Some people like a short and easy plan, an outline that tells them what to do without being overwhelmed by superfluous information.  We feel that there is no such thing as too much information when it comes to healing from Lap-band surgery.  But we know that some of you have extremely busy lives, raising children in balance with a demanding career.  For you we have developed this outline, sort of a short list about eating after Lap-band surgery and preparing for your first fill (adjustment).

The post-op diet is divided into 3 stages to allow a gradual adjustment:

STAGE IClear liquids for the first 24 hours.
STAGE IIFull liquid diet of 3 meals per day for 3 weeks.
STAGE IIISoft diet of 3 meals per day for 1 week.

Gradually increase the texture of foods over two weeks so that by the fourth post operative week you should be on a regular diet.

STAGE I – first 24 hours post-op

Liquids only from list below:

  • Remember: small amounts (4-6 ounces)
  • GO SLOWLY (30 minutes to drink 6 ounces)
  • When you feel full STOP!
  • NO carbonated drinks for 4 weeks


  • Coffee, tea, fruit juice (NO orange or grapefruit)
  • Crystal light, NutraSweet, Sugar free Kool-Aid
  • Diet drinks
  • Protein drinks as advised by your Lap-band surgeon
  • Broth
  • Skim milk or Lactaid milk
  • Sugar free Jell-O or Sugar free popsicles
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Sugar free pudding
  • Applesauce or baby food fruit


  • Liquid protein supplements can be used and will suppress hunger during this time. When you use liquid protein supplements be certain that the calorie content is not excessive. Also note that many liquid proteins have milk, and this may cause some gastric distress. If they cause distress you do not need to continue them.

STAGE II – full liquids for 3 weeks

 Protein shake meals can now gradually be added to your diet:

  • 3 shakes per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • When tolerated – soft food can be eaten twice daily between protein shake meals (shake – soft food -shake – soft food – shake). Soft foods can be eaten instead of protein shakes. But many protein shakes deliver complete nutrition. Soft foods lack nutrition.
  • NO liquids can be consumed with soft foods. You must wait 30-45 minutes for the pouch to empty before drinking.
  • CHEW WELL – soft food must be almost liquefied before swallowing.


  • Blenderized soup
  • Cottage cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Cream of wheat

STAGE III – soft diet for 1 week

  • Soft fruit (banana, melon, strawberries)
  • Cooked vegetables and fresh green vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Toast or crackers

After 1 week of the soft diet gradually add regular foods and remember:

  • Eat only at set meal times
  • Eat slowly. Eating too fast is the number one cause of Lap-band surgery slips and erosions. You should plan on eating a meal in no less than 20 minutes and no more than 30 minutes (after 30 minutes throw the rest away). DO NOT use liquid to force food down– instead – drink with your meals as if you were drinking a fine wine — slow and easy.
  • In the “old days” we thought that food stayed above the Lap-band and that fluid would wash it out leading to increased appetite. We have since discovered that is not the case. Food goes through the Lap-band in about a minute. So you can eat and drink with Lap-band surgery.
  • Avoid cheap calories:
    1. Fats
    2. High Calorie Liquids
    3. Sweets, ice cream, junk food, cookies


  • Follow three-stage diet plan to allow gradual adjustment.
  • Eat only at set mealtime.
  • Go slowly!
  • Chew well!
  • When you feel full STOP!

Liquids, junk food, and sweets do not relieve hunger!  Only solid food, which fills the pouch and empties slowly, will relieve the hunger.

Post Lap-Band surgery vomiting

  • Some degree of vomiting or regurgitation may occur after you eat.
  • This may indicate you are:
    1. Eating too fast
    2. Trying to eat too much
    3. Not chewing adequately
    4. Eating the wrong foods (Refer to the list in your nutrition guide for common foods that may give you problems)
  • Every person is different and some foods may give you problems and not others. Avoid those that give you problems.
  • Prolonged vomiting for more than 12 hours is not normal.
  • If you cannot tolerate liquids – notify us.
  • If you go to the ER, have them immediately contact Dr. Simpson before treating you for stomach associated problems.

Post Lap-band surgery vomiting protocol

  • If you Vomit solid food:
    1. Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for two hours.
    2. Do not force the issue and try to eat or drink again immediately as this may induce more vomiting. The more you vomit the more swelling that may occur across your Lap-band. This may lead to further obstruction.
  • After two hours try solid foods again.
  • If you vomit again:
    1. Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for four hours.
    2. After four hours try water only.
    3. If you can tolerate water stay on clear liquids for 12 hours before trying solid food again.
    4. If you cannot even tolerate clear liquids or water without vomiting notify us immediately.
  • Prolonged vomiting (more than 12 hours) is not normal.
  • If you go to the ER, have them immediately contact Dr. Simpson before treating you for stomach associated problems.

Post Lap-band fill Instructions

  • When you leave the office if you vomit the water you drank after your Lap-band fill, it will not get better. Please, turn around and come back to the office, we will take some fluid out.
  • The first few hours drink only liquids. If you cannot tolerate thick liquids – we need to remove some fluid. If you do tolerate a meal of thick liquids then try some soft food. After the 24 hours go to solid foods but remember to measure your portions.
  • Your Lap-band will be tighter so eat slowly and very small bites.
  • Do not eat between meals – no snacks, no fruit, nothing.
  • Foods to avoid:
    1. Breads – this includes crackers, Danish, donuts pretzels, goldfish (all of which have caused obstructions and some lead to slips)
    2. Pasta (use spaghetti squash instead)
    3. Sticky Rice (if you are serious about weight loss and health white rice isn’t an option)
    4. Rubbery Eggs (eggs cooked on high heat- like most restaurants serve)
    5. NUTS
  • Watch your liquid calories. Starbucks, fruit juices, regular soda. Instead use Crystal Light or other sugar free products.
  • Avoid dry meat. Do not reheat meat as it will get stuck.
  • If you develop heartburn or reflux tonight you need some fluid removed. Please call the office so we can schedule you to come back in.