Lap band surgery is the quickest, simplest, and least invasive among the bariatric surgery options.
In fact, the procedure is usually done within one hour. It can even be less in the hands of skilled and experienced weight loss surgeons.
Not only is the procedure relatively short, compared with other bariatric surgery options, but so is the recovery period.
How short, exactly?
Well, that’s what we’re going to take a look at in this article – the usual recovery timeline after lap band surgery. Let’s get to it, shall we?
What happens during the actual surgery?
Wait, is a lap band surgery really a quick procedure? Well, the answer is yes!
If you need some convincing, here’s a quick overview of how the procedure goes.
As soon as you undergo general anesthesia, your surgeon will make up to five keyhole incisions in your abdomen. These incisions allow the laparoscope to pass through, allowing your surgeon a better view of your abdomen without making a big surgical incision.
These small incisions also allow the gastric band and tube to pass through and for your surgeon to secure the gastric band on the upper part of your stomach. Once in place, your surgeon will then attach a tube to the band. This tube will run under your skin into a port to allow adjustment in the band.
Within an hour, your surgeon will then close the keyhole incisions, and voila! – lap band surgery is done.
The reason for a quick recovery is that those incisions are few and smaller than the usual procedures.
Well, what does my recovery timeline from lap band surgery look like?
Your post-lap band recovery timeline can be viewed in stages: the first few days of recovery, the next few weeks, three months after surgery, and long-term aftercare.
Your healing will be faster when you allow your body the chance to fully recover after surgery, and not dive into resuming a full schedule immediately. Therefore, if you are getting surgery, make sure to plan ahead and block off dates for your recovery.
Speaking of which, most people who undergo lap band surgery usually take a week off from work. Even if your healthcare provider gives you the go signal to go back to work, a few more days to feel 110% of your usual self before plunging right back into a busy work schedule is preferred.
That’s especially since you may experience any of these in the first few days or even weeks after lap band surgery: fatigue or a general sense of weakness, gas pain, lightheadedness, nausea, poor appetite, or difficulty sleeping.
Also, keep in mind that your recovery will not be the same as everybody else. It will still depend upon your own personal factors, like if you’re in generally good health even before the procedure.
The first few days post-surgery
You can resume physical activity such as walking slowly or moving around within hours after your surgery. A nurse or physical therapist should be on hand to assist you.
Increasing your mobility and range of movements is encouraged to improve blood circulation. It can also reduce the risk of blood clots and promote healing.
In fact, you can resume your normal activities in a couple of days after going home, such as driving or taking a shower.
But even if recovery is fast, we still do recommend taking it easy for a while. For example, you will be given pain medication after the procedure, something we don’t recommend you take if you plan to drive since your reflexes will likely be impaired.
Also, if you plan to shower, make sure to wait for a few days to ensure that the incisions you just got completely heal. And if you plan to swim, wait for at least two weeks! You don’t want water gushing through your body because of unhealed wounds, right?
The next few weeks post-surgery
While you still need to take things easy and avoid strenuous physical activity without your healthcare provider’s permission, it’s much easier when you reach this period of recovery. Feel free to do more physical activity, such as walking.
Still, avoid heavy lifting, such as anything over 20 pounds. You may also want to refrain from vacuuming for a while as the push and pull motions that accompany the chore may have unpleasant results for your body that has just gone surgery.
Within the second to the third week from lap band surgery, your surgeon will most likely schedule a check-in with you to monitor your recovery which may include your nutritional status or any health condition. A follow-up check-in with your surgeon may be scheduled after a few more weeks before it settles into check-ins every three months for the remainder of the first year.
After three months
At this point, you are expected to feel much better and to see your weight go downwards with a lifestyle change to accompany your lap band surgery after three months. Be reminded though that lifting, carrying, or pushing anything heavy may cause unpleasant results. You may feel completely fine on the outside, but do give the inside of your body time to fully heal and recover as well.
Before doing anything extreme, make sure to consult with your doctor.
Months after the procedure
Individuals who go through a lap band procedure usually see significant weight loss within a year or two after the surgery. The average weight loss with lap band is about 40% of excess weight over two years
Periodic tightening of the band around your stomach may be required through the tube attached to the band. This is to ensure that your stomach area stays small making you feel full faster.
While a lap band is designed to last a lifetime, it can happen that your band might need to be replaced or even removed. It is best to check with your surgeon for re-adjustment, re-operation, or removal of the band, especially if you feel like something is wrong.
Want to know more about lap band surgery recovery?
Your lap band surgery recovery timeline looks brightest in the hands of a highly-skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced weight loss surgeon. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to ask around for the best weight loss surgeon in your area.
If you are looking for a highly-skilled, knowledgeable, caring, informative, and experienced weight loss surgeon in Los Angeles, look no further. Dr. David Davtyan of Glendale, CA is one of the best and most experienced go-to medical professionals for bariatric surgery in California. He is our head at The Weight Loss Surgery Center Of Los Angeles where success stories of individuals who have lost and kept their weight off years after undergoing lap band surgery abound.
We also offer other bariatric surgery options aside from lap band surgery.
So if you’re looking to start your own gastric sleeve (before and after) story, we’re the surgeons to go to! You too can be amazed at your own lap band surgery recovery, weight loss success, and a healthier you.
Get in touch with us today for your free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!