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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 Lap-Band System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2 with one or more obesity-related comorbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

The Lap-Band System is not recommended for non-adult patients (patients under 18 years of age), patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results, who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

The Lap-Band System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Placement of the Lap-Band System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Most common related adverse events include: Band slippage, pouch dilation, stoma obstruction, gastroesophageal reflux, esophageal dilation, cholelithiasis, incisional infection, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here or talk with your doctor.