What To Expect
After surgery, you may need pain medicine to help with discomfort and soreness. You'll be encouraged to start moving around to help your body heal. You may have an X-ray the day after surgery to see that everything is working correctly.
Most people need 2 to 4 weeks before they are ready to get back to their usual routine.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about what to eat after the surgery. You'll start with only small amounts of soft foods and liquids. Bit by bit, you will be able to add solid foods back into your diet. Your doctor may advise you to work with a dietitian. This will help you learn how to get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals while you lose weight. Even with a healthy diet, you probably will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements from now on.
After you can eat solid food again, your doctor will adjust the band around your stomach by inserting saline into your port. This will inflate the band and cause it to tighten. You will probably have many adjustments to the band in the first year to find the right size that helps you lose weight, feel full at the right time, and not vomit. You'll need to see the doctor each time you need the band adjusted.
After this surgery, weight loss is usually gradual but steady. You will have regular visits with your doctor to check how you are doing. The doctor can adjust the band if you aren't losing weight as expected or if you have problems with the band. Some people lose weight for up to 3 years after surgery.
It's common to have many emotions after this surgery. You may feel happy or excited as you start to lose weight. But you may also feel overwhelmed or frustrated by the changes that you have to make in your diet, activity, and lifestyle. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns or questions.
Think of bariatric surgery as a tool to help you lose weight. It isn't an instant fix. You will still need to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise. This will help you reach your weight goal and avoid regaining the weight you lose.
What you can eat
Your doctor will give you specific instructions about what to eat after the surgery. For the first 2 weeks, your stomach can only handle small amounts of liquids while you are healing. Some people feel full after just a few sips of water or other liquid. Other people won't notice much difference. It's important to try to sip water all day long to avoid becoming dehydrated. You may notice that your bowel movements are not regular right after your surgery. This is common. Try to avoid constipation and straining with bowel movements.
Bit by bit, you will be able to add solid foods back into your diet. You must be careful to chew food well and to stop eating when you feel full. This can take some getting used to. That's because you will feel full after eating much less food than you are used to eating. If you don't chew your food well or don't stop eating soon enough, you may feel discomfort or nausea and may sometimes vomit.
Your doctor may recommend that you work with a dietitian to plan healthy meals that give you enough protein, vitamins, and minerals while you are losing weight. Even with a healthy diet, you probably will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements from now on.