Follow-up and After Care
Recovery times differ, depending on the procedure and the individual.
Fresh start. Many aspects of your health will improve after surgery, but it doesn’t happen magically. It is important to be committed to following a new and improved post-operative lifestyle, including being proactive in dealing with potential risks and discomforts associated with surgery.
Get up and walk many times each day when you are home. It is suggested that you not stay in one place for more than 30 minutes at a time unless you are sleeping. It is recommended that you keep your legs elevated when you are seated. Allowing your legs to dangle over the edge of a chair or the edge of a bed for more than a few minutes will cause your circulation to slow and allow clots to form.
You will have multiple follow-up visits with the surgeon, the nurse practitioner and the dietician. Your first appointment will be one to two weeks after surgery.
It’s your life … transformed. Success of your weight loss surgery requires a commitment to a significant lifestyle change, which includes diet, exercise, and modified behavior at home, work, and play. Your success will be determined by following a healthy lifestyle, including a nutrition plan and regular exercise, although exercise restrictions may be in place until you are healed.
A specific diet must be followed until your stomach is healed. It will be important to separate liquids from solids, take small bites, eat slowly, and chew food completely. Food and drink that is high in fat and sugar should be avoided. Once healed, your stomach will continue to adapt to its new state.
Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass. Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass follow a similar dietary plan. Approximately 6 weeks after surgery, regular, healthy foods may be introduced to the diet. Vitamin supplementation will be necessary, especially in patients who have undergone gastric bypass.
Work. Most patients find they can return to work within seven days to 2 weeks after surgery. The ability to return to work varies from patient to patient, and it is a function of the demands of your job and the speed of your individual recovery.
Exercise. You will be expected to start back on a modified version of your pre-operative exercise program the day you get home from the hospital. Most patients resume a walking program. Exercise will become faster and easier after your surgery as you lose excess weight, build stamina, and discover cardiovascular fitness.
Driving. Plan to resume driving a vehicle after you have discontinued taking pain medication.
Intercourse. Sexual activity may resume two weeks after surgery or as soon as you feel able.