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Alcohol consumption after Lap-Band® surgery

December 5, 2019

Many patients wonder if they can still consume alcohol after the Lap-Band® Procedure. Can you make alcohol a healthy part of your post-Lap-Band Procedure life? Let’s discuss!

To succeed with the Lap-Band System, you must stick to your goal of making major, lifelong changes to your eating habits. That means, as you recover, it’s crucial to eat and drink the right way. It’s going to take a month or more for your new stomach structure to heal completely. You must follow your dietitian’s instructions carefully. Not only can eating too much too fast cause you to become sick and vomit, but the same goes for drinking too much or too fast. For the first several weeks after your surgery, you’ll need to follow a specific food list, with liquids limited to water, skim milk, vegetable broth, and sugar-free juice. That means no sugary, carbonated alcohol.

Once you are adjusted to the Lap-Band, you will want to drink only low-calorie liquids. Those containing calories will simply run through the narrow outlet created by the band. There is the chance that, if you drink high calorie liquids like beer, wine, and liquor, you may not lose weight even if you are otherwise following your diet. It is recommended that you avoid alcohol for at least six months following your procedure. When your specialist gives you permission to start drinking alcohol again, avoid sugary and carbonated beverages. Keep your consumption to a minimum, as you can become intoxicated quicker and drinking after bariatric surgery can lead to low blood sugar. Be aware of calorie content, and consume your beverage slowly with a meal. Pay close attention to your consumption to ensure it isn’t becoming a problem.

It is not recommended that patients addicted to alcohol or drugs undergo the Lap-Band Procedure. It puts you at significantly higher risk for dangerous side effects. It also makes it more difficult to follow the strict food rules and make the necessary lifelong changes to your eating habits. 

If you have questions about your alcohol consumption after Lap-Band, speak with your dietician or specialist.


  • LAP-BAND System: Surgical Aid in the Treatment of Obesity: A Decision Guide for Adults

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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.