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Lap-band Surgery Diet

Lap band surgery is a weight-reduction procedure that involves the implantation of an adjustable band around the stomach. The band decreases stomach size and constricts the flow of nutritive content to the small intestines, creating a sense of fullness that reduces hunger and overeating. Lap band procedures are less invasive than gastrectomies and have the additional advantage of being reversible. 

As with other bariatric procedures, diet plays a significant role in the potential success of lap band surgery. We’ve listed some guidelines below, with an emphasis on appropriate diet after lap band surgery. 

What Is a Lap Band?

A lap band is an inflatable silicone ring that is placed near the top of the stomach, close to the esophagus. The saline-solution port for adjusting the band’s size is typically placed in the fatty tissue of the patient’s abdominal wall. The band works by creating a small pouch at the top of the stomach, reducing the volume of food allowed, and slowing the process by which that food is released to the small intestines. According to the Augusta University Health Web site, patients experience an average weight loss of 28-65% in the first two years after surgery. 

What Should I Eat Before Lap Band Surgery?

Pre-op diet plans vary by patient and physician, but will generally emphasize weight loss to reduce liver size and increase surgical access to the stomach. Prior to surgery, you should eat a healthy diet focused on proteins rather than carbohydrates, while eliminating highly processed foods and drinks, including sodas, snacks, and similar items. 

What Should I Eat After Lap Band Surgery?

Post-Op Lap Band Diet 1 to 2 Weeks After Surgery

During the first two weeks following lap band surgery, you will be limited to a liquid-only diet. This is necessary to protect the small stomach pouch created by the lap band and to give you time to adjust to the changes in your digestive process. Besides water, you may drink clear broth, non-fat powdered or skim milk, sugar-free liquid yogurts, sugar-free gelatin, and soy and whey protein-powder products. 

Post-Op Lap Band Diet 3 to 4 Weeks After Surgery

Your diet is extended to pureed foods during weeks three and four after lap band surgery. Pureed foods are similar in consistency to baby foods. Your nutritional emphasis should be on protein rather than carbohydrates. Examples include pureed chicken or fish, cooked pureed vegetables, low-fat yogurts, low-fat cottage cheese, refried beans, low-fat cream soups, and, for a change of pace, mashed potatoes, minus the milk and butter.

Post-Op Lap Band Diet 5 to 6 Weeks After Surgery

Soft foods are added to your diet five to six weeks after surgery. These foods don’t have to be pureed but they do need to be carefully chewed before swallowing. Sample items include fresh or frozen fish; eggs; skinned fruit; cooked or steam vegetables; beans; low-sodium soups; tuna, chicken, or egg salad (light on the condiments); regular or sweet baked potatoes; and high-protein, low-sugar cereals. 

Tips for Healthy Eating After Lap Band Surgery

Of course, surgery and recovery are only the first two steps of a lifetime commitment to weight loss. Here are some good habits to get into for achieving the results you want:

  • Fix small meals rather than large ones
  • Eat to end hunger; no eating for eating’s sake
  • Eat slowly and chew carefully
  • Eat and drink at least 30 minutes apart
  • Choose quality whole foods over convenient processed alternatives
  • Be careful with fibrous foods like asparagus; if you eat them, cook them thoroughly and cut them into small pieces
  • Flush your system with at least 64 ounces of non-carbonated liquids everyday
  • Remember that liquids contain calories too
  • Complement your healthy diet with healthy exercise

Lap Band Surgery at Baptist Health

Baptist Health is a leading provider of lap band surgery and other bariatric care services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

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