After Lap-Band® surgery, you will need a new nutrition plan. Discuss
this in detail with your surgeon and/or dietitian as they
can help you learn about and get used to the changes in lifestyle
and eating habits you need to make.
It is very important to follow the eating and drinking instructions
starting right after the operation to allow the new stomach
structure to heal completely and in the right position. This
may take a month or more. It is also important, especially
in the early weeks, no tot stretch the small stomach pouch
above the band. Vomiting can stretch it, so it is important
not to vomit. Vomiting can increase the chance of stomach
tissue through the band.
THE FIRST FEW-DAYS POST-SURGERY
Right after the operation you can take an occasional sip of
water or suck on a ice cube. You shouldn't drink more than
this. The day after the operation you can talk a little more
fluid, but only a small amount at a time. Besides water, you
should also choose liquids that have an adequate number of
calories. To prevent nausea and vomiting, do not drink too
ONE TO FOUR WEEKS POST-SURGERY
The following liquids and very soft food are recommended for
the first four weeks after the operation:
- Clear broth or soup with no vegetable or meat and not
- Low-fat yogurt
- Milk (preferably skim)
- Fruit juice or pureed soft fruit
As time goes on you will slowly move to solid food based
on your surgeon's and/or dietitian's advice.
In the first few weeks you may be able to eat foods that
might not be allowed in your diet later as these foods may
contain too many calories. It is more important in the first
few weeks to let your stomach adjust to the LAP-BAND® System
than it is to lose weight. In general, you should follow the
advice of your dietitian about nutrition.
FOUR TO SIX WEEKS POST-SURGERY
At this time you may start having slightly thicker, creamier
soups. This will help you transition to more solid foods later.
Some products like bread, red meat, and rice may still cause
problems, so it is better to eat softer foods that are easier
to digest. This might include food such as moist white meat
(chicken or pork) and fish.
Chew all your food well. If you have dentures, be sure to
cut your food into small pieces and chew it thoroughly. If
you don't follow these precautions, you may experience vomiting,
stomach irritation and swelling. You could also have stoma
If solid foods cause nausea and vomiting, go back to the
liquid diet you had earlier. Then you can slowly add soft
foods and eventually transition to solid foods. Always ask
for advice from your doctor or dietitian that is specific
to your situation. Vomiting may increase the incidence of
band slippage, stomach slippage, or stretching of the small
stomach pouch above the band.
NEW NUTRITIONAL PLAN
When you can eat sold foods without problems you will need
to pay close attention to your diet. Liquids will pass through
the reduced stomach pouch quickly and will not make you feel
full. Avoid high-calorie drinks from this point on. Drink
water, broth, tea, and coffee (black, without sugar).
Ten Important Rules
These rules for eating, drinking, and exercise will help you
get the best results with the LAP-BAND® System:
- Eat only three small meals a day.
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly (approximately 15 to
20 times per bite).
- Stop eating as soon as you feel full.
- Do not drink while eating.
- Do not eat between meals.
- Eat only good quality food.
- Avoid fibrous food.
- Drink enough fluids during the day.
- Drink only low-calorie liquids.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Too much food or big chunks of food can block the stomach
pouch outlet. You can avoid this problem by chewing food well
and eating small bits at a time. Eat only three small meals
a day and make sure that these meals contain adequate nutrients.
A healthy meal includes vegetable, fruit, meat, bread, and/or
The general guide below can help you create good and healthy
meals that contain adequate nutrients but little sugar and
fat. Also, ask you surgeon and/or dietitian about your food
1. Fruits and Vegetables
- 1 to 2 servings of fresh fruit daily
- 2 to 3 servings of fresh vegetables daily
2. Breads and Cereals
- 1 small portion of corn flakes for breakfast
- 1 to 2 slices of whole wheat or rye bread each day (if
you want, you can spread just a little margarine or butter
on the bread)
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs
- 1 oz. to 2 oz. or meat, fish, or poultry or one egg each
day, (Remove all visible fat from the meat. Remove the skin
from poultry. Prepare the meat in ways that need very little
fat. Grilling, steaming, microwaving, or boiling are all
good ways to do this)
4. Dairy Products
- Milk and yogurt are calories in liquid form. However,
these types of food have calcium, which makes them an important
part of a healthy daily diet, so choose a maximum of 2 cups
of skimmed milk or low-fat yogurt and 1 oz. of cheese a
- Restrict the use of fat to 3 to 4 teaspoons of margarine,
butter, or oil per day. You can have low-fat dressings and
mayonnaise in moderation.
- Drink as many calorie-free liquids per day as you wish
(though not with meals).
Suitable drinks are:
- Tea or coffee (black) with low-calorie sweetener
- Non-carbonated beverages containing few or no calories
- Clear soup
Some doctors have reported that carbonated beverages may
contribute to enlargement of the small pouch and recommend
they be avoided.
FOODS TO AVOID
Some foods have a concentrated supply of calories with little
nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible.
Sugar and foods containing large quantities of sugar,
- High-calorie sort drinks
High-fat food including:
Alcoholic drinks should also be consumed in moderation, for
example a glass of wine per day.