The Lap-Band® Blog

Preparing for Lap-Band® Surgery


Getting ready to have your Lap-Band® Procedure done? Your specialist has talked to you about what to expect, and the changes you’ll need to implement, but it’s always great to have a refresher.

Before Surgery

Before your surgery, you’ll have initial meetings with your specialist and other experts. You’ll talk in detail about the procedure, and they’ll help you understand what happens before and after the operation. Some of the other experts you may meet with could include a dietitian and a psychologist.

After these initial meetings, you’ll have a presurgical meeting with a specialist and anesthetist. You’ll discuss your entire medical history, from your past and current illnesses, to illnesses and injuries, to allergies to medications. During this time, it is crucial that you disclose all your health conditions. You should also ask all the questions you have at this time.

Getting Ready for Surgery

There are a slew of tests that you’ll need to have completed before your surgery that are designed to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. Tests include chest X-rays, a blood pressure test, and blood tests.

At this point, you can begin collecting the items you’ll need for the day of your surgery and the days following. That includes loose-fitting clothes, a small pillow to guard your injection site from the seatbelt on your car ride home, a list of your medications and at least a two days’ supply of each, and insurance information. At home, make sure you have broth, ice chips, skim milk, and sugar-free popsicles and fruit juice.

The Day Prior

The day before your surgery, you’ll have a more specific set of instructions from your specialist. For instance, you may be instructed to refrain from eating or drinking anything the night prior.

At the Hospital

You may go to the hospital or surgery center the night prior to your surgery or the morning of your surgery. The important thing is that you arrive well in advance of your procedure. Be sure to bring someone with you that can stay with you and safely bring you home.

You’ll receive general anesthesia for the surgery, which will take around two to three hours (though the procedure itself takes less than an hour). Typically, the procedure is completed laparoscopically, but sometimes the specialist may need to change to an open procedure. If this happens, you’ll need to spend more time in the hospital, and there will be more recovery time. This doesn’t happen often, but your doctor will talk to you about this.

After the Surgery

You may feel some pain around the cuts upon waking from the anesthesia. It’s usually described as a dull ache that can be relieved with normal painkillers and fades within a couple days. The staff will get you moving to prevent any issues like blood clots or bedsores. Typically, you will leave the hospital within one day. Your health team may check to make sure your band is in the correct place and that the stomach outlet is open using a fluoroscope.

Once you’re home, you’ll start your weight-loss journey with the prescribed plan from your surgeon or dietitian.


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

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