What is the Process of Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery?
It takes 3-6 weeks to recover from gastric bypass surgery, but the actual recovery lasts your entire life. This is because you have to take on strict exercise and eating habits to maintain your weight loss.
To increase your chances of a positive surgical outcome, you have to follow your doctor’s post-operative instructions strictly. Failure to do this might see you undergo gastric bypass revision surgery.
In your recovery journey, you can expect the following:
While at the Hospital
After undergoing surgery, expect to spend 2-5 days at the hospital; this may be longer if you develop complications. While in your hospital room, nurses will closely monitor your respiration, temperature, pulse and blood pressure.
You will also be helped and encouraged to perform leg movement, coughing, and deep breathing exercises. Getting out of bed once in a while is also encouraged to avoid complications. If you have increased pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, nausea or shortness of breath, report it to your nurse immediately.
Although it is normal to experience loose stool, flatulence, loss of appetite, weakness, nausea and vomiting, surgical pain, and sleeplessness in the days following bariatric surgery, you should still report it.
When being discharged, you will be instructed to eat to aid your recovery and sustain the weight loss. You will have a soft or liquid diet in the initial two to six weeks. Solid foods will be introduced back into your diet bit by bit.
It is advisable to consult a dietitian to help plan healthy meals that provide enough minerals, vitamins, and proteins while losing weight. But, even when eating healthy, you will probably have to take mineral and vitamin supplements for a long time.
Take sips of water between meals to keep your body hydrated. This will help prevent constipation and strains when emptying your bowels.
Avoid high fat and high sugar foods as they are common causes of dumping syndrome. Do not drink a half hour before food and an hour after eating. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, about 20 times. Eat five to six small meals a day to keep you from being too full and reduce dumping syndrome and diarrhea.
Your doctor will instruct you about when to restart taking your medicines. You will also be advised about taking new medication. If you were previously taking aspirin or another blood thinner, ask when to resume taking it. Ensure that you understand your doctor’s instructions, ask questions if you don’t.
Take all medicines as instructed and finish the dose, do not stop even when you feel better.
If the surgical incision is covered with tape strips, wait for a week before removing it or until it falls off. Wash the wound daily with warm soapy water and pat it dry. Do not apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as it can slow the healing process.
If the wound rubs against clothing or it weeps, you can cover it with a gauze bandage but change it daily. The wound area should always be clean and dry.