Expected Weight Loss With A Gastric Band

Weight loss results with a Lap Band tend to vary from patient to patient; and, it is important to acknowledge that there are many factors that may influence these results.

Expected weight loss is approximately a moderate percentage of your weight a week in the first 12 months following surgery; although, the following factors may have an impact on these expectations:

  • Age of the Patient
  • Weight at the Time of Surgery
  • Motivation Levels and Psychosocial Functioning
  • Support Network
  • Personal Health
  • Compliance with Dietary, Medical, and Behavioural Advice
  • Exercise Levels
  • Dietary Habits and Attitudes

Other Considerations

There are certain dietary requirements and expectations before and after surgery that also need to be taken into consideration. Generally, patients undergoing gastric band surgery are put on a fluid diet of Formulated Meal Replacements for the first 2 weeks prior to surgery and again for the first 2 weeks after surgery. Patients will then progress to a puree diet for the next 2 weeks before re-introducing solid foods to their diet around a month after surgery.

It is extremely important to adhere to these requirements, since the pre-surgical fluid phase allows the surgeon easier access to the working area around the stomach and contributes to the healing process after surgery; and, the post-surgical fluid and puree phase will again compliment healing and prepare the stomach for the transition back to solid foods.

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Once back on solid foods, patients are advised to change some of their eating habits and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our dietitian will be able to assist you with your pre and post-surgical diet phases.

As with all surgical weight loss procedures, there is a strong emphasis on lifestyle changes that include healthy eating habits and exercise. Here are some of our recommendations:

Modify your Eating Habits

  • Always sit down and relax whilst eating
  • Chew your food well before swallowing
  • Avoid drinking any liquids when eating
  • Stop eating as soon as you start to feel full
  • Eat regularly and avoid skipping meals
  • Accept that it’s okay to leave food on your plate

Choose Band Friendly Foods

The small pouch produced by the Lap Band acts as a funnel near the top of the stomach, slowing down the dispersion of food through the narrow opening into the larger lower part of the stomach. This process gives one the sensation of feeling fuller sooner, and for longer, and results in early satiety.

There are, however, some foods that pass too easily through the gastric band and should be minimized whenever possible. These foods are usually processed, low in fibre, and have a soft texture, like chocolate and ice cream. They are also usually high in calories and, if featured regularly in one’s diet, will slow down the weight loss process. High calorie liquids, like soft drink, cordial, fruit juice, and alcohol will also have an impact on weight loss results and should be minimized.

Patients are able to eat most foods without any discomfort; although, some foods may still cause some discomfort, particularly if not chewed properly. The most common problem foods are doughy products, like white bread and buns, and overcooked/dry meats, like well-done steak or chicken breast.

Get Active!

It is important to appreciate the benefits of leading a more active lifestyle. Looking for opportunities to be more active is a healthy start and incidental exercise can have a massive impact on weight loss results.

Confidence increases as self-efficacy improves and incidental exercise provides the perfect foundation for more dedicated activities later on. Dedicated exercise often requires some commitment and can be difficult for those who lead extremely busy lifestyles; however, it’s important and should be considered to compliment incidental activities as soon as possible.

Building motivation for dedicated activities can be a challenge, since enjoyment and efficacy is the key to sustaining this commitment. Our psychologist can assist you with strategies for building motivation; and, provided you have been cleared by your doctor to start participating in dedicated exercise activities, can also help you set realistic and achievable goals.

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