Life After Surgery

What to Expect After Surgery

After your weight loss surgery, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days. Here’s what you can expect in the days and weeks after your procedure:

  • Immediately after surgery, patients usually receive fluids through an IV. After a day or two, you’ll be given liquids, such as broth or clear juice, to drink. However, your diet will progress based on your individual situation and your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor will recommend that you get up and begin walking as soon as possible. Walking as soon as you are able – even for short distances – is a very important part of post-operative recovery and is typical with many different types of surgeries.
  • For the first few weeks after surgery, depending on your doctor’s recommendations, you will only eat pureed foods.
  • After your surgery, it’s important to make sure you’re eating adequate protein for healing and overall health. It’s necessary to eat protein before other foods, especially early on in the post-surgery phase.
  • You will start a vitamin regimen as soon as your doctor recommends it. Remember to have protein powder and protein supplements on hand when you get home.
  • You may be advised to avoid lifting heavy items for about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on your doctor’s instructions.
  • Gradually increase your physical activity as tolerated. It may take several weeks to return to your previous levels of stamina. Walking is a great way to get started, and movement after surgery helps reduce the risk of problems while you recover. Ask your doctor about how to build up to a more active exercise plan.
  • Follow-up visits are usually scheduled for two (2) weeks, six (6) weeks, six (6) months, and one (1) year post-operatively, and then annually from that point on.
  • It’s important that you are in contact with not only your weight loss surgeon, but your primary care physician as well. Make sure they are partners in your care so that they can adjust your medications after surgery.

Sources: American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Arthritis Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health