When it comes to weight loss, there is no quick fix. While a patient who’s had the LAP-BAND® procedure will lose a significant amount of weight, it is part of a long-term commitment to maintaining a lifestyle of healthy eating and regular exercise.
Changes in diet
After the surgery, the patient’s stomach is the size of a small egg, so for the first time he or she does not feel hungry. Patients will feel as if they’ve eaten a huge meal after just a few bites. Some people have never really felt full before in their lives and don’t know what to expect.
In the beginning the key is to eat very small meals and eat slowly. Eating too fast or gulping when drinking can cause discomfort and sometimes vomiting.
There is a progression of diets during the first six weeks to make sure the band is seated into place, including making sure all food is pureed and each meal is approximately two ounces of food. Once the patient moves to solid foods, food must be chewed thoroughly.
A registered dietician will assist in selecting making good food choices to ensure you are getting adequate protein and a balanced diet. It is also important to avoid high-calorie foods to continue to lose weight.
Exercise and support
Immediately after the procedure he her or she should start walking as soon as possible with a goal of exercising daily. The types of exercise will vary depending on how active the patient was before the procedure and his or her other health conditions.
Support is an essential part of success. The patient’s surgeon and nutritionist know best how to handle special needs after surgery. Joining a support group is also highly recommended. Speaking with others who have had the same procedure and shared similar experiences can help with the adjustment to the new lifestyle.
How much weight loss is expected?
Since lap-banding is a gradual way to reduce weight, the amount a patient loses can vary.
“A well adjusted LAP-BAND® patient should lose between 1.5 to 2 pounds per week,” Bariatric Coordinator Julie Beckler, RN, CBN said. “It all depends on how they use their tool.”
It’s important to note that results vary depending on the amount the patient needed to lose before the surgery and how well they adhere to the program.
To learn more about the LAP-BAND® procedure and bariatric surgery support groups at St. Petersburg General Hospital, log onto www.StPeteGeneral.com or call (727) 341-4869.