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After your procedure - advice and information

Congratulations! Your procedure is over. Now you can look forward to future weight loss success.This section covers general information about what to expect following your procedure and how Healthier Weight is committed to help you achieve your weight loss goals. We are here for you at every stage of your weight loss journey.

before_aftercare.jpg

You are entitled to fully inclusive aftercare support until 12-18 months (depending on balloon type) after your procedure date. This includes:

  • Medical and nutritional reviews with the nursing team

  • Your gastric balloon removal procedure (to be scheduled for approximately 6 or 12 months after implantation)

  • General support by telephone during office hours on 0121 693 4488 (9am - 5.30pm)

  • Medical emergency assistance by telephone on 07747 563 189 (7am - 10pm)

  • Access to online patient forum on Facebook

  • Discounted Weight to Go products at www.weighttogo.com


Support and advice

General enquiries and appointments: 0121 693 4488

Please remember that we are here to help and reassure you so if you have any questions or concerns, however small, do please call us. Your call will be answered within office hours (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5.30pm). If your call is made outside of office hours, please leave a message and we will call you back the following day.


Seeking help when you are experiencing symptoms that concern you

There is a detailed emergency advice section on this website which covers the most common causes for concern. Here you’ll find information and video clips with advice on suitable medication including tried and tested tips to help alleviate any symptoms.

If your concern is not answered by this section, call the Emergency Helpline on 07747 563 189. Your call will be answered Mon-Sun 7am – 10pm.

If you are seeking help outside of these hours and, after reading the advice on the emergency advice pages, you are still concerned about your symptoms, please go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department or walk in centre for investigation.

View emergency advice section
Booking appointments

To book your appointment, please call 0121 693 4488

  • Within your aftercare package, there is no charge for a review appointment

  • You can amend or cancel your appointment, provided you give at least 24 hours notice. If you do not give sufficient notice, you will be charged an administration fee of £45

  • Our appointments are in great demand and if your preferred date is full, you can ask to go on the reserve list. If any appointments are cancelled in advance, we will offer them to patients on the reserve list in order of the date they were added

View our clinic locations

Prescribed anti-sickness medication

Take your prescribed medications from the hospital as directed. They will help relieve nausea and discomfort as you adjust to the balloon. A travel sickness band may also help your symptoms.

It is extremely important that you take omeprazole tablets for the duration of your balloon implantation.

Continuing with your pre-existing medication

The general advice is to continue to take prescribed medication but please refer to the advice given to you by our medical team. If you are in any doubt, please call a nurse on 0121 693 4488

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Vitamins and minerals are vital for appetite regulation, fat storage and metabolic rate and so are important for good health, weight loss and long term weight maintenance. After a gastric balloon procedure, your portion sizes will be smaller so it is recommended that all gastric balloon patients take a multi-vitamin supplement for at least the full time that the balloon is in place.

Nutritional advice

General advice for the liquids only stage

You should begin this stage as soon as the symptoms following the procedure have settled. The aim in weeks 1 and 2 is to stay hydrated and establish liquid food intake. If you are experiencing severe nausea, vomiting or retching, please stay on sips of clear liquids or try sucking some ice cubes for 48 hours. By day 4, most people are feeling noticeably better and by day 7, you should be feeling back to normal.

  • For the first 2 weeks, drink only liquids to allow your stomach to settle after your procedure

  • Liquids should be smooth without ‘bits’ as they may cause discomfort or pain or get stuck. Use a sieve if you are unsure

  • Drinks should be thin enough to go through a straw but don't use a straw as this will increase air consumption, causing discomfort

  • Drinks can include water, tea or coffee (preferably unsweetened and with little / no milk), zero calorie squash etc.

