Gastric Bypass Recovery Timeline
If you are considering a gastric bypass operation, here is the typical recovery timeline following treatment at our Tijuana surgical center:
Following the gastric bypass procedure, most patients are able to lose around 10-20 pounds a month until they reach their weight loss goal. Of course, immediately following surgery patients will need to rest and recover.
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 laparoscopically 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 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.
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 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.
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.
With over a decade of experience in the bariatric field, Dr. Garcia is known for his precision, unwavering ethics, and genuine compassion for those traversing their weight loss journey. Thanks to his superior skill and knowledge, he often takes on bariatric cases that no other doctors wish to perform, including many revision surgeries.
Dr. Garcia pursues a holistic approach that involves emotional and social support in addition to surgery. He has created a comprehensive care plan that includes in-depth patient information, individualized meal planning and nutritional counseling, access to an online Facebook support group, and extensive email and phone follow-up.
Dr. Garcia completed multiple prestigious Fellowships in gastric sleeve surgery, minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery, and LAP-Band procedures, preparing him for an illustrious career in the weight loss field. He obtained his Licensed Physician Degree from Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo, going on to pursue his residency in General Surgery at Hospital General (General Hospital), endorsed by Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC). He is a professor of Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and has served for over a decade at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social.
For severely overweight people, gastric bypass surgery can offer effective weight loss results that can be difficult to achieve with diet and exercise alone. 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.
To find out if this procedure is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors at Tijuana Bariatric Center or call us at 800 970-0577 for more information.