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Adjustable Gastric Banding


Gastric banding is a type of weight loss surgery. During surgery, healthcare providers put a soft band around the top part of your stomach. This divides the stomach into one small pouch and one large pouch. When you eat, food collects in the small pouch. Because the pouch is very small, you will feel full quickly. There is a small opening in the smaller pouch that allows food to pass into the larger pouch. Between meals, the food moves slowly into the larger pouch and is digested normally. Over time, you may lose weight because you feel full sooner and cannot eat as much food during a meal. Your healthcare provider can tighten or loosen the band as needed after the surgery.

Stomach opening can be tightened or loosened over time to change the size of the passage



  • Acetaminophen: This medicine is given to decrease your pain and fever. It can be bought without a doctor's order.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Change what you eat and drink:

Ask your dietitian or nutritionist any questions you have about what foods to eat and how much. Do the following:

  • Eat slowly: Chew your food well before you swallow. Large bits of food may cause choking, or may block your stomach.
  • Eat 3 small meals each day: Do not eat snacks between meals unless your healthcare provider says it is okay. Stop eating when you feel full, even if you have not eaten all of your meal.
  • Eat nutritious foods: Eat plenty of protein. Foods that contain protein include chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Avoid candy, cookies, ice cream, and fried foods. These foods can cause dumping syndrome.
  • Drink liquids between meals, not with meals: Wait at least 1 or 2 hours before drinking liquids after a meal. Do not drink liquids with meals. Drink water, diet drinks, or other drinks that have few or no calories. Ask your healthcare provider if it is okay to ever drink alcohol.

Self care:

  • Wound care: When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water. Afterwards, put on clean, new bandages. Change your bandages any time they get wet or dirty. If you cannot reach the incision areas, ask someone to help you.
  • Activity: Talk to your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your gastric band adjusted. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have redness, swelling, or pus coming from your incision.
  • You have nausea and vomiting.
  • You have pain or pressure in your abdomen or back, hiccups, and you feel restless.
  • You feel your heart beating faster than usual.
  • You have swelling or pain in your leg.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You cannot stop vomiting.
  • You have sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, or are coughing up blood.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Adjustable Gastric Banding (Discharge Care)

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