A gastric band surgery is one of the common bariatric surgery procedures which are performed in the shortest amount of time. This procedure has a very low intraoperative complication rate compared to other weight loss surgeries such as gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery. Recovery from the gastric band surgery or a lap band surgery is easier compared to other weight loss procedures. Now let us check out what to expect after the gastric band surgery. Recovery of each individual will be slightly different and hence it is always important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for recovering from the lap band surgery.
After the gastric band surgery, you’ll wake up within 20 or 30 minutes of surgery in the Post-anesthesia acute care unit. The nurse will check on you and ensure that you are comfortable. Some surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis. In this case, you will either stay in PACU or be moved to a recovery room. If your surgeon wants you to stay overnight, then you will be moved to your room. You will not experience any pain at this point since the narcotics from surgery will keep you comfortable and in and out of sleep. During the first night, you may experience slight pain at the incision sites and may feel discomfortable due to breathing tube which causes dry, sore and painful throat.
A few post surgery, you will be asked to get up and take a few steps which will help greatly in recovery. This will reduce pain from the CO2 which is used during the surgery which can collect in the abdomen and cause pain in the shoulder. You will be asked to urinate before leaving the hospital. The IV will be removed by the nurse and your family member or a friend will drive you home. Most patients do not feel any hunger or cravings on the first day.
You will be required to follow your surgeon’s order for diet. Most of the time you will be allowed small sips of clear liquids and your surgeon may ask you to do a swallow test. During this you will drink chalky, white liquid called as barium and then receive an X-ray for confirming that the fluids are passing through the band and there are no strictures and the band is placed accurately.
If you are staying at the hospital overnight, you will receive fluids via IV and if you are going home then will be asked to take small sips every 15 to 20 minutes. For days 1 to 3 after surgery, you will be sent home from the hospital and will be provided with the discharge instructions, pain pills, a lung exercising device and possible some nutritional supplements.
For day 2 and 3 you will start experiencing pain and the most prevalent spot for pain is in the upper left quadrant. You will feel sore and the gas pain will be noticeable. Keep your head elevated and move your feet and legs often after the first few days post surgery this will help in blood circulation and prevent the formation of the blood clots.
Do not lift anything heavy or engage in strenuous activities. Once you are off taking the pain medications, you will be able to drive again. You can take a shower, however, it is not recommended to soak your incisions during the first week post gastric band surgery. After shower, ensure to dry and clean the incision sites. Notice any redness or if something seems infected or you have a fever, call your doctor.
On day 1 you will be asked to take clear liquids such as water, broth, gelatine, ice pops, and fruit juices without pulp. On days 2 and 3 you can include vegetable broths, soups, meal replacement shakes and protein shakes. Avoid drinking any carbonated drinks. Probably, you will start feeling hungry. Ensure to drink enough water and take any vitamins or supplements as per your doctor prescription.
For more information, you can contact Cosmetic and Obesity Surgery Hospital India– a leading medical travel partner in India offering assistance to the international patients seeking low cost gastric band surgery.
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