Are you severely obese? If so, you may opt for the LapBand surgery. The LapBand surgery is one of the most common and popular weight loss surgeries in the United States. This popularity is due to the adjustable band that is inserted, as opposed to stomach cutting and stapling. If that wasn’t ideal enough, the LapBand procedure is fully reversible and adjustable without surgery!
If you are obese, the first step in seeking help with the LapBand system is to schedule a consultation appointment. Depending on your payment options, a referral may be required from your primary care physician. Once you are able to meet with a surgeon, it will be decided if the LapBand surgery is right for you.
On average, ideal candidates for this weight loss procedure are between the ages of 18 and 60 and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more. These are the most common eligibility requirements used by surgeons. With that said, there is another important eligibility requirement. That requirement involves dietary change. To see success with the LapBand surgery, you need to restrict your diet.
There are many reasons for obesity. One of the most common causes is poor eating habits. If you are known for overeating or eating foods that are high in fats and calories, you may be concerned with diet restrictions. This is a legitimate concern. Not only will diet restrictions improve your chances of weight loss, restrictions lessen the risk of complications.
So, what type of diet restrictions are expected following a LapBand surgical procedure?
In the days following the LapBand procedure, an all-liquid diet is recommended. For the first few days, a clear liquid diet is needed. The clear liquid diet will be the hardest stage to overcome. Your diet options include diluted apple juice, chicken broth, sugar free gelatin, and non-carbonated drinks. When possible, opt for flavored liquids, as flavor may help to clam cravings.
Depending on your progress, a full liquid diet is the next step. Typically, full liquids are introduced after 7 days. At this time, pudding, yogurt, milk, and soup can be incorporated into your diet.
At around two to three weeks post-surgery, pureed foods will be incorporated into your diet. There are affordable puree systems available for sale online and in most department stores. These can enable you to enjoy many of your favorite healthy foods. Although they will look different, the tastes should be the same.
At around one or two months following the LapBand system, solid foods can be introduced. You have been waiting patiently for this time. Remember, it is important to eat healthy. Sweets are allowed, but only in moderation and they are not advised right away. Instead, consume fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
Once solid foods are incorporated into the diet, many patients experience difficulty. It is not uncommon for some to overeat. This is not advised. Overeating can cause temporary pain, discomfort, and vomiting. To prevent this from happening, take slow and small bites. Stop eating when full.
As previously stated, your LapBand surgeon will closely monitor your progress and your diet following surgery. This is not only done to examine the risk of complications, but to make adjustments. It is common for the LapBand to be adjusted in the weeks or month following surgery. Different patients have different needs in terms of band size. For that reason, do not be alarmed if an adjustment is required. Lucky, this is done with the use of a thin needle and saline. You will not need to undergo surgery.
So, there you have it. You now know what is expected of you post-surgery. If you do not feel as if you can spend weeks on an all liquid diet, do not give up hope. Meet with a dietician and start making small changes to your diet. Not only will you better prepare your body for the LapBand surgery, but you may also find that you don’t need it to lose weight!