When choosing to have an elective surgery, it is important to review the recovery information so you can plan accordingly. Listed below are a few details on recuperation and what to expect after surgery.
For the majority of LAP-BAND® patients, a recuperative period of five to seven days is standard. Many patients who have surgery on a Wednesday or even a Thursday are able to return to desk-type jobs the following Monday.
The only special attention necessary for the incision site is ensuring that the see-thru dressings (called Op-Sites) are watertight to protect the wound. If you are a long-distance patient, you can remove the Op-Sites eight days after surgery.
On average, it takes about three weeks for soft tissues to heal. There are two areas that require healing: the stomach-to-stomach sutures placed to avoid gastric slippage and the incisions themselves. For the stomach sutures, avoid vomiting while they are healing, the Band is placed with no fluid in it at the time of the surgery. The first fill is done four weeks after surgery.
Post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV – this is an actual syndrome) is related to the anesthetic agents used and this phenomenon resolves within 48 hours as the drugs are metabolized and leave the body. Some patients can have swelling of the stomach inside the empty band and function as if they had a fill . If this occurs (rare though – less than 1% chance), Dr. Weaver recommends patients stay on clear liquids until the swelling resolves and then they can advance their diet to full liquids (yogurt, cream of wheat, oatmeal, pureed things, baby foods), then to soft diet (eggs cooked any way), and then real food (small bites, chewed well, of chicken or fish).
Patients should avoid unnecessary lifting to prevent abdominal wall hernia formation. The only type of exercise that is allowed for four weeks following surgery is walking or riding a stationary bike. Patients should also avoid especially risky activities, such as horseback riding, rollerblading or trampoline jumping, during those four weeks.
It is recommended that patients avoid driving until they are done with discomfort-controlling narcotic medication and feel they can twist and turn (to see who might be heading for them) and can slam on the brakes.
Talk to an experienced surgeon to learn more about the downtime and recovery period LAP-BAND® requires. Please contact Dr. John Weaver today to discuss how this procedure can change your life and to get answers to all of your weight loss surgery questions.