Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery: What to Expect from Recovery

Dr. Jason F. Moy
Dr. Brian T. Chin
Daniel Roman
May 26, 2021
Gastric Bypass Surgery: What to Expect from Recovery

If you are considering getting gastric bypass surgery, it is important to know the complete details of what you are getting into. This includes finding out the best recommendation from your doctor, getting a rundown of the procedure, knowing the potential side effects or complications, and learning about the recovery. The last point is an important one, as taking the proper steps during recovery is key to success. We will be taking a look at exactly what you can expect when it comes to gastric bypass recovery.

Hospital Stay

The first part of recovery will be the time that you spend in the hospital after the surgery, which is typically around two to five days. You will be monitored by nurses during this period to ensure that your vitals are where they need to be. They will also help encourage and guide you through exercises and actions that can help your recovery, such as leg movement, deep breathing, and more. You may feel certain side effects, like fatigue, nausea, pain, loss of appetite, and more. You should keep your medical team up to date on everything you are experiencing, including any concerning symptoms. The gastric bypass recovery time can vary between individuals, so do not try to rush it.

Controlling Your Pain

Gastric bypass surgery can be very painful. You may feel pain at the incision site or in other areas. Of course, there will be a form of pain management while you are in the hospital. You will likely have a button that can be used to administer pain medication to yourself, which is called a “patient-controlled analgesia,” or PCA for short. Once you can take down fluids, you may also take oral pain medication. The most important thing when it comes to pain management is to stay ahead of the pain. These medications work best when they are used preventatively.

Gastric Bypass Recovery at Home

When you are ready, your surgeon will discharge you and home care will begin. The doctor will provide a series of activity and dietary instructions that you should follow for the best possible recovery. You should consider your home setup in your recovery, as you should be able to easily bathe and go to your bedroom without having to use the stairs numerous times. Part of the recovery instructions will also be to stay hydrated and how to properly take care of your incision site. After you have been home for a few days, you will have a scheduled follow-up visit to ensure that your recovery is going well and everything is healing the way that it should. There will also be additional follow-up appointments scheduled.

When you first get home, you should avoid strenuous activities. You may feel weak and tired at first. After a couple of weeks, your doctor may recommend that you start taking walks to assist your recovery. Walks may be difficult at first, but it will get easier and it can greatly help your healing process.

Potential Complications

Your recovery will also include staying aware of any symptoms or complications. In this case, you should immediately contact your surgeon. Some potentially dangerous symptoms could include:

● Swelling or pus at the incision site

● Nausea or vomiting for more than 12 hours

● Pain that medication does not help

● A fever

● Shortness of breath or chest pain

● And more

The best thing that you can do is to follow your surgeon's instructions and alert them of any adverse effects or symptoms.

Learn More

At BASS Bariatric Surgery Center, we prepare our patients for every possible outcome following their gastric bypass surgery. At the initial consultation, we will evaluate your situation and explain everything you need to know about the procedure. Our surgeons will provide you with the information, but then it is up to you to follow the recommendations before and after the procedure to maximize the results and reduce the risk of complications. We are here to help you every step of the way, so contact us today at (925) 281-3711 or request a consultation online to start the process.

About The Author

Daniel Roman, Content Writer

Daniel Roman is a Digital Content Writer at BASS Medical Group. He received his Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley in 2021. Daniel has published multiple newspaper articles covering public health issues. His latest was a magazine cover story on pandemics and diseases that he co-wrote with Dr. Elena Conis, a historian of medicine, public health, and the environment.

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