fats, sugars and carbohydrates) and eat primarily protein, i.e. fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Avoid aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs (can cause stomach erosion)
- Do not use a straw since it can put air into the stomach
Immediately after surgery, patients will start on a liquid diet and then progress to a soft diet. Patients should continue progress to a regular diet at approximately 6 weeks after surgery.
Post-op LAP-BAND® System Patients who adhere to a consistent exercise program after surgery will lose the most weight and will also lose it faster.
Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise burns calories and causes fat loss and also strengthens your heart. It should be done 30 minutes every day. Examples of aerobic exercise are walking, swimming, bicycling, treadmill, stair climbing, tennis, etc. High impact aerobic exercise such as running, can cause injury to your joints.
Anaerobic Exercise: (weight training) Burns calories and causes fat loss and also builds muscles and bones. Anaerobic exercise should be done for 20 minutes every other day only. When performing anaerobic weight training exercise, patients should remember the following:
- Each time you lift a weight is called a repetition (i.e. up and down) and the number of repetitions in a series is called a set.
- Repetitions should be done slowly and smoothly
- Pick the proper weight so that you can do 8 to 12 repititions before fatigue or muscle burn sets in. This will be your 1st set.
- Rest a few minutes and then perform a 2nd set.
- Rest again for a few minutes and then do a 3rd set.
Then move on to other weight exercises and do #3 sets for each exercise. It is ok to weight train both upper and lower body on the same day. Try to gradually increase the weight that is being lifted as your muscles become stronger. Some soreness after weight training is normal. Do not arch your back when lifting weights and do not hold your breath.
You can do both anaerobic and aerobic exercises the same day. If you are in your 40’s or older or have a medical condition such as heart or lung disease, check with your physician before starting any exercise program. It is important to warm up with gentle exercise and stretching before starting your exercise routine each day. Try to have a goal to exercise daily and if you don’t reach that goal, then 3 to 4 times per week should be adequate. The daily 20 -30 minutes of exercise does not have to be continuous. Research shows that the exercise can be done in multiple five to ten minute sessions with the same beneficial results. Try to vary your exercise program to avoid boredom. Also during exercise, remember to do it with enough vigor and effort to get your heart beating more rapidly.
Benefits of Exercise:
- Adds muscle (More in men than in women. This results in an increase of your metabolic rate or the rate at which you burn calories. So you burn more calories and have better control of your weight)
- Reduces cholesterol
- Lowers blood pressure
- Strengthens your joints
- Reduces the risk of osteoporosis by building strong bones
- Increases your energy
- Curbs your appetite
- Strengthens your heart and decreases heart rate and heart disease
- Decreases your risk of cancer, diabetes and arthritis
- Decreases anxiety, depression and stress
- Improves your self-esteem
- Improves your body tone and flexibility
- Improves sleep patterns
You will require adjustments of the LAP-BAND® System after surgery so that the band is just tight enough to allow gradual and steady weight loss.* The adjustments are made in small increments and can usually be done as an office procedure and do not require additional surgery. If the LAP-BAND® System is correctly adjusted, you should be able to eat (3) smaller meals per day and feel full so you don’t feel the need to snack in between meals. The 1st adjustment is done at 6 weeks post-op. Subsequent adjustments are usually done at 4 – 6 week intervals. *If patients are not losing adequate weight, the patient may need a fill (tightening of the band by injecting saline). If nausea and vomiting and reflux or heart burn symptoms occur then an adjustment will be necessary to decrease the saline fill amount.*
* Results may vary.
Patients need to be seen at 6 week intervals during the 1st year and then every 3 months for the next 2 years. It will also be necessary for post-op patients to have follow-up appointments with a family doctor for medication adjustments and also follow-up appointments with a dietician and a support group.
Most patients need to have post-operative plastic surgery to remove excess skin and fat on various areas of the body after they have achieved their desired weight loss. Our physicians and our practice is dedicated to providing our patients with any needed plastic surgery procedures, such as abdominalplasty (tummy tuck) and other various body lifts. Financing is also available for these cosmetic procedures. Please contact us if you have interest in financing your post-op cosmetic procedures.
Support groups are very important after the procedure is performed. These groups are available to assist patients in achieving the optimal weight loss result during the post-operative period. Please ask us for information regarding support groups in your area.
Postoperatively if you take any large pills that you have difficulty swallowing, you may cut or crush the pills.
If pregnancy or severe illness occurs after the LAP-BAND® System has been placed, the band may need to be deflated temporarily to assure adequate nutrition.
It is very important to avoid vomiting during the post–op period because this can caus