After surgery, your surgeon will have you slowly advance thru varying stages of the post-op diet.
LAP-BAND Surgery Recovery Diet
In the first few weeks after Lap-Band surgery, you will not be able to eat much of anything. It will take time for your body to heal and for you to get adjusted to the band. Your surgeon will place you on a post-op recovery diet that slowly progresses from liquids to solid foods.
It is important for Lap-Band patients to follow the post-op dietary recommendations in order to heal properly, be properly nourished, and avoid complications. Your surgeon will monitor your healing process, which will take about 4 to 8 weeks.
Pos-Op Diet Progression
The first week or two after surgery you will be on a full liquid diet. This is to keep the stomach from working too hard and to decrease pressure on the band while the body heals.
The first couple of days will be limited to clear liquids, such as diluted apple juice, chicken broth, beef broth, sugar-free gelatin, and artificially-sweetened non-carbonated beverages.
Once you are able to handle clear liquids, full liquids will be added to your diet. Full liquids include cream broth and soups, protein shakes, milk, yogurt, and sugar-free puddings.
After a couple of weeks, you will progress to pureed foods. It is important to proceed slowly to see what your body will allow. Keep your meals small and focus on high-protein foods. Gradually you will be able to add soft foods such as oatmeal and eggs.
After 4 - 8 weeks, depending on how your body is responding and healing, you will be able to start eating normal foods. It will be important to choose healthy foods, eat slowly, chew food thoroughly, and to stop eating when you feel full.
With the Lap-Band, you will need to sip fluids slowly, avoid getting overfull, and keep portion sizes small. Your surgeon will go over new eating behaviors and appropriate food choices with you.
Guidelines for post-op eating with the Lap-Band:
- Progress slowly through the post-op diet phases as advised by your Lap-Band surgeon
- Choose healthy foods, with a focus on low-fat, high-protein food items
- Keep meals small and stop eating when you feel full
- Eat slowly, about 30 to 60 minutes per meal
- Chew food thoroughly, about 30 chews per bite, to the consistency of mush
- Drink plenty of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration, about 64 ounces of water or other fluids each day
- Avoid drinking with meals, as it moves food through the digestive system too quickly and defeats the purpose of the band
Post-Op Food Choices
The post-op Lap-Band diet will be limited to liquids and soft food items. Suggestions include tea; non-acidic juices (apple, cranberry, grape); broth (beef, chicken, vegetable); sugar-free, non-carbonated beverages and sport drinks; sugar-free gelatin and pudding; low-fat cream soups; skim milk; low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese; cream of wheat; oatmeal; eggs; and pureed baby food.
Other dietary items that assist with recovery include protein powder supplements, chewable Tums, and chewable multivitamins.
The post-op diet includes protein supplements to ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is necessary for the body to recover and function properly. As the body does not store protein, it must be replenished each day. The daily minimum protein requirement is approximately 50 to 60 grams for women and 60 to 70 grams for men.