After Bariatric Surgery
After Weight Loss Surgery
After bariatric surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital. Most patients spend just one night in the hospital, and are discharged home the day after bariatric surgery. Because the operations are all performed laparoscopically, the pain tends to be very well controlled with pain pills taken by mouth. Some patients have “gas pain” which can take a day or two to fully dissipate. It’s very important to be up walking the day of weight loss surgery as soon as you have recovered from anesthesia-this will not only help alleviate some of the gas pain, but will also minimize the chance of developing blood clots in the legs (deep venous thrombosis, or “DVT”).
You will be started on sips of water followed by clear liquids the day of bariatric surgery. If clear liquids are tolerated well, you will be advanced to full liquids (soups and broths) the day after bariatric surgery. The nurses will continue to encourage you to be up and around in the halls as much as possible.
Once at home, you will stay on the full liquids for about two weeks after bariatric surgery. You should try to continue to walk every day, a little farther each day as you regain your energy level. You will see your surgeon about two weeks after bariatric surgery for a follow-up appointment. If you are doing well at that time, you will be allowed to start trying some soft solid foods. Learn more about after surgery diet.
Most patients take about two to six weeks off from work, depending on the type of work they do. Those with desk jobs generally go back to work after about two weeks or sometimes even sooner, if they are feeling well. Patients whose jobs require a lot of strenuous physical activity will need to refrain from heavy physical activity for six weeks, though they can go back to limited light duty sooner, if their jobs allow. Likewise with exercise, patients should be walking every day and gradually increasing the amount of activity. You can start going back to the gym to lift weights, swim, etc., after about four weeks.
You will see your bariatric surgeon at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after bariatric surgery, then yearly after that. At each visit, we will assess how you are doing, monitor the progress of your weight loss, and check blood tests to make sure your vitamins, minerals, and nutritional parameters are normal. All patients take a multivitamin for life, and some patients need additional supplements depending on the results of their blood tests. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your diet, our nutritionists will be available for consultation.