What to Expect Immediately after Lap Band Surgery
While the Lap Band is considered a minimally invasive procedure compared to other weight loss surgery, there are some important facts that will help speed your recovery process. There are a few websites that will tell you that Lap Band surgery placement does not require an overnight stay at the hospital, most doctors will require at least one night.
While the laparoscopic surgery is much less dangerous than an open surgery, there is still a lot of soreness and pain immediately following the procedure. This should not cause you to worry as the doctor will prescribe pain medication to be given through your IV which will keep you comfortable.
The Recovery Process
As soon as you feel up to the task, take regular walks around your room or down the hall and back. Doing so will help rid your body of gas pain, a common side effect of any laparoscopic surgery. Commonly, this pain is often felt in the left shoulder. If you feel a little light-headed, consult your nurse before attempting to walk.
After surgery, you will have four small surgical incisions and one that is a bit larger. The largest is where your port has been placed and it will take the longest to heal. During the healing process, it is extremely important to follow your doctor’s requests not to drive, lift anything that is heavy or bend over to pick things up from the floor.
Your body needs time to heal, at least two to ten days, if not longer. It is very important to follow your recommended diet during this time to avoid any stomach irritation. After the swelling in your stomach goes down, you will probably be ready to eat regular foods. Enjoy modest, healthy meals with plenty of protein to promote maximum weight loss.
Meals including high levels of protein, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will provide an optimal diet for weight loss and recovery. While you are eating less, remember to supplement your diet with additional vitamins and minerals.
The time needed to heal completely will depend upon many factors. You should not expect to return to work for two weeks. If you are not used to sleeping on your back, the first few days may be difficult. Sleeping on your stomach will be very painful and your doctor may warn against it. Sleeping on your side may prove to be somewhat painful but propping pillows around you may ease the discomfort. By the second week, your normal sleep positions should be possible.
Your First Fill and Weigh In
Most doctors do nothing with the Lap Band until five weeks have passed, giving the port site and stomach to properly heal and adjust to the changes. At this time, you will make an appointment to have your first fill. Many Lap Band patients find that they have experienced some weight loss even though their band offered no resistance.
Do not listen to horror stories or tales of botched weight loss surgeries but instead, speak to your doctor. Ask questions and get the facts because it is your health that is being compromised by obesity. Most who have undergone weight loss surgery have zero regrets and are now living a healthier, more active life.