Lapband Post Op. How did I feel? What happened?

Thursday, 10 December 2015

This is going to be the toughest part of my story to cover. I was going to do it day by day but theres just too much information to cover that will span over more days so I'll try to make all this make sense. After the surgery I had the toughest two weeks. I didn't expect it to be so hard for me and it was really upsetting. My friend and I had WLS two weeks apart so it was really interesting to see the differences in our experiences. She had a very easy recovery process whereas I didn't. I'm kind of bummed I didn't just keep a daily log because it was pretty intense but I'll list everything to the best of my memory.

so glam haha

The first week of your recovery, you're meant to only have liquids. The second week is mushy food and the third is solid food. Like I said previously, I didn't research too much about foods or what my diet should be because it freaked me out, but now knowing that I HAD to think about the nutrients going in to my body I freaked out because I just wasn't prepared. Especially in the two weeks where I couldn't eat 'normal' food where would I get my nutrients from? This would give me daily anxiety attacks. I would think about it, do a hurried search online for help and it would end in stressed tears. I slowly learnt some things but it could've all been avoided if I had just hardened the fuck up and done this planning before surgery. Well, lesson learnt.

The first day after surgery I basically slept the day away and I couldn't help it. I just couldn't keep my eyes open but when I did I was just scared about what was going to happen now. The next day I was really focused on trying to figure out the best things to have to maximise my nutrient intake and that only ended in tears. I did find some tips throughout the days that followed but it was frustrating.

Because of the constant anxiety attacks from panic about nutrient intake I started really regretting getting the surgery. Some of the things I was reading were only adding to that feeling in my emotional state (again, could've all been avoided). I was telling Sam that I wanted to get the band taken out and I just wish I had never had it done. I started looking at more forums and reading horror stories and that only added to my anxiety. I was regretting getting the surgery so much. I was so upset and so stressed. It was funny though because at the same time, I was trying really hard to make it work and still researching. I kept saying that I give up and want to bail but I was still going and didn't stop trying (thank god).

About 4 or 5 days after the surgery I was getting some serious feeling pains around my heart and that only led to more tears and a visit to the surgeon. It seemed like internal bruising and swelling pressure so it was decided to remove some fluid from the band (my surgeon puts 3 to 4ml of saline in the band during surgery but a lot of other surgeons don't) and 2mls was removed. I instantly felt better. Holy shit it was so amazing I can't even explain. It felt like I was having a heart attack and then they just removed fluid and I felt 'normal' again. All the aches and pains associated to the surgery were all adding to my stress.

the aftermath of all the incisions

After you have the surgery you'll have gas pain for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Gas pain is basically feeling like you have trapped gas in your belly.... because you literally do haha. They have to pump air into your abdomen to make all the organs easier to work around basically. This gas for the time it be in your body is the friggin bane of your existence. To ease the pain you should walk around as much as you can (walking was hard because for me, everything hurt) and that makes some of the gas move out. A fun side affect of the gas pain is a severe pain in your left shoulder. Its because your diaphragm is hurting from the surgery but your brain doesn't know how to transfer that pain signal from the diaphragm so it redirects the pain to your shoulder (SCIENCE!). I found that laying down helped that a lot but also heat packs help. Another thing that will help you throughout your journey from post op to the end of eternity is burping and farting. Do it whenever you can because it will help you like no other ailment. Apparently for some people it hurts to burp but my god if you can do it, don't friggin stop! It felt like burping and farting was helping the gas pain heaps too! Your stomach won't stop grumbling and getting a burp or fart out will make it feel slightly better, I promise.

Foods For Week One
Seeing as you can only have liquid, it's pretty limiting. If you had to do the liquid diet pre op, just continue for Week One. I was getting weird reactions when I would have Optifast so I had to figure out something else.
I was trying to have water mostly, but even now, a month later its still hard. I'm just not good at having enough water in a day even before lapband. Just remember though, you should only be sipping drinks from now on, no chugging (and thats a hard thing for me to remember because when I would want water before the lapband I would just chug and now when I want water I can only sip so it just feels like a lot of effort.) I was having a lot of soups but just the broth. Chicken soup was my jam for the first two weeks. My Grandma made me the biggest homemade batch of chicken soup which was so helpful!
I also started having Musashi Protien drinks that come in single serve juicebox type things (Link here: You can get them from Coles ) and I'm still trying to have them now whenever I can.
Also, icypoles are great to have so it almost feels like you're eating something when you bite the ice. Hydralyte is probably a better choice of icypole justices you're not getting enough water and are getting dehydrated.

From now on (but especially in these two beginning weeks) you probably won't be getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients, so it's best to have a multivitamin each day. It's best to take liquid multivitamins just because tablets may get lodged in your band and the gummy multivitamins don't have enough good stuff in each lolly, so try and find a liquid multivitamin that you can deal with the taste of.