  • Limit fruit juices and alcohol due to the high calorie content

  • Avoid fizzy drinks as these can cause severe pain from trapped wind

  • Limit caffeinated drinks as caffeine can cause dehydration and can stimulate the bowel causing cramps or diarrhoea

  • Concentrate on high protein liquids such as protein shakes as these will make you feel more satisfied. Weight to Go shakes and porridge are suitable at this stage but porridge must be prepared as a drink and thoroughly blended

  • Sip slowly but frequently throughout the day, allowing a few minutes between sips. Progress to cupfuls of drinks taken slowly over a 15-20 minute period, building up to taking around 200mls at any one time by the end of the first week. If you experience pain, discomfort or regurgitate your drinks, take smaller sips and allow more time between sips. Some people find warm drinks go down more easily to start with; others find that sucking ice cubes can help if you are struggling to get fluids down

  • Remain upright for 3-4 hours after drinking

  • Rest, but get up and walk frequently. This will help to move the liquids in your stomach around the balloon

  • Aim to take about 1.5 litres each day, it's a good idea to keep a water bottle with you to sip frequently throughout the day. During the first few days, you may not be able to manage 1.5 litres of fluid in one day; do not worry but ensure that you progress towards this amount as the first week goes by or you may become dehydrated and suffer with headaches, urine infection or constipation

  • Some people get a ‘furry mouth’ in the first month because when you have nothing to chew on, you produce less saliva to protect your teeth. It can help to use a mouthwash and brush your teeth well. You can also try drinking pineapple juice which contains an enzyme that breaks down debris in the mouth

  • IT IS ESSENTIAL to keep a daily food and activity diary




Using Weight to Go After Surgery

Many patients find that using Weight to Go foods removes the decision anxiety and confusion over food in the early stages. The benefits of Weight to Go foods are that they are:


  • Portion controlled to help you identify correct portion size

  • High in nutrition to ensure you stay healthy

  • Full of protein to keep you feeling full





Sample menu

8.00am      150 - 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee / unsweetened juice / water

   
9.30am      ½ -1 Weight to Go shake / 400ml smoothie made with skimmed milk, ½ banana and 15g protein powder (eg. soya / egg)
   
11.00am     200ml fluids (e.g. water, low-calorie cordial. No fizzy drinks)
   
1.30pm      ½ -1 Weight to Go shake / blended soup diluted with water and mixed with 15g protein powder

3.00pm      200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee   

4.30pm      ½ -1 Weight to Go shake / 1 smooth low-fat, low-sugar yogurt blended with water to a ‘drinkable’ consistency
   
6.00pm     1 small glass (150ml) unsweetened fruit or vegetable juice

7.30pm      ½ -1 Weight to Go shake / blended soup diluted with water and mixed with 15g protein powder

10.00pm     200ml skimmed milk /½ Weight to Go hot chocolate shake


Preparing Weight to Go Shakes

For the best, creamiest results we recommend mixing with an electric jug / handheld blender. If you don’t have a blender, mix your shake by hand or in a shaker.
 
Ice cold shake: Blend with 260mls cold water or 200mls cold water and 4-6 ice cubes for a thicker shake.

Filling smoothie: Add a handful of fresh/frozen berries or a banana and blend
 
For a satisfying hot drink: Add 200mls hot (NOT boiling) water and blend on low speed for 5-10secs. All shakes can be made into hot drinks but chocolate and vanilla are the most versatile eg make a vanilla shake with black coffee for a café latte

 

How to prepare your Weight to Go shake

Preparing Weight to Go Porridge

Porridge makes a wholesome breakfast or a filling snack any time of the day. Weight to Go Porridge Oats are already sweetened but you can add calorie free sweetener to taste.

Microwave: Mix with 120mls cold water in a bowl and microwave on full power for 90 seconds. Stir then leave for 1-2 minutes before consuming.

Hob: Empty sachet contents into saucepan and mix with 120mls cold water. Heat gently on low heat until piping hot. Stir and serve. 

Recipe tips: For something a bit different, porridge can also be used to make oaty pancakes or added to a chocolate shake to make oaty hot chocolate. View recipe ideas at Weight to Go

 

How to prepare your porridge
Nutritional advice

General advice for the purees stage

You should not begin this stage until you have completed 14 days of liquids only.

