Immediately After Sugery
After a bariatric procedure, you will most likely spend one night in the hospital and then be released to go home. Your abdomen will be swollen and sore for several days, and you will receive medications to help with any pain. Dr. Stowers provides medication pre-operatively and intra-operatively to help with post-op pain and nausea that has greatly reduced discomfort in his patients after surgery.
Although the recovery time varies based on an individual’s health prior to bariatric surgery, as well as which procedure they have, most patients can go back to work and resume moderate exercise within one to two weeks after surgery and return to normal activity in 2-4 weeks. (No lifting more than 25 pounds for 4 weeks). Women should not become pregnant during the first 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery.
Regardless of which bariatric procedure you choose, you will experience significant changes after surgery. You will be a new you with a new stomach– and that “new you” will have to relearn a lot of things, like eating, exercising, and taking vitamins. Both the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures involve major changes to your stomach, and it is crucial to your success that you stick to the dietary plan you are given, and take all vitamins and supplements that are recommended. The team at The Bariatric Experts understands the importance of providing strong support and care after bariatric surgery. Prior to surgery, you will be given a handbook that contains all the information you need to achieve and maintain a healthy weight after your bariatric surgery.
You should read this before your surgery date and become familiar with the diet and lifestyle changes you will have to make. It may also be helpful for your family members, partner or spouse to read it so that they can know what to
expect and help you as you transition to your new life.
Remember, you can always refer to your patient manual any time you have questions or concerns, or contact us if you need further assistance. With the sleeve gastrectomy, the stomach is made smaller, but the digestive system is
allowed to function normally.
Consequently, gastric sleeve patients experience fewer nutritional deficiencies and can eat a wider range of foods than gastric bypass patients. Even so, you should avoid high-fat and high-sugar foods, which are laden with empty calories. Just because you can eat it doesn’t mean you should. Likewise, because you will be consuming smaller portions, you will need to take vitamin supplements to ensure you get enough nutrients in your diet. Be sure to follow the nutritional plan in the handbook you receive, and to ask questions during your follow-up visits and at support group meetings.
Gastric bypass patients also have to take special care to meet their nutritional requirements and avoid serious health conditions related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including anemia and bariatric beriberi. In addition, after you a gastric bypass, you will have to avoid juices, sodas, candies, and other foods and beverages with simple sugars, since these can cause “dumping syndrome” and result in nausea, diarrhea or vomiting. The good news is that gastric bypass surgery generally promotes more rapid weight loss than other bariatric procedures, and has a long track record of success. In addition, numerous studies indicate that gastric bypass surgery can reduce or resolve numerous obesity-related health conditions, including diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Be sure to see your primary care physician regularly after any bariatric procedure, since you
may be able to go off several prescription medications after losing weight.
At first, you’ll be on a 100 percent liquid diet transitioning to soft foods, and eventually to solids, over a period of several weeks. Once you are able to eat a normal diet, you will have to learn to chew your food thoroughly until it is practically liquid. Depending on your procedure, you may have to avoid juices, sodas, candy and other foods containing simple sugars. Also, you will avoid drinking beverages during meals. If you have questions about life after gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, call our office at 940-577-2090 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our patient advocates will be happy to help you. Our goal is to provide you with the information and quality medical care you need, to achieve the life that you deserve.
Beyond the Immediate Post-Operative Period
When you complete the first six weeks after your surgery, you move from the immediate recovery phase to your new life after bariatric surgery. The newness of your surgery will be gone, so it will be important for you to remind yourself that you are in a new body and have to adopt new habits.