Gastric Band Post-op Care

Diet. Fluid diet as instructed by the dietitian for 10 days (you will be given a printed diet sheet with instructions). This is followed by 10 days of pureed, soft, thick food. You will start regular food on week three.

Bandages. Your wounds will be taped with a plastic cover. You may take showers with these dressings. Remove the plastic dressings 3 days after surgery and allow the paper steri-strips to fall off on their own - unless your surgeon advises differently.

Wounds. If your wound areas become red and hot to the touch, please contact the office immediately. You may need a course of antibiotics.

Medications. You can resume all previous medications on the day you get home. These may be swallowed whole if the size is smaller than a ‘tic-tac’ or broken up, if very large in size and not time-released. You may take over the counter Tylenol, Mylanta or Gas-X for gas pain.

Follow-up Visits. It is essential that you remain in contact with us on a regular basis so that we can monitor your progress and weight loss.

Appointments will be scheduled as follows :

  • First visit, 7 to 10 days after surgery to check your incisions

  • Second visit, 4 weeks after surgery for your first band adjustment

  • Followed by monthly visits for the first 6-12 months with the surgeon/nurse for post-op consult, band adjustment, and weighing and measuring

  • and monthly visits for the first 6-12 months with the nutritionist to review your diet and learn more diet tips

  • periodic visits, every 3 to 6 months, in subsequent years

  • Yearly visits for an esophagram to evaluate the band

If you have any problems - e.g., if you're not losing weight, feeling ill or feeling hungry - please phone us for an appointment.

Weight-Loss Goal. Your weekly aim is to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you do not reach this goal for more than two weeks, make an appointment to discuss having your band tightened.

Hunger. If you become hungry about an hour after a meal, or do not feel full after eating, let us know. We do not want you to battle to lose your weight. A simple band adjustment may be the solution.

Vomiting. You may experience vomiting if you:

  • eat too quickly

  • do not chew your food well

  • eat too much

  • eat tough or doughy foods that are difficult to chew thoroughly

Your should aim to take about 30 to 35 minutes to eat each small meal. If vomiting continues, stop eating and go back to fluids for 24 hours to give your stomach a rest. Call our office if vomiting persists for more than two days.

Diarrhea. You may experience diarrhea after the gastric swallow test, which is administered on your first followup visit after surgery. Take over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication, e.g., Imodium AD or Kaopectate, as directed. If diarrhea persists for more than two days, call our office.

Band Adjustments. Your band will need to be tightened if your weight loss plateaus or if you continue to be hungry after eating. This is a simple procedure, which the surgeon or can usually perform in our office. On occasion, this needs to be done in the radiology department. You do not need to get changed; however, you must be able to expose your abdomen so that the port site is accessible.

If you cannot make a follow-up visit. We understand that some patients (e.g., those who live out of town or are traveling) may not be able to return for every follow-up visit. However, it is important to keep a diary of your monthly weight loss and send us the results by phone, fax, or e-mail. This will enable us to keep your individual records up to date. Also, we have many satellite offices outside of NYU where you can come in to be seen. [Link to our satellite office addresses]

If you experience any gastric banding related problems, please contact our office at 212-263-3166.