In week 3 you can introduce soft / puréed foods. Using Weight to Go products is an ideal way to achieve the correct consistency, portion size and nutritional intake at this stage (although some varieties may need to be blended). You are now beginning to set in place habits and behaviours that will give you the best long term results.

  • NO SOLID/HARD FOODS – meat, bread, solid fruit & vegetables, rice, nuts etc. must wait

  • Food should be “spoonable” and of a smooth consistency

  • Use a teaspoon and a small knife and fork to keep mouthful sizes small

  • Use a side plate (7 inches) to keep portion size correct

  • Chew thoroughly and use your timer!

  • Drink enough fluids throughout the day to remain hydrated. During your meals you can slowly sip small amounts of fluid if desired

  • Avoid concentrated sugars and fats as they lead to slower weight loss. Avoid high calorie liquids, such as alcohol

  • Continue to take one Multi vitamin and two calcium capsules, on alternate days

  • If you feel hungry, you can try the following:
    • Vary the quantities at different mealtimes, for example if you feel hungry mid-morning but not in the evening, have a larger breakfast and smaller evening meal 
    • Eat 4 or 5 smaller meals more often
    • Add protein by increasing the amount of low-fat dairy or beans/pulses in your daily diet. Alternatively you can use a protein supplement powder which can be obtained from health food shops




Sample menu

   

8.00am     

  • 150 - 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee / unsweetened juice / water

9.30am     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake blended with 80g fruit into a smoothie
  • ½ - 1 Weetabix or 1-3tbsp thin porridge made with plenty of skimmed milk
  • 1 soft scrambled egg with mashed tinned tomatoes

   
11.00am    

  • 200ml fluids such as water, herbal teas, low-calorie cordial (no fizzy drinks)

   
1.30pm     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • Thick pureed vegetable soup

3.00pm     

  • 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee   


4.30pm     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • Low-fat smoothie made with fruit and skimmed milk
  • Smooth low-fat yogurt

   
7.00pm    

  • 1 Weight to Go meal (blended) and served with 80g mashed vegetables
  • 1-2 tbsp puréed chicken / Quorn / soft fish in sauce served with 1-2tbsp puréed soft vegetables + 1-2 tbsp mashed potato
  • Puréed pasta served with extra lean mince in tomato sauce

10.00pm    
  • 1 Weight to Go hot chocolate shake
  • Low-fat smooth yogurt
  • 2tbsp pureed fruit

General advice for the solid food stage

Do not start this stage until you have completed 14 days of fluids and a further 14 days of puréed foods.
 
This is a very important stage as in week 5 you start solid foods. Introducing regular foods can put you at risk of falling back into those old eating habits that we are trying to change. To get full value from your balloon, we recommend using Weight to Go products. They are a great way to manage your transition to solid foods, and to establish a routine that you need for the remainder of the implantation period.

It is now really important that you continue to stick to the core habits begun in week 2!

  • BE VIGILANT – calories can creep in and sabotage your weight loss

  • Focus on whole grains, lean meats, fish, fresh fruit & vegetables

  • Avoid concentrated sugars and fats as they lead to slower weight loss

  • Avoid bulky, starchy foods (e.g. bread) and tough fibrous foods, (some meats, pineapple, asparagus)

  • Avoid high calorie liquids

  • Avoid snacking on energy dense foods

  • Use a 7 inch side plate to keep portion size correct and use a teaspoon and small knife and fork to keep mouthful size small

  • Chew thoroughly – use your timer, do not eat for any longer than 20-30 minutes.

  • Drink enough fluids throughout the day to remain hydrated. During your meals you can slowly sip small amounts of fluid if desired.

