The following is a guide to life after bariatric surgery. In this outline we will discuss the FAQs of post bariatric surgery. Life after weight loss surgery can vary depending on the individual, the surgeon’s experience and many other factors. We strive to provide the best post-surgery patient care, and can be reached conveniently. Please download this entire guide, if you’ve recently undergone bariatric surgery.
Physical Activity After Surgery
1. When can I return to work?
This depends on the physical requirements of your job, please check with your surgeon. You should not lift more than 10-15 pounds for at least four weeks with a laparoscopic procedure, 6 weeks if an open procedure.
2. When can I begin an exercise routine again?
You can usually start walking up to thirty minutes per day after just one week. Very strenuous exercise is not recommended until after 4-6 weeks postoperatively.
3. When can I start driving an automobile again?
It is usually no problem just a few days after surgery for Lapband, Sleeve and RNY should wait two weeks.
4. When can I resume normal sexual activity?
Within one week after your return home although, much depends on how you are feeling. Of course, use judgement on this and no real strenuous activity until after one month postoperatively.
5. When can I begin bathing & swimming again?
It is best to shower for the first four weeks after your surgery and wash with
soap. Swimming can be more strenuous and should absolutely be avoided for at least one
month after surgery to prevent infection of the surgical wounds.
6. Will I need to have loose skin removed later?
Much of this will be individual and can depend on your age, amount of weight you lose,
and your desire to want cosmetic procedure after a few years.
7. How long should I wait before lifting weights or doing sit-ups?
You should wait 4-6 weeks after surgery to begin a weight lifting routine again and about the same for sit-ups.
Pain Tolerance, Nausea and Incisions After Bariatric Surgery
1. How much pain should I be in after surgery?
The first 24 hours you will feel gas pains in your shoulder and chest areas and pain in the incision areas which can be uncomfortable although remember the sooner you become mobile and walk the gas will dissipate better. You may also feel stinging around your incisions. Pain medication will be given as needed, but we can’t eliminate all discomfort. Your tummy is going to feel bruised and sore.
2. What type of pain should I expect is normal?
Pain tolerance can be very individual.
3. Should I expect to have any oozing or bleeding from my incision sites?
It ‘s okay to have some oozing or bleeding usually from the incision sites, and you may have to change your bandages a few times after surgery. Although after about a week you should not see any bleeding or oozing. If you notice this after day eight please contact your surgeon.
4. If you are experiencing more pain than we have described, what should I do?
If in doubt go to your local ER!
5. What if I suffer from nausea or vomiting after arriving home?
Depending on whether you are vomiting or not you may need to visit your regular Doctor at home to get a prescription for anti-nausea medication. Keep a close on eye this and obtain the help of your Doctor there if needed.
6. If I suffer from acute vomiting after surgery can I have a slippage of the band or damage my sleeve gastrectomy or RNY?
Of course, this is possible although very rare that is why it is so important that if you are feeling a lot of nausea before leaving Tijuana you should notify your surgeon so that maybe he can send you home with medication to treat this before your nausea becomes intolerable.
7. When should I remove the bandages from the incision to bathe?
You should not remove them at all, they will remain on during your bath, and they should fall off on their own.
8. How much swelling or bruising should be expected after surgery?
There is usually moderate swelling, and some mild swelling on the other incisions as well. This should subside after a week or two. There can be some bruising on the incision sites although it is normal. If you feel it is more than normal you should apply a warm compress for 20 minutes several times that day. If you are very concerned about this you should contact your surgeon’s office in Tijuana.
Surgical Complications After Bariatric Surgery
1. If you arrive home and have a fever, pain, red and hot incisions, please go to your ER!
Pain is never normal!
2. What can happen to the new pouch if I begin eating solids too soon after surgery?
In this, please remember you have to put some effort into this procedure. Please follow the diet you were given and avoid the temptation to integrate solids too early.
3. What if I form an infection at the incision sites?
If you believe you may have an infection at any of your incision sites, contact your surgeon right away or go to your local Doctor as soon as possible. This will need treatment with antibiotics immediately.
4. If I ever suffer from a complication that is surgical what should I do?
In this case you should go to your local hospital and tell the attending emergency Doctor who did your procedure so that your surgeon can be contacted and possibly give advice to the surgeon who will be operating on you. Although it is very rare that an emergency complication can arise from these procedures after you arrive home, always go to the ER if in doubt!
5. How can my surgeon be contacted after hours should I have an urgent matter?
We ask that you only call your doctor.
Medication Use After Bariatric Surgery
1. What medications should not be taken post-operatively?
The most common drugs known to be associated with gastritis are Analgesics, Anti-inflammatory, Aspirin, and alcohol. Mainly Naproxen, Ibuprofen, and drugs containing Codeine. These medications should probably be avoided. There are many other brand names to avoid check with your regular Doctor before taking these types of medication for they will have a better overall view of your general health.
2. What about taking Vitamins?
We prefer you use the chewable Bariatric Advantage as recommended by our surgeons.