Description of the Procedure
To prepare you for surgery, a nurse will place an IV line in your arm. You may receive fluids and medicines through this line during the procedure. The doctor will place a breathing tube through your mouth and into your windpipe. This will help you breathe during surgery. You will also have a catheter placed in your bladder to drain urine.
The doctor will make several small (keyhole) cuts in the abdomen. Gas will be pumped in to inflate your abdomen. This will make it easier for the doctor to see. A laparoscope and surgical tools will be inserted through the incisions. A laparoscope is a thin, lighted tool with a tiny camera. It sends images of your abdominal cavity to a monitor in the operating room. Your doctor will operate while viewing the area on this monitor.
An adjustable round band is placed around the top of the stomach and fastened into place. This creates a smaller stomach area for food. Tubing is placed from the band to an access port in the abdominal wall. The band can later be adjusted with a special saline solution and needle syringe. The incisions will be closed with staples or stitches.
At the Hospital
While you are recovering at the hospital:
- Pain medicine will be given as needed.
- On the day after the surgery, x-rays will be taken to make sure the band is in place. If everything looks fine, you will be given fluids, then progress to pureed food.
You may be asked to do the following:
- Use an incentive spirometer to take deep breaths every hour. This is to prevent breathing problems.
- Wear elastic surgical stockings or boots. This is to promote blood flow in your legs.
- Get up and walk.
Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions. You will need to practice lifelong healthy eating and exercising habits. Keep in mind after your surgery:
- It will take 2-4 weeks to fully recover. You may be out of work for several days after surgery.
- Do not drive or lift anything heavy until your doctor tells you it is safe. This may take two weeks or more.
- Walk as soon as you are able. Exercise lightly every day.
- Meet regularly with your healthcare team for monitoring and support.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions on driving limitations.
- You may have emotional ups and downs after this surgery. Talk to your doctor about your feelings.
Your new stomach pouch will be the size of a small egg. It will be slow to empty. This will make you feel full quickly. Nutritional guidelines include:
- Eat very small amounts and eat very slowly. You will begin with 4-6 small meals per day. A meal is two ounces of food.
- For the first 4-6 weeks, all food must be pureed. Once you move to solid foods, food must be well-chewed. When making food choices, ensure that you are getting enough protein.
- Eating too much or too quickly can cause vomiting or intense pain under your breastbone. Most people quickly learn how much food they can eat.
This procedure does not cause nausea and
if sweet or fatty foods are eaten. In fact, some people gain back weight because they continue to eat high-calorie foods. To promote ongoing weight loss, you will need to eat healthy foods.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions.
You may need to take medicines, as directed by your doctor, which may include:
Pain medicine (eg,
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
Ask your doctor if you are able to take medicine in pill form. You may need to crush your medicine or switch to liquid forms.