  • STOP eating when you are no longer hungry. You do not need to feel full. If you continue to eat  heartburn, vomiting or pain may occur

  • Introduce new foods one at a time in order to rule out intolerance. If this occurs return to liquids or purées for a couple of days until your stomach feels calm again

  • You should aim to consume 850-1200 calories per day (see sample menu below)

  • ALWAYS complete a daily food and activity diary

  • Continue to take one Multi vitamin and two calcium capsules, on alternate days

  • If you're hungry, make sure the food you're eating is solid enough. Avoid soft / liquid foods (e.g. chocolate, cheese, ice-cream) as they're often high in calories. They also pass around the balloon easily so don't make you feel full, often meaning you eat more. Or you could try adding protein by increasing the amount of low-fat dairy in your daily diet or by adding a protein supplement powder, found in health food shops




Sample menu

       

8.00am

  • 150 - 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee / unsweetened juice / water


9.30am     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake blended with 80g fruit into a smoothie
  • 2 Weetabix / 40g oats / 40g bran flakes served with 125ml skimmed milk and ½ banana or strawberries
  • 1 small wholegrain toast with 2 scrambled eggs and tinned tomatoes
  • 1 medium wholegrain toast with 1 egg and 1 vegetarian or chicken sausage
  • 3 Ryvita crackers with deli meat

   
11.00am    

  • 200ml fluids such as water, herbal teas, low-calorie cordial (no fizzy drinks)
  • Small glass of fresh fruit juice or fruit smoothie
  • Small handful of dried apricots or mangoes
  • 1 portion of fresh fruit (e.g. 1 apple or 2 plums
  • Raw nuts (e.g. 14 cashews, 17 almonds, 24 peanuts or 38 pistachios
  • 4-5 chunks of fruit with sugar-free jelly
  • 4 small low-fat salt and vinegar rice cakes

1.30pm     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • Chicken and vegetable soup with 1 small slice of wholegrain toast
  • Salad with chicken breast / tuna / mixed beans / prawns / salmon
  • 1 wholegrain toast with deli meat and low-fat cottage cheese, tomatoes and cucumber
  • 1-2 crisp breads with ½ tin tuna in brine or spring water 
  • ½ a wholegrain bagel with tuna (in brine), sweetcorn and a little low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 grilled chicken breast and vegetable skewers
  • 1 small jacket potato with baked beans or tuna / salmon

3.00pm     

  • 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee
  • Low-fat smoothie
  • Low-fat yogurt

4.30pm     

  • 1 Weight to Go shake
  • 200ml decaffeinated tea or coffee or water
  • Fruit such as a handful of grapes / 1 small banana
  • Small handful of mixed dried fruit, seeds and raw nuts
  • 3tbsp low-fat hummus with raw vegetables
  • 2 crisp bread / low-fat rice cakes with deli meat
  • Homemade air-popped popcorn
  • 2 small low-fat oat cakes

7.00pm    

  • 1 Weight to Go meal served with 80g veg
  • 100g very lean meat / grilled salmon with crunchy steamed veg and 2 small new potatoes
  • 150g grilled white fish / skinless chicken breast / beans and pulses / Quorn served with crunchy steamed veg and a side salad with a low-fat dressing
  • 75g wholegrain pasta served with 75g chicken breast / 50g extra lean mince meat and vegetables in very little tomato sauce
  • Homemade pizza made from 1 wholegrain pitta, tomato sauce, low-fat mozzarella, chicken and vegetables

10.00pm
   
  • 1 Weight to Go hot chocolate shake
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • 200ml herbal tea with a handful of dried fruit and unsalted raw nuts


Getting active after surgery
Naturally, the more exercise you do, the better your weight loss results will be. To ensure that you don't strain your body, we recommend that you start with a graduated walking programme. It's the ideal exercise to start with as you can gradually build up the intensity as you become stronger and fitter, you don't need any special equipment and best of all, it's free to do!

From week 2 onwards, keep working on slowly increasing the amount of walking you do towards 10,000 steps a day. There is no upper limit and no correct level, as long as your distance slowly increases! You may also wish at this stage to start other activities: swimming, aerobics etc. are all good because they will work muscle, preserving lean mass and improving fitness. A good balance is 70% aerobic, fat burning (walking or easy swimming) and 30% strength (light resistance exercises such as weights).

