Recovery & Beyond
Whether you’re having gastric bypass surgery or a banding procedure, recovery from weight loss surgery takes time and patience. You may experience discomfort and pain as your body heals, and the length of time to return to normal activities can vary from patient to patient. Some patients are able to return to work within a few weeks.
Weight loss begins immediately after the operation, but many bariatric patients who experienced transformations of their health were able to do so because they began exercising and eating healthy prior to surgery. And losing a few pounds before weight loss surgery can help to reduce the possibility of surgical complications.
The majority of patients after bypass will continue to lose weight for approximately 12 months. Following banding, weight loss occurs slower, over 2 years. To achieve superior results, patients must have realistic expectations. The surgery is only treating certain aspects of a complex and multifactorial disease. A proper diet, exercise and overall lifestyle changes are essential to success.
Banding procedures are performed on an outpatient, same-day surgery basis. Medicare requires an overnight stay for their clients. Most gastric bypass patients are admitted the morning of surgery and would be discharged two days after the day of surgery. Patients with high-risk coexisting illnesses might expect to stay an extra day or two if necessary to maximize their independence and speed of recovery.
Designed with your recovery in mind, our newly renovated fully-private patient rooms have all the comforts of home. The latest technology and functional design have been incorporated into this entire hospital wing dedicated exclusively to bariatric and surgical patients. From spacious rooms to wider recovery chairs to more accessible sinks and private baths, all room accommodations have been carefully considered with faster recovery in mind.
Potential Complications of Gastric Bypass Surgery
Any operation, no matter how big or small, has the potential for complications. This is a major operation and the potential complications include, but are not exclusive to: wound infection, incisional hernia, bleeding, blood clots in the legs or lungs, heart failure, heart attack, abscess, bowel obstruction, staple line leakage and other potentially serious complications. Minor complications include: wound infection, mild pneumonia, stomal strictures, and wound healing problems. With a severe complication, death could result.
Discharge from the Hospital after Gastric Bypass Surgery
After your stay in the hospital, you will be sent home when you are doing well and can either care for yourself or have made appropriate arrangements for some assistance at home for a few days. You will be seen in your surgeon’s office approximately 14–21 days after discharge. During the first days you are home before your first office visit, you will be on a liquid diet, which includes clear liquids and a protein rich supplement such as carnations instant breakfast. Decaffeinated tea or coffee is allowed. After your first visit, you will be started on a full liquid diet, which includes cooked cereals, strained soups, skim milk, plain yogurt, juices and other foods. You will be gradually advanced to pureed and finally solid foods over a 4 to 6-week period. All patients should take a multivitamin with minerals and iron once a day, every day for life.