The Ideal Recovery Area for Bariatric Surgery
TBC staff will offer suggestions for your comfort after your weight loss procedure. Once home, you will need a comfortable place to rest (the ideal recovery area), one that is well equipped to meet your post-surgical needs.
Creating a Comfortable Space
Most bariatric patients leave the hospital within a couple of days of their procedure. During this early stage of recovery, fatigue and discomfort are common, so it is important to have a comfortable place at home to rest and allow the body to heal.
Ideally, you should set up this area prior to traveling to Tijuana for surgery. We also recommend that a family member or a friend stay with you for at least the first 24 hours after returning home. Make sure to have a network of contacts that you can call on to perform errands and small tasks or should any emergency arise during your recovery period.
Consider these useful tips when setting up a comfortable recovery area:
- Stock up on plenty of supportive pillows. After surgery, you may not be able to sleep comfortably on your side. Using a supportive pillow for a few weeks following surgery can make all the difference. Extra support under your lower back and knees can make a big difference. Although you need to rest, your body should remain propped up to encourage blood circulation.
- Keep ice packs and cold compresses nearby as these items can help manage pain and swelling, both of which can be concerns in the first week of recovery. Make sure that you wrap ice packs or cold compresses in plastic or something similar so you will keep the incision area dry. Have a small table set up with other items you expect to use frequently to minimize movement.
- Wear comfortable clothes. You don’t need to look stylish during this time. Loose clothes will become your best friends during recovery as tight clothing may rub against your incisions, causing irritation. Loose clothing provides comfort and ease of movement.
- Pick up prescribed medications prior to surgery, as well as over-the-counter pain medication approved for post-surgical use.
- Don’t forget about entertainment. Let’s face it, you’re going to spend a lot of time in bed or on the couch during the day while healing. Many patients become extremely bored if they don’t have something do to. It’s a great idea to gather movies, books, magazines, music, video games, or any other form of entertainment that you can think of prior to your bariatric procedure to prevent boredom.
Stocking the Refrigerator and Pantry
Nutrition is especially important after bariatric surgery. Prior to the procedure, you should throw away any junk food and restock with foods that you can consume in the first several weeks of recovery.
During the first week, you will need to maintain a diet of clear liquids. Staying hydrated with plenty of water is essential, but patients should also purchase protein drinks and items such as clear broths and sugar-free gelatin.
Moving into weeks two and three of your post-op, you can begin to add pureed foods to your diet. Supplement protein shakes with high-protein items like non-fat Greek yogurt, non-fat cottage cheese and thinned applesauce. Having these items in the refrigerator and pantry prior to surgery will ensure they are available when you need them. To get an idea of what foods you should buy beforehand, consult our shopping list for bariatric recovery.
If you would like to receive more information about this topic or any question you have on bariatric surgery, contact us at your earliest convenience. We would be happy to set up a personal consultation where you can find out more.