Every surgical procedure is a trial, and taking the right amount of recovery time is essential. Even the lap band surgery, which is performed laparoscopically for minimal invasiveness, is still a surgical procedure. This means that you should know what to expect regarding lap band recovery, and make sure that you follow all of the instructions that your physician and surgeon set for you both before and after the procedure. Very simple mistakes can cause a lot of bad results or can slow your recovery time significantly, so make sure that you are safe.
About the Surgery
The gastric band (lap band) procedure works by limiting how much food you can hold in your stomach. Unlike with gastric bypass and gastric banding surgery, the digestive system is not re-routed, and the stomach is not reduced in size. Instead, a silicone band is placed around a portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch in the stomach without permanently altering it. The surgery is minimally invasive because it is performed as a laparoscopic procedure, but that does not mean there isn’t a necessary healing process required.
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There are a few primary considerations that you need to make following your surgery. You need to make sure of all of the following things are taken seriously in your recovery:
- Ensure that you are getting enough rest. You should not be overdoing it from the moment that you wake up from your operation. Your surgeon will give you very specific requirements about how much physical activity you can engage in immediately following your surgery as well as from week to week during the initial weeks of your lap band recovery process.
- Diet during your lap band recovery is also essential. For the first week after the surgery, you are going to be drinking primarily thin or clear liquids rather than eating solid foods. Skim milk, clear broth, fruit juice and similar liquids will make up most of your diet. Over time, you will be able to add other foods to your diet, but it is important that you only use physician-recommended foods until you are cleared for a regular diet. Otherwise, you can make yourself sick.
- Remember that the first few weeks of your recovery are going to be the most important. During this time, you absolutely must follow all of the directions that your physician gives you to make sure that you are healing properly and thoroughly. Follow the diet, the exercise plan and the recovery guidelines that your surgeon sets for you to the letter.
- Remember to communicate often and work closely with your physician and your surgeon during and after the procedure for the best chance of a speedy recovery. This means any issues and any questions that come up along the way. It is of vital importance that you are in constant communication with your physician during the crucial first few weeks of your recovery so that any issues can be quickly resolved.
- Your typical activities are going to be resumable within four to six weeks following your surgery. You generally should not return to work until two to three weeks following your surgery. These crucial first two to three weeks should be primarily spent adjusting to your new diet and resting so that you can properly recover without taxing your system.
- Another part of the recovery process is your lap band adjustment. Recovery typically occurs six weeks following the installment of the lap band. During the adjustment, your LAP band surgeon will evaluate to determine whether or not an adjustment needs to be made at this time. Changes can be done over time to make sure that your lap band is continuing to serve your weight loss needs.
For you to find success with your lap band surgery, you need to remember to refrain from pushing yourself too hard during the process and discuss the expectations with your physician. It’s important to take the time to make sure you make appropriate life changes that are associated with your surgery so that you can get the best opportunity for success. Pay close attention to the advice of your physician and medical team during and after the procedure. Make sure that you are also willing to ask questions that you might have, regardless of how unimportant you might think that they are. They will be happy to provide you with answers so that you are fully prepared for your surgery and your recovery process.
Guide to Gastric Banding (Lap-Band):