Gastric Banding Surgery

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your caregiver.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

Activity

  • Take frequent walks throughout the day. This will help to prevent blood clots. Do not sit for longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour while awake for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

  • Continue to do coughing and deep breathing exercises once you get home. This will help to prevent pneumonia.

  • Do not do strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, until after your follow-up visit with your caregiver. Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lb (4.5 kg).

  • Talk with your caregiver about when you may return to work and your exercise routine.

  • Do not drive while taking prescription pain medicine.

Nutrition

  • It is very important that you drink at least 80 oz (2,400 mL) of fluid a day.

  • You should stay on a liquid diet until your follow-up visit with your caregiver. Keep sugar-free, liquid items on hand, including:

  • Tea: hot or cold. Drink only decaffeinated for the first month.

  • Broths: beef, chicken, vegetable.

  • Others: water, sugar-free frozen ice pops, flavored water, gelatin (after 1 week).

  • Do not consume caffeine for 1 month. Large amounts of caffeine can cause dehydration.

  • A dietician may also give you specific instructions.

  • Follow your caregiver's recommendations about vitamins and protein requirements after surgery.

Hygiene

  • You may shower and wash your hair 2 days after surgery. Pat incisions dry. Do not rub incisions with a washcloth or towel.

  • Follow your caregiver's recommendations about baths and pools following surgery.

Pain control

  • If a prescription medicine was given, follow your caregiver's directions.

  • You may feel some gas pain caused by the carbon dioxide used to inflate your abdomen during surgery. This pain can be felt in your chest, shoulder, back, or abdominal area. Moving around often is advised.

Incision care

You may have 4 or more small incisions. They are closed with skin adhesive strips and have a clear plastic covering over them. You may remove your dressings the number of days directed by your caregiver after surgery. Check your incisions and surrounding area daily for any redness, swelling, discoloration, fluid (drainage), or bleeding. Dark red, dried blood may appear under these coverings. This is normal.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop persistent nausea and vomiting.

  • You have pain and discomfort with swallowing.

  • You have pain, swelling, or warmth in the lower extremities.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You develop chills.

  • Your incision sites look red, swollen, or have drainage.

  • Your stool is black, tarry, or maroon in color.

  • You are lightheaded when standing.

  • You have any questions or concerns.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have chest pain.

  • You have severe calf pain or pain not relieved by medicine.

  • You develop shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

  • You feel confused.

  • You have slurred speech.

  • You suddenly feel weak.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.