Recovery Time: Gastric Banding

Gastric banding is a restrictive weight loss surgery that requires the placement of a silicone band and an inflatable inner collar around the top of the stomach. This restricts the amount of food that can be put into the stomach and delays the passage of food through the digestive system. This makes the patient feel fuller faster and stops them from continuing to eat.

As with all surgical procedures, it is important to weigh the options carefully and make your decision based on the information. You will likely want to factor in the recovery time necessary after the gastric banding has been accomplished. Recovery time is not the same for every person and differs based on the individual’s health and how the actual surgery progresses.

What to Expect for Recovery

Recovery from gastric banding is not something that happens quickly and in fact, will last as long as the band is in place. Immediately following the surgery the individual will remain in the hospital for monitoring for several days. This allows the medical staff to watch for infection, bleeding or the body rejecting the banding. The first two weeks following the surgery can be challenging because you will likely be restricted to a liquid only diet. This is to allow the stomach to heal from the surgery and not force any unnecessary pressure on the work that has been done. This stage is followed by a two-week regimen of semi-solid food and then followed by solids. The intake of food will be minimal because of the banding and once the stomach is full the patient will find their fill level.

The band is adjusted every so often to make sure that it is not too tight and not too loose.  The first adjustment often occurs six weeks after the surgery. Within the first year of surgery, the band should be adjusted between four and sixties to reach the right adjustment level. This adjustment is painless and can be done during an office visit to the surgeon.

 

Full Recovery is Ongoing

The complete recovery from gastric banding comes from both the surgery and from the individual. Each patient needs to make major decisions about changing the way that they live their lives. This means gaining a new appreciation for nutrition and exercise. It is important to make careful choices about what is put into the stomach as it will not hold as much as it once did. You need to select foods that are going to be beneficial so that you are getting the most out of your food. In addition, regular exercise is important and should be discussed with your physician. You want to be sure that care is taken when eating and all food is chewed very well before swallowing. Plenty of water is also ideal so that you can allow the food passage through the body correctly. All of these things relate to your full recovery from gastric banding and the success or failure of your weight loss surgery.