Week two came around quickly but I was still in pain and still constantly upset. I wasn't regretting having the surgery done as much but with all my research I had been doing found that a lot of people feel this way in the first couple of weeks. A lot of people go though a stage of regret because of all the pain you're having and you're also trying to mentally readjust to your new lifestyle. What I also had trouble with was realising my emotional connection to food. My husband and I go out of the weekends and try new restaurants and those dates won't be able to happen as much anymore. That was upsetting for me. The act of eating is almost ritualistic. When I'd feel a certain way we would eat at certain place. Or on certain days we'd eat at a certain place. It was routine and I felt comfort in that routine. Also being a wog with lapband is hard. I might actually write a separate post up on that because I never realised how much my European background would affect me and my food habits. I was freaking out about the things that I would no longer have ease to eat. Bread, Steak and Rice. My 3 fave things. What the fuck was I going to eat if I couldn't eat those things?! I was freaking the fuck out.
A few days in to week two and I started feeling really weird. I was shaky and felt faint and just generally not good so I rushed to the doctor. Turns out I was in ketosis. Its basically when you're burning a lot more calories than you're putting in and your body is starting to use your fat storage as energy rather than the food you're consuming. So my body was in meltdown mode basically using my fat as energy and I was feeling like a piece of shit but at least I knew now that I wasn't dying so I soldiered on.  My pain started to subside and I started eating a little bit more and trying to drink more water and I started feeling better.

It seemed as if overnight I changed. My mind felt normal and my body was feeling better. It was as if I was having an outer body experience and hadn't existed the last week. I looked back on how I was feeling about regretting the surgery and laughed. What a moron I had been! I was feeling defeated but I now realised I was in control and I felt ready to kick some ass!

Foods For Week Two
Consider Week Two as the baby food stage. The best way to tackle it is by going through the stages of baby food. Day 1 and 2 eat pureed things. Day 3 and 4 build up the consistency . Day 5, 6 & 7 have chunkier foods that are still soft. Go to the baby food aisle in your supermarket and you'll see the changes of consistency in the foods as the baby age goes up. Just follow that and you'll be fine.
Obviously you can make all this food yourself but I opted to just buy baby food. It's made of all good stuff already and I didn't have to worry about preparing it. It was such a godsend!
(These were my faves for the end of the week meals: here, here & here. This brand is great and doesn't taste bland and gross. I have some spares in my cupboard for emergency meals haha)
Of course it doesn't have to be baby food but its just a easier guide. Weetbix and mushy porridge and stuff like that is so good too! OMG and get some of that Laughing Cow cheese and have that too! yum


Week 3 came around and I was feeling so happy about my decision that I finally decided to make a post about it on instagram. I was really hesitant because I didn't want it to seem like I wasn't body positive anymore or something but the positive response was overwhelming! So many beautiful people reached out and I'm not going to lie, I cried a few times. And thats basically the reason why I wanted to blog about whats happened so far. I wanted to be a person people wanting to get lapband could talk to without feeling like they would be judged and not talk down their body because fat or not, we're all babes and we all just need to remember that!

Week 3 was great! I was going through the last phases of my pain and trialling foods and it was all going really well, but then I had to get surgery for my uterus (related to why I got lapband in the first place, so I can have babies). So I had to feel lousy again for a little bit but it all worked out well.


Whats Happening Now?
I'm a day shy of being 1 month out of surgery and I'm feeling so great! I've lost 10kg so far (my weight has been a bit weird after I had this second surgery but oh well) and I can really notice it in my belly! It's so exciting seeing the changes and its just bizarre. I mean, I've only lost 10kg but my pants are already loose! haha its just amazing! I'm in a much better headspace and have a better idea about food and nutrition so thats become less of a stress to me and pain wise I'm doing a lot better. Only thing is, I still can't sleep on my belly which is super frustrating! But other than that I'm feeling so freaking fabulous right now!

I'm really sorry this has been a mega post in itself but I just wanted to write about the emotions and show that it usually is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to begin with, but if I can do it and get through it, anyone can! 

Again, if you have any questions at all feel free to ask! I'll make sure I keep you guys updated on my journey!


  1. Thanks so much for your "no holes barred" blog! My op is in March and I'm a bit terrified. I've got PCOS too so everything you've written in regards to that and your surgery I'm totally on the same page! I look forward to following you and your progress and getting a better perspective on what I'm in for. Your friend, Alison xx

    1. haha i try and be as open about it as possible so I'm glad its helped a little bit! i totally feel you about being terrified, but you will be completely okay, i swear :) at first its just a bit of a whirlwind of emotions and weird aches and pains but thats 100% normal and you get back in to the swing of life before you know it. I'm really excited for you!