The key thing with whatever exercise you do is that it has to be sustainable and fit with your lifestyle. It is much better to be able to do 3 x 30 minute exercise sessions every single week, than 5 x 1 hour sessions but not be able to keep it up because of pressures of work, family or other reasons.

Walking tips with example 12 week walking schedule


  • Walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back

  • Wear suitable footwear, with good ankle support

  • Walk so that the heel of your foot touches the ground first and roll your weight forward

  • Walk with your toes pointed forward and swing your arms as you walk

Week Warm up time
Brisk walk time
Cool down time
Total
 1 Walk slowly 5 mins
Walk briskly 5 mins
Walk slowly 5 mins  15 mins
 2 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 7 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  17 mins
 3 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 9 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  19 mins
 4 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 11 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  21mins
 5 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 13 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  23 mins
 6 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 15 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  25 mins
 7 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 18 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  28 mins
 8 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 20 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  30 mins
 9 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 23 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  33 mins
 10 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 26 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  36 mins
 11 Walk slowly 5 mins  Walk briskly 28 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  38 mins
 12 Walk slowly 5 mins Walk briskly 30 mins Walk slowly 5 mins  40 mins

For Week 13 and beyond, gradually increase your brisk walking time to 30-60 minutes four or five times per week


Frequently asked questions about exercise

How soon can I go swimming after my procedure?
As there are no wounds to heal, you are able to go swimming as soon after your procedure as you wish.

Are there any sports I should avoid?
It is possible to enjoy most sports after your procedure but if you engage in contact sports that may involve a blow to the abdomen eg rugby / martial arts or play sport professionally, please discuss with a bariatric nurse

Can I do tummy based exercises eg abdominal crunches / sit-ups?
Yes, in principle there is no issue in doing tummy exercises although you may feel the balloon in your stomach and you may find this uncomfortable. If this is the case, speak to a bariatric nurse for advice

I'm using an activity tracker - how many steps should I do?
Everyone, whether they have had a weight loss procedure or not, is encouraged to walk at least 10,000 steps per day. You may find this difficult at first but as you become fitter, stronger and more mobile, you can gradually build up to this as your goal. Of course, the more activity you can fit in, the better your weight loss will be so if you regularly reach 10,000 steps a day, challenge yourself to go for more!

I'm starting to feel nauseous after exercise. Is this normal?
As you become more active or begin to increase liquid intake, nausea and vomiting may occur. If this should happen, decrease your activities and drink small volumes of clear liquids.


After your gastric band procedure

Let us help you - Get the most from your procedure

  • Read this information thoroughly
    Follow the post-procedure stages faithfully and you should not have any problems

  • Always have our contact details on you in case you need us
    Programme the emergency helpline number into your mobile address book

  • Join our private weight loss support forum on facebook
    and share your experience with fellow patients. An invitation to join the group will be emailed following your procedure

  • Keep a food and activity diary
    to record your calorie intake and expenditure. You may find that this is an invaluable tool on your weight loss journey

  • Keep in touch on social media for all the latest news, weight loss tips and chat
    Like us on facebook or follow us on Twitter or Instagram




Help Us to Help Others - Share Your Success

  • Complete your patient questionnaire
    We love feedback and this helps us to continually improve our service. We'll email you a month after your procedure

  • Keep a diary of your feelings and record your progress with photos if you can
    Many patients find that it's helpful to not only record a weekly weight but to take body measurements too. Sometimes you'll find that the scales may not have moved but you've lost inches from your waist, hips etc

  • Write a review of your Healthier Weight experience
    on Trustpilot so that others can benefit and take the plunge. It’s good to share positive experiences

  • Consider doing a photoshoot for Healthier Weight
    and share your story with others on our website or in the media

 


Got a question? Call our team today on 0121 693 4488
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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.