The Obesity Epidemic
Treatment Options
The LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band
LAP-BAND® System Surgery
Post-Surgery Diet and Nutrition
Living with the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Band
How long will it take to recover after the surgery?
How much weight will I lose?
Can I eat anything in moderation?
Does the LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System require frequent visits to my doctor after surgery?
Read all the FAQ's about the LAP-BAND® System

 Post Lap-Band Surgery Diet and Nutrition

After Lap-Band® surgery, you will need a new nutrition plan. Discuss this in detail with your surgeon and/or dietitian as they can help you learn about and get used to the changes in lifestyle and eating habits you need to make.

It is very important to follow the eating and drinking instructions starting right after the operation to allow the new stomach structure to heal completely and in the right position. This may take a month or more. It is also important, especially in the early weeks, no tot stretch the small stomach pouch above the band. Vomiting can stretch it, so it is important not to vomit. Vomiting can increase the chance of stomach tissue through the band.

Right after the operation you can take an occasional sip of water or suck on a ice cube. You shouldn't drink more than this. The day after the operation you can talk a little more fluid, but only a small amount at a time. Besides water, you should also choose liquids that have an adequate number of calories. To prevent nausea and vomiting, do not drink too much.

The following liquids and very soft food are recommended for the first four weeks after the operation:

  • Clear broth or soup with no vegetable or meat and not creamy)
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Milk (preferably skim)
  • Jello
  • Fruit juice or pureed soft fruit

As time goes on you will slowly move to solid food based on your surgeon's and/or dietitian's advice.

In the first few weeks you may be able to eat foods that might not be allowed in your diet later as these foods may contain too many calories. It is more important in the first few weeks to let your stomach adjust to the LAP-BAND® System than it is to lose weight. In general, you should follow the advice of your dietitian about nutrition.

At this time you may start having slightly thicker, creamier soups. This will help you transition to more solid foods later. Some products like bread, red meat, and rice may still cause problems, so it is better to eat softer foods that are easier to digest. This might include food such as moist white meat (chicken or pork) and fish.

Chew all your food well. If you have dentures, be sure to cut your food into small pieces and chew it thoroughly. If you don't follow these precautions, you may experience vomiting, stomach irritation and swelling. You could also have stoma obstruction.

If solid foods cause nausea and vomiting, go back to the liquid diet you had earlier. Then you can slowly add soft foods and eventually transition to solid foods. Always ask for advice from your doctor or dietitian that is specific to your situation. Vomiting may increase the incidence of band slippage, stomach slippage, or stretching of the small stomach pouch above the band.

When you can eat sold foods without problems you will need to pay close attention to your diet. Liquids will pass through the reduced stomach pouch quickly and will not make you feel full. Avoid high-calorie drinks from this point on. Drink water, broth, tea, and coffee (black, without sugar).

Ten Important Rules
These rules for eating, drinking, and exercise will help you get the best results with the LAP-BAND® System:

    1. Eat only three small meals a day.
    2. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly (approximately 15 to 20 times per bite).
    3. Stop eating as soon as you feel full.
    4. Do not drink while eating.
    5. Do not eat between meals.
    6. Eat only good quality food.
    7. Avoid fibrous food.
    8. Drink enough fluids during the day.
    9. Drink only low-calorie liquids.
    10. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

Too much food or big chunks of food can block the stomach pouch outlet. You can avoid this problem by chewing food well and eating small bits at a time. Eat only three small meals a day and make sure that these meals contain adequate nutrients. A healthy meal includes vegetable, fruit, meat, bread, and/or dairy products.

The general guide below can help you create good and healthy meals that contain adequate nutrients but little sugar and fat. Also, ask you surgeon and/or dietitian about your food choices.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

  • 1 to 2 servings of fresh fruit daily
  • 2 to 3 servings of fresh vegetables daily

2. Breads and Cereals

  • 1 small portion of corn flakes for breakfast
  • 1 to 2 slices of whole wheat or rye bread each day (if you want, you can spread just a little margarine or butter on the bread)

3. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs

  • 1 oz. to 2 oz. or meat, fish, or poultry or one egg each day, (Remove all visible fat from the meat. Remove the skin from poultry. Prepare the meat in ways that need very little fat. Grilling, steaming, microwaving, or boiling are all good ways to do this)

4. Dairy Products

  • Milk and yogurt are calories in liquid form. However, these types of food have calcium, which makes them an important part of a healthy daily diet, so choose a maximum of 2 cups of skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt and 1 oz. of cheese a day.

5. Fats

  • Restrict the use of fat to 3 to 4 teaspoons of margarine, butter, or oil per day. You can have low-fat dressings and mayonnaise in moderation.

6. Drinks

  • Drink as many calorie-free liquids per day as you wish (though not with meals).
    Suitable drinks are:
    - Tea or coffee (black) with low-calorie sweetener
    - Water
    - Non-carbonated beverages containing few or no calories
    - Clear soup

Some doctors have reported that carbonated beverages may contribute to enlargement of the small pouch and recommend they be avoided.

Some foods have a concentrated supply of calories with little nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible. They include:

Sugar and foods containing large quantities of sugar, such as:

  • High-calorie sort drinks
  • Syrups
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Sweets
  • Jam
  • Marmalade
  • Honey

High-fat food including:

  • Chocolate
  • Pies
  • Chips
  • Pastries

Alcoholic drinks should also be consumed in moderation, for example a glass of wine per day.

As with any surgery, there are specific risks and possible complications associated with the LAP-BAND® System Surgery . Talk to your doctor to determine if you are a candidate for the LAP-BAND® System.