Arlington LAP-BAND® Surgery FAQ
Will I frequently feel nauseated after the LAP-BAND® surgery?
Because the LAP-BAND® System limits the amount of food you can eat, it is not uncommon to feel nauseated or sick after eating too much. However, if you find that you are feeling sick quite frequently after the surgery, it’s possible that you are not chewing your food well enough. It’s also important to assess your habits: are you properly following all diet rules, post-surgery? Answer yourself honestly, and make adjustments as necessary.
If you believe that you are chewing your food enough and you are following all diet rules, frequent nausea could indicate that there is a problem with the placement of your band. Contact your doctor if the problem persists. Vomiting, even in small amounts, can cause the stomach pouch to stretch, which may result in part of the stomach slipping through the band. This can affect the success of your procedure, so it’s wise to let your doctor know if this occurs.
How long does recovery typically last?
When the LAP-BAND® System is placed laparoscopically, you may find that your recovery time is less than one day (24 hours). Typically, patients can expect to return to work in about a week. Regular exercise may be resumed around the one month or six-week mark. If your LAP-BAND® procedure was performed using open surgery, or you experienced any complications, your recovery time might be longer than average.
How much weight will I lose?
While everyone is different, and results will understandably vary, most patients can expect to see an average weight loss of about one pound a week for the first year after surgery. Some patients may see as much as two to three pounds of weight lost a week, though this is not typical. Steady weight loss after the LAP-BAND® procedure is common and healthy. It’s absolutely crucial that you incorporate lifestyle changes, such as following a proper nutrition and exercise plan, into your daily routine following the surgery. These changes are essential for your success. With the LAP-BAND® Aftercare Program, our weight loss surgeon can help you devise a customized plan to maintain a gradual, steady weight loss that’s healthy for you.
How often will I have to visit my doctor after surgery?
Follow-up appointments are important after undergoing the LAP-BAND® procedure. It is not unusual for patients to require band adjustments, which can be carried out during routine check-ups. Usually, patients should come into the office every four to six weeks for follow-up appointments. Your bariatric surgeon will work with you to determine a schedule that suits your needs.
Does LAP-BAND® surgery inhibit physical activity?
The short answer is no! The LAP-BAND® System does not limit any physical activity, including regular exercise, stretching, aerobics, and even strenuous activity.
How do LAP-BAND® adjustments work?
After undergoing LAP-BAND® surgery, it’s possible that you may need adjustments. These adjustments are a fairly simple, minimally-invasive procedure carried out in our X-ray department. During the procedure, a small needle is inserted through the skin and into the access port. Saline is then either added or subtracted as needed. The process is very quick and relatively painless; local anesthesia may or may not be needed.
Is the access port visible to others?
Because it is placed beneath the skin, the access port is usually not noticeable by other people. This is true even when your abdomen is exposed.
What if I need the LAP-BAND® System removed?
The LAP-BAND® System is not meant to be removed, but it can be done if necessary. This is generally done laparoscopically, much as the system was initially placed. If the LAP-BAND® System is removed, your stomach will most likely return to its natural shape, but you may experience weight gain. If for any reason, you would like the LAP-BAND® System removed after having the procedure, your bariatric surgeon can help you understand your unique options and weigh the possible outcomes.
How does the LAP-BAND® System make me eat less?
The LAP-BAND® System is designed to promote fullness and limit eating in two ways: by reducing your stomach’s overall capacity, and by lengthening the amount of time it takes for food to pass through your digestive system. Even after a small meal, you will find yourself feeling full—not deprived. It’s important to always follow nutritional guidelines and chew all of your food extremely well in order to achieve optimal results.
Can I become pregnant after LAP-BAND® surgery?
Yes! In fact, LAP-BAND® surgery can help regulate your menstrual cycle as you lose weight. This may increase your ability to become pregnant. If you do become pregnant after undergoing the LAP-BAND® procedure, and find that you need to eat more, the band can be loosened to allow this. Once you are no longer pregnant, the band can be re-tightened.
Do I need to take vitamins/supplements after the LAP-BAND® procedure?
Since you will be eating only three small meals a day, it is possible that you may not receive all of the nutrients you need in a given day. For this reason, it might be wise to supplement your diet with the proper vitamins. At your follow-up appointments, we can assess whether you are getting enough vitamin B12, iron, and folic acid, and make recommendations accordingly.
What if I go out to eat?
Eating out at restaurants can be difficult enough as it is—doing so after LAP-BAND® surgery may prove challenging, but is certainly not impossible. Stick to the small meal rule. Order an appetizer or side dish and be sure to chew your food slowly. Aim to finish eating at the same time as your companions. Plan ahead of time by looking up the menu online and determine what you can and cannot eat.
What can I eat after LAP-BAND® surgery?
Once you have fully healed from your procedure, you are free to eat most foods in moderation. It is important to focus on nutrient-rich foods including dark, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein like boneless, skinless chicken breast, egg whites, and fish.
It is incredibly important to commit yourself to making the proper diet changes if you want to see optimal results. Because you are eating smaller amounts of food, it’s important that you make sure you’re getting the right balance of vitamins and nutrients. If you eat a lot of foods that contain excessive amounts of sugar and fat, including liquids like soda and sugary juices, you may find the effects of your LAP-BAND® System procedure greatly reduced or even entirely negated. At Carter Bariatrics, we offer the LAP-BAND® Aftercare Program to help you find the post-surgery support you need.
Contact Carter Bariatrics today to schedule an appointment with our LAP-BAND® surgeon.