After Gastric Band

  • After insertion of the adjustable gastric band, you will stay overnight at Memorial Health University Medical Center. After you recover from your anesthesia, you will start a liquid diet that you will follow for two weeks. You will begin doing simple exercises from your bed just four hours after surgery. You will have some discomfort after surgery and will receive pain relief as needed.

    Before you leave the hospital, you will undergo a barium swallow to make sure you are able to eat. A small percentage of patients develop swelling at the band site and need to stay in the hospital for an extra day or more.


    You will return to Memorial Health Bariatrics after two weeks, four weeks, monthly for the first year, then every three months for the next one to two years, then annually. At each of these visits, we will check your weight, measure certain parts of your body, check your strength, and perform other tests as needed. These check-ups are necessary to help us ensure that you are healthy and are following your diet and exercise guidelines.


    You will be asked to attend a support group regularly. Research has shown that adequate support is a vital part of weight loss success. We offer meetings at least twice a month in Savannah in the Mercer Auditorium located in the Hoskins Center on the Memorial Health campus. We also hold a monthly meetings in outlying communities.

    You will also meet with an exercise physiologist and dietitian. You will be given telephone access to a nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional counseling will be available if necessary.

    Changing the Way You Eat

    The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits. Some of the changes include:

    • When you start eating solid food it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steak or other chunks of meat if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
    • You are not to drink fluids while eating. You need to wait 90 minutes after eating before drinking any fluid.
    • Omit desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
    • Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods, and foods with high fiber content.
    • Avoid alcohol.
    • Limit snacking between meals.
    • Take vitamin supplements as directed by your doctor. 
    Returning to Work

    Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary based on your physical condition and the nature of the activity. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.

    Birth Control and Pregnancy

    It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use at least two effective forms of birth control during the first 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. A woman's ability to become pregnant returns within a week or two after you start to lose weight. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this requirement very important.