When patients undergo LAP-BAND® surgery in Tijuana, they know that they are in expert hands. Prospective LAP-BAND® patients wonder what the healing process following the surgery is like. Here are some of the recovery basics you can expect that will offer prospective patients realistic expectations.
Resting Is a Key Part of Recovery
After undergoing LAP-BAND® surgery, patients should to rest avoid physical exertion and strenuous physical activity. During your initial days of recovery, our staff will carefully monitor you in a controlled medical setting so that potential complications can be identified and treated as soon as possible.
Promote Circulation Through Walking
Even though you should get ample rest and walk just a little when you are able. Light walking, even if just for a few minutes, can help promote circulation and prevent blood clots from forming in the legs. Just a little bit of physical activity can prevent major complications from occurring.
Addressing Pain and Discomfort
Soreness after surgery is a common issue for all bariatric procedures. Pain for LAP-BAND® procedure patients will typically be the most pronounced in the early days after surgery. Rest and proper use of pain relievers can help make this discomfort manageable. The pain should steadily abate from day to day over the course of the first week or so.
Changes to Your Diet After a LAP-BAND® Operation
Strict dietary changes are one of the most important parts of the recovery process following LAP-BAND® surgery. Patients will start with a diet of clear liquids, slowly introducing soft foods and solids over the course of a month or so. This will help your body adjust to the changes in the stomach size.
While there is a little variation in the post-surgical diet, many LAP-BAND® patients can expect the following timeline and guidelines during the first month:
- Phase One – Only clear liquids
- Phase Two – Creamy and pureed foods
- Phase Three – Soft foods that have been carefully prepared
- Phase Four – Solid foods slowly brought back into the diet
- Phase Five – Begin to slowly start experimenting with different foods
The phases tend to correspond with the number of weeks after the operation. Some foods, such as steak, are more difficult to digest and may take longer for you to tolerate, as some foods are more likely to cause pain, nausea or vomiting. Add foods slowly and if you can’t tolerate a food, try again in several weeks. Dairy foods may give you cramps, bloating or diarrhea, so be careful when introducing them. Be aware of how your body reacts every time you introduce a new food.
LAP-BAND® and Post-Surgical Scarring
LAP-BAND® procedure is performed laproscopically. This means that small incisions on the abdomen are used to avoid open surgery. The incisions are tiny and will leave behind small scars. Thankfully since the incisions are so small, the scars after LAP-BAND® surgery are not especially noticeable and will fade with time.
What are the Side Effects and Risks Associated With LAP-BAND®?
Side effects include nausea and vomiting, ulcers at the band site, indigestion, dehydration and weight regain. Constipation is also common.
LAP-BAND® surgery has a low risk of complications compared to other bariatric procedures. Infection, bleeding and abdominal pain can occur as well as slippage of the band, which can erode into the stomach and cause a mechanical malfunction and necessitates a revision operation.
What is a LAP-BAND® Fill?
A fill is a common term for gastric band adjustments. Following surgery, your body needs to heal. The first adjustment occurs about six to eight weeks later and involves injecting saline into a port just under the skin, which is connected to the band. Prior to this time, you may experience little change in appetite. Fills are painless and take place to enhance weight loss, especially if you experience a plateau. The band may also be loosened if you experience excessive nausea and vomiting.
Returning to Normal Activities
Recovery varies with each individual. Over the course of a few weeks, patients will go from resting with just a little walking to a return to a normal routine. Most patients can expect to return to work within a week after surgery, while other normal activities can be resumed within six weeks following surgery. In addition to a new diet, patients will exercise more as a way to promote a healthier lifestyle. It's important to take things slowly when it comes to incorporating exercise and to follow your surgeon's instructions carefully.
Learn More About LAP-BAND® Surgery and Recovery
If you are ready to live a healthier and fulfilling lifestyle, we can help. Request a virtual consultation now! For additional information on how LAP-BAND® surgery and recovery can benefit you, contact the Tijuana Bariatric Center today by calling 800-970-0577.