Work after Surgery

One of the most immediate concerns when it comes to healing from weight loss surgery involves returning to one’s job. Let's consider how much time it may take before a weight loss operation patient can return to work.

How Long Does Healing Take?

Healing after bariatric surgery can take some time, but we should specify that healing has a number of different meanings.

Full recovery from a bariatric operation takes several months. However, it may only take a few weeks for patients to return to the normal activities that they enjoyed on a daily basis. When it comes to healing in this context, we mainly want to consider a person's ability to return to work, not necessarily that person's ability to do all of the things they could do before surgery.

General Guidelines for Returning to Work

For most bariatric patients, it will take them at least one week and up to two weeks before they are able to return to work. Some factors that affect this time frame include the type of operation performed, the patient's BMI before surgery, health conditions and problems before a bariatric procedure was performed, and the patient's experience while recovering from the procedure. The type of procedure performed along with whether it was performed laparoscopically, or as an open procedure, also makes a difference in recovery times.

Even before returning to work, you don’t want to take on any big decisions for a time when you are still at home. Your body needs at least 48 hours following your last dose to not “be under the influence” of painkillers. In addition, you also need to be aware of how your body reacts to your new diet as your digestive system heals.

lady before and after weight loss surgery 7Your occupation also makes a difference Returning to a traditional office or service job may only mean one week of recovery. A job in construction, athletics, or other physically demanding occupations may require up to a month off.

Typically, patients should not lift more than 15 lbs. for at least six weeks following their operation. Gentle activity like walking is encouraged soon after surgery to decrease the risk of blood clots and help your body to heal. More vigorous activities will be limited until your doctor clears you.

During your consultation, we can provide an estimated amount of time that you would be out of work that will help give you realistic expectations about the surgical process.

Restricting Work Duties for Optimal Wellness

Of course, you want to return to work as soon as possible and you employer also wants you there. However, when you go back it may be best to avoid certain job duties that may be physically demanding or that could put a problem-free recovery at risk. These include heavy lifting, strenuous physical exertion, lots of bending or squatting, and so forth. Be sure to discuss these matters before your surgery with your employer so your job duties can be modified as needed.

Proper Recovery at Home Is Crucial

To help you heal quickly and return to work as soon as possible, we will provide you with detailed instructions for the healing process. These instructions will cover the transitional diet following bariatric surgery but also proper post-op physical activity and exercise. Staying active in the weeks after surgery will promote circulation, reduce recovery time, and make serious complications far less likely.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your recovery and return to work after your operation, we will be more than happy to address these issues. Contact us anytime to put your mind at ease and help you heal with as few hassles as possible.


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