Gastric Bypass Recovery
Following this procedure, most patients are able to lose up to 10 to 20 pounds a month until they reach their weight loss goal. Of course, immediately following surgery patients will need to rest and recover. If you are considering gastric bypass operation, here is the typical recovery timeline following treatment at our Tijuana, BC surgical center:
The First Few Days after Surgery
Gastric bypass is a procedure that alters the digestive tract. The smaller stomach created by surgery is connected directly to the middle portion of the small intestine (jejunum), bypassing the rest of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). To ensure that patients recover comfortably, patients commonly stay in the hospital two to three nights. Recovery time depends on the size of the incision. Patients who have the procedure performed laproscopically generally have shorter hospital stays. During this time, our doctors and nurses will evaluate the patient, help to manage any post-surgical pain, and provide valuable information regarding proper nutrition, after-care, and follow-up appointments. Our staff will make sure that you have and understand the discharge instructions and provide you with any medications or prescriptions you may require. If a patient has traveled for care at our practice, we may have them stay at a local hotel for an additional one to two nights after discharge before returning home.
The First Week of At-Home Recovery
During the first week after returning home, you’re likely to have little energy. Remember, you’ve just had a major operation and have had little to eat. While it is important not to push the body, movement is also an important aspect of recovery. We encourage patients to walk regularly around their homes. Take short, frequent walks, gradually increasing the distance to improve stamina. Even when resting, try to change positions frequently and avoid staying in one position for too long.
During the first week at home, you can expect some mild discomfort around the incision site. Our doctors will prescribe pain medication that can be used as directed to control discomfort. Pain medications can cause constipation, so refer to the guidelines on your discharge papers, or the recommendations of your bariatric nutritionist, for handling constipation.
Additional side effects during this time can include bruising, swelling, and a tight, itchy feeling around the surgical site. These symptoms should continue to dissipate over the next several days and weeks.
One of the most important aspects of gastric bypass recovery is learning how your body will process food now that the stomach has been altered. Many patients experience gas and bloating during recovery from bypass surgery. Bowel movements may also be more frequent. These are all responses to a shorter small intestine, which cannot absorb nutrients in the manner that it did prior to surgery. It is important that you eat slower, take smaller and more frequent meals, and learn to recognize when your stomach is full. Our patients will receive bariatric nutrition guidelines to assist them throughout the gastric bypass recovery period.
Two to Five Weeks after Your Procedure
Within two to five weeks after gastric bypass surgery, most side effects have dissipated. You should be able to return to work and other usual activities within this timeframe. Continue to monitor meals and make time for regular exercise. Strenuous activities and heavy lifting should still be avoided at this time, but walking and light aerobics are highly encouraged. Most patients are pleased to see that, even within just a few weeks of surgery, they have already experienced successful weight loss results.
Schedule a Consultation
For severely overweight people, gastric bypass surgery can offer effective weight loss results that can be difficult to achieve with diet and exercise. Gastric bypass surgery alters the stomach to restrict the amount of food eaten in a single sitting. In addition, the surgery bypasses a portion of the small intestine, which speeds up digestion, and limits the amount of calories that the body can absorb.
If you have been unable to achieve your weight loss goals through diet and exercise alone, it may be time to consider a gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass can help you lose weight and successfully keep it off, which will improve your overall long-term health. To find out if this procedure is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors at Tijuana Bariatric Center.
Hopefully you have found this post on what to expect on recovery from a gastric bypass operation helpful. Call us at 800 970-0577 for more information.