After surgery, it’s important to take the time to let your body heal and adjust to your new eating habits. Here are some of the key areas you’ll need to focus on immediately after surgery to help you recover.
Ana lost 56 lbs and Gabrielle lost 78 lbs with weight loss surgery.*
The length of time you stay in the hospital depends on the type of weight loss procedure you undergo. After the gastric sleeve, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for approximately one day. For the gastric bypass, it’s one to two days. After surgery, patients are encouraged to get up and walk around as soon as they are able to do so – usually within a few hours. Before leaving the hospital our goal is to make sure you are comfortable walking around, drinking fluids and that your pain is controlled.
Some patients may experience pain after surgery. Pain after surgery usually comes from two different sources: incisions in the skin or an internal discomfort that is usually associated with gas. Pain can be difficult to predict as each person has a different threshold. Some patients may experience moderate to low levels of pain while others may experience high levels. NJBC performs weight loss surgery laparoscopically so the incisions are very small. Smaller incisions usually mean less pain, with most patients who experience discomfort report it being gone in three to four days.
Once you leave the hospital it’s important to follow the post-surgery instructions provided. This will help enhance your recovery and minimize complications. At New Jersey Bariatric Center we advise patients to wait at least three to four weeks after surgery before engaging in any rigorous activity or heavy lifting (no more than fifteen pounds). That’s the average time for the healing of the abdominal muscle layers to occur.
The changes to the anatomy of your stomach will require new eating habits. Immediately following surgery you will be on a liquid diet, then move on to soft foods, and finally progressing to regular foods. The general guidelines for the post-operative diet include eating protein first, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, not drinking fluids while eating, avoiding liquid calories, and limiting snacking. Our registered dietitians will provide you with a specific food plan so you know when each of these stages start.
Returning to Activity
Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight loss surgery you had. Many New Jersey Bariatric Center® patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within one to three weeks of their procedure.