Lap Band Diet Information & FAQ

Basics

A lap band, also called adjustable gastric banding, is an FDA-approved device used in weight loss surgeries. The patient has the lap band inserted in his or her stomach to create a small pouch in the upper portion of the organ. More and more people are choosing the lap band because it does not require cutting or rearranging organs like some of the other weight loss procedures. The portion of the stomach slowly empties food into the digestive system. Ideally, a lap band diet promotes weight loss because the patient can eat less and has to eat much more slowly than usual.

Right After Surgery

Right after surgery, a lap band diet is especially important to promote recovery and prevent complications. Doctors usually have their patients sip water and suck on ice cubes. Once a day or so passes without vomiting, doctors usually allow their patients to have a clear liquid lap band diet for about one to two weeks. During this time, food intake should be restricted to items like broth, skim milk, fruit juice and sugar-free popsicles.

Pureed Food Phase

It is important to remember too much vomiting can stretch the stomach pouch and even cause the band to slip, possibly creating the need for an emergency surgery. Once your doctor is fairly sure you can tolerate foods well, he will advise you to move to the pureed food phase of the lap band diet for one to two weeks. Your intake should be the consistency of baby foods at this point after your weight loss surgery. Blending light, soft meats like ground beef with liquid like fat-free gravy is ideal at this stage.

Soft Food Phase

At this point, you are likely about a month or so out of your lap band surgery. The soft food phase of the lap band diet can include tender and well-cooked proteins such as poultry or fish. If you cannot tolerate such foods, your doctor may move you back to pureed choices until your stomach heals better.

Solid Food

Within a couple of months, you should be able to incorporate solid food into a lap band diet. Always remember that some foods may not agree with you, and they must be abandoned at least for a while to prevent severe vomiting and possible band slippage. The lap band did not bypass your intestines, so you will still absorb all the food you eat – including high-calorie liquids such as milkshakes. Avoiding high-calorie drinks, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, meats with gristle, grapes, corn, pineapple, rhubarb, and popcorn will go a long way toward preventing possible complications or stalling any potential weight loss.

References

"Lap Band Diet: UCSD Medical Center." https://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/lapband/postop/diet.htm

This post is part of the series: All About the Lap Band

This is a two-article series detailing lap band (adjustable gastric banding) as a weight loss surgery.
  1. Lap Band Diet FAQ
  2. Lap Band Procedure FAQ