Lap band surgery (laparoscopic gastric banding) is surgery to help people lose weight. A gastric band creates a small pouch in the stomach. The pouch limits how much food you can eat. Surgery to remove a band might be done because the band didn't work as well as expected. In some cases, a band is removed because it slipped or eroded.
The cuts (incisions) the doctor made in your belly will probably be sore for a few days after the surgery. The stitches will dissolve on their own.
After this surgery, you may start to notice more feelings of hunger. And you may start to gain weight. You may be worried about weight gain, and you may feel bad that the lap band didn't work for you. Your doctor can help you think about how you are feeling. You can discuss possible steps you can take to have a healthy weight.
Most people can return to their regular routines in 1 to 4 weeks after this surgery. Your doctor may give you specific instructions on when you can do your normal activities again, such as driving and going back to work.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: February 27, 2018
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
& Ali Tavakkoli, FACS, FRCS, MD - General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery
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