The first six weeks after Lap-band surgery are about giving it time to heal. That is why liquid food sources are recommended for the first two weeks and then soft, mushy foods for two weeks. The simple rule for liquid foods in the first two weeks is that you can eat anything that would come through a straw. You don’t have to drink it through a straw, but that is the ideal consistency.
Protein supplements are excellent foods after Lap-band surgery. Protein supplements are thick liquids that will help you feel full, and allow you to lose weight. We allow our bariatric patients to use protein drinks for the first week after Lap-band surgery. Protein supplements are frequently available through our office. You might check if they are available through your Lap-band doctor’s office if you are not our patient.
Do not drink carbonated beverages unless you let them go flat. Carbonated beverages will fill your pouch with gas, distend your stomach and might increase the risk for a slipped Lap-band.
When to Call Your Lap-band Surgeon
Call your weight loss surgeon when any of following the happens:
- Pus comes out of the wound
- The wound becomes progressively more red
- Red streaking from the wound
- The wound becomes unusually tender
- Your temperature is greater than 101
- You have yellow or green FOUL smelling drainage
Go to a doctor, emergency room or hospital immediately if any of the above happens and your Lap-band surgeon is not available!
Some clear yellow drainage is normal from your wound. This liquid is generally liquefied fat cells that were destroyed when we made our grand entrance into your body.
Things you can and can’t do to the wound
- It is okay to allow soap and water to run over the wound
- Do not use Neosporin® or other ointments on the wound
- Do not bathe or swim for two to three weeks
- If you are outside in the sun, the wound will burn easily, so keep it covered
- After several weeks it is okay to use sun block on the wound
Driving after Lap-band surgery
You should not drive a car if you are taking narcotics, pain pills such as Vicodin, Percocet, Davocet. After you stop taking those drugs you shouldn’t drive until your reaction time has returned to normal. Have you ever been driving along and suddenly notice the person in front of you has stopped? You have to slam on your brakes and just avoid rear-ending them. Well, imagine if your reaction time is one second off—instead of just “missing” the car in front of you, you crash. If the thought of slamming on your brakes makes your incision hurt, then you shouldn’t be driving. Some weight loss surgeons want patients to wait two or three weeks, but there are clearly some who should wait even longer.
—Over the counter: what can I take when I get a cold, or the flu?
There are a few simple rules with weight loss surgery, and one of them is to learn about your body and the medicines you put into it. If you have a cold, or the flu, and want to take something remember: it will take about a week to get over it, if you take nothing it will take seven days. Tylenol is ok to take, but it is also found in many other cold and flu medications, so be careful to read the label of every medicine you might take, and do not exceed the maximum daily dose of Tylenol (acetaminophen). Some weight loss surgeons do not want their bariatric patients to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as Motrin or Aspirin, and you should have a list of these if that is the rule.
Again, know what you are taking and why – You should be monitored carefully by your primary care doctor to make certain that you are getting a therapeutic effect.