- HEALTH TRACKER
In general, recovery after gastric banding surgery can take 6 to 8 weeks. During this time, patients will progress from a liquid diet to solid foods and should engage in some physical activity, such as taking walks or using a treadmill. Physical activity is an important part of this recovery period, because it helps to reduce risks associated with any surgery, such as pneumonia and blood clots. Patients should always follow their doctors’ guidelines for eating and exercise after surgery.
Diet and nutrition
In the first 2 weeks, as the stomach heals, patients will be on a liquid diet. During the next 3 to 6 weeks, patients will progress from soft foods to solid foods. To maintain balanced nutrition, patients should obtain information from their bariatric team about the amount of food and the types of food that are appropriate at each stage.
Once a diet of solid foods can be tolerated, a typical meal will include protein-rich foods such as lean meat, eggs, low-fat dairy products (yogurt or cheese), as well as starches and whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Protein helps the sensation of fullness last longer than some other foods.
Helpful tips for eating:
Common problem foods
Foods that are often not tolerated well by gastric banding patients (especially in the first few months after surgery) include raw vegetables, fruits with skin, nuts, popcorn, tough meats, stringy foods, and crusty bread like bagels and pretzels. Eating these foods may block the small opening between the upper and lower stomach pouches.
Exercise: Aim for 30 minutes a day
An exercise program should be started slowly, with the goal of working up to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times each week. Gradual increases in activity can help improve one’s health and overall well-being. Ways to burn calories can range from ironing and gardening to walking and biking. The REALIZE Band does not limit one’s ability to participate in sports or other physical activities.
The American Heart Association recommends exercising for 30 minutes a day, because it can reduce the risks associated with diabetes, premature death, heart disease, high blood pressure, and colon cancer, improve muscle and bone structure, and improve mental health.9 Strength-building exercises can also help tone muscles. This will help burn more calories and may help lessen the amount of sagging skin after losing weight.
"Find ways to sneak exercise into your daily lifestyle,” says fitness expert Mischelle Wilkinson. “Try to carry more groceries than you normally would. Instead of trying to find the first spot up at the grocery store, park further away, you know, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Finding ways that won't make you think that you’re actually doing exercise will help you get it into your daily life." Patients should work with their bariatric team to develop an exercise plan, and should begin exercising only after their doctor says it’s okay. If symptoms occur during or persist after exercising, like chest pain, dizziness, or pressure, stop exercising and contact a doctor right away.
Following the recommended diet and exercise program helps patients lose weight
Without adhering to an exercise program and the recommend diet, many patients will find it difficult to lose weight, and may regain weight. After surgery, many patients struggle with their new diet or with emotionally triggered eating. To overcome these struggles, bariatric experts agree that patients need support. Ongoing support can come in many forms: support groups, online forums and programs, co-workers, friends, and family.
As patients are evaluating which gastric band is right for them, they should consider which band offers the best support program. REALIZE Band patients can find support to overcome their struggles through the REALIZE mySUCCESS® Program. This Web-based clinical support tool is designed to meet the specific needs of REALIZE Band patients.
REALIZE mySUCCESS® features customizable eating and exercise plans, a food diary, recipes suitable for band patients, recovery timelines, important reminders, help finding the right band fit, and methods for identifying emotionally triggered eating. It also helps patients to stay connected to their surgeons by allowing surgeons to track their patients’ progress and provide guidance if needed.
This type of support is important because it can help patients lose more weight. According to a recent 12-month study, REALIZE Band patients who frequently use REALIZE mySUCCESS® lose significantly more weight in the first year after surgery.*
A select set of REALIZE mySUCCESS® features is available to anyone before surgery. After surgery, the full features and tools are available only to REALIZE Band patients.
Learn more about the importance of ongoing support after bariatric surgery.
© Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. 2009 DSL#09-1077
*Patients who frequently use REALIZE mySUCCESS® lose significantly more weight. Based on 12 months of patient-reported data from REALIZE Band patients using REALIZE mySUCCESS®. Frequent users were in the top third of patients based on frequency of entering a weight into REALIZE mySUCCESS®. Source: Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. data on file.
This information is provided by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Ethicon Endo-Surgery is not responsible for any other content on this Web site. The REALIZE® Adjustable Gastric Band is used in morbidly obese adult patients for significant long-term weight loss. It may not be right for individuals with certain digestive tract conditions. All surgery presents risks. Weight, age, and medical history determine your specific risks. Ask your doctor if bariatric surgery is right for you.
For more information, visit the official site for the REALIZE® Adjustable Gastric Band, www.REALIZE.com, or call 1-866-REALIZE.
9 American Heart Association. “Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association.” Circulation. 2007;116:1081-1093; originally published online Aug 1, 2007.