The recovery process involves some changes in diet and activities that will help ensure the success of the procedure. You will have to change the types of food you eat or the types of activities that you do. The length of stay in the hospital or the time to recover depends on each individual and the type of bariatric procedure you have.
For instance, LAP-BAND patients can fully recover in one or two weeks, while those who undergo gastric bypass may need, at minimum, an additional week of recovery time. In some cases, it can take six weeks before gastric bypass patients can return to their normal activities.
Khalili Center’s Lifelong Commitment
We offer a comprehensive and family-style arrangement to guide you through a healthy and enjoyable weight loss process. We have a team of licensed dietitians, psychologists, and support groups who are ready to help you every step of the way.
We carefully assess each facet in our bariatric approach to provide you with the highest probability of long-term success. Our specialists will work with you to create a tailor-made program that matches your unique needs. Our experts know that every individual is unique, and formulating the right plan is vital to meet your specific needs, goals, and expectations.
We recommend the following for a speedy recovery:
- Start making changes to your diet by incorporating the three food groups in every meal.
- If you haven’t been exercising, create a consistent physical activity plan that matches your ability, such as going on short walks or doing simple chair exercises.
- If you are a smoker, quit the habit and stop using tobacco and nicotine products.
- Commit to strict weight management from now on to avoid accumulating excess weight.
Post-Bariatric Surgery Guidelines
The recovery time and hospital stay after bariatric surgery vary with each person. It’s also based on the type of surgery that was performed and if there are any complications afterward.
Khalili offers laparoscopic surgery, robotic, and other minimally invasive options. With state-of-the-art equipment and a team of medical experts, patients can recover faster than those going for traditional open surgery. Our LAP-BAND® and gastric sleeve patients usually go home within twenty-four hours, while those who take gastric bypass can be back home after two to three nights.
What to Eat
As your smaller stomach heals and adjusts to the surgical procedure, you will be put on a liquid diet immediately after surgery. From there, you will move to pureed foods and eventually to solid foods.
Our nutritionist and dietitian will walk you through a detailed diet plan, so you know what type of foods to expect in every phase of your recovery. The following are some additional tips on what to eat and what to avoid after your bariatric operation:
- Try to incorporate the three food groups in a meal. Eating at least three ounces of protein, two ounces of starch, and two ounces of vegetables is a good start.
- Balance your meals by eating a variety of foods.
- Know what your goal is in terms of protein intake, and try to achieve this daily.
- Avoid eating sweets and fatty foods.
- Drink a lot of clear liquids in between meals.
- Stick to fruits and protein-rich foods for snacks.
Bariatric surgery requires a lifelong commitment to be successful. You will need to make changes to your diet and manage your food intake for the rest of your life. Since the procedure involves making changes to the digestive tract, your new stomach pouch can only hold a limited amount of food.
Going Back to Work
Working at a construction site is very different from sitting in front of a computer all day. That’s why your doctor will consider your line of work when advising you when you can go back to work. Your body has to recover from the effects of anesthesia. You also have to consider the time it takes for the pain medication to leave your system.
Most gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND patients can go back to work as early as their first week after the operation, while a gastric bypass requires at least two weeks.
Taking Nutritional Supplements
For long-term weight loss, it is important that you stick to a nutrition plan as advised by your doctor. In some cases, bariatric patients experience vitamin deficiencies. You will need to start taking multivitamins and nutritional supplements after your operation. Iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D are the most common vitamins and minerals required.
Following the directions of our bariatric surgeon and care team in taking these supplements is essential to avoid complications and stay healthy.
Someone has to drive you home after a bariatric surgery. Driving is not recommended until you have finished taking the prescribed pain medication. You have to consider that your abdomen will be sore from the operation, which can make steering or hitting the brakes a challenge.
You may have to take pain medication for about one week, but that highly depends on your treatment and how fast your body heals.
Fitness and Exercise
At the Khalili Center, we offer a fitness regimen that will motivate you to stay healthy. A crucial part of it is the monthly walk with our doctors. These gatherings allow patients and doctors to interact and work out at the same time. We also have a walking program to help you get started and slowly improve your quality of life. We believe that with plenty of incentives and support, you will be motivated to stay on the program.
For example, we give all of our patients a pedometer to help count the number of steps they take in a day. The device is a great motivator and is useful in tracking your progress. It takes time and patience to accommodate these lifestyle changes, especially since your system is still getting used to a new way of eating. Just remember that our support groups at the Khalili Center are always here to help.
Tips for Recovering
As you arrive home from being discharged, you should avoid strenuous activities. Your body requires time to adjust from the major surgery. Performing strenuous activities early on can trigger complications.
Consider your living environment and how it can affect you after surgery. Do you need to take many steps to get around the house? Can you easily access your bathroom? It would help to have someone who can stay with you while you’re recuperating at home. After the surgery, you will need someone to help you take care of your kids and do household chores.
Your surgeon will talk to you to help you adjust to your new situation while recovering at home. They will also schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that you recover well and fast.
Who is Eligible for Bariatric Surgery?
Generally, a bariatric surgery is an option for those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher. The procedure can benefit those who have serious health issues, such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes, related to excess weight or obesity.
Gastric bypass (Roux-en-Y), sleeve gastrectomy, and LAP-BAND® are the primary procedures in bariatric surgery. Significant weight loss can be gradual or rapid, depending on the chosen approach.
LAP-BAND® and gastric sleeve surgery often take one to two hours to complete. Gastric bypass surgery can last longer, between two to three hours, since it involves using small incisions and changes to the small intestine.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
Although bariatric surgery offers many benefits, there are also potential risks and side effects that you need to consider after the procedure. The immediate risks and side effects of bariatric surgery include:
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Abdominal pain
- Blood clots
- Excessive bleeding
- Gastrointestinal leaking
- Hair loss
- Lung or breathing issues
The long-term risks and side effects of weight loss surgery are:
- Acid reflux
- Blocked intestine
- Dumping syndrome, which results in nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Loose skin
- Low blood sugar
Although initially successful, some bariatric operations occasionally require revision surgery. These surgical adjustments are usually a result of unsatisfactory body weight reduction in the first year or device-related issues. Revisional procedures may also be necessary due to complications after bariatric surgery. A typical example is when a patient experiences constant heartburn after sleeve gastrectomy.
Should a patient need this type of surgery, they can be assured that Dr. Theodore Khalili is one of the chief authorities in the field of revisional bariatric surgery. He has led bariatric programs nationwide and performed more than 8,783 weight loss procedures to date. He has transformed many lives because of these successful surgeries.
Your Journey to Overcoming Obesity Starts Here.
Our comprehensive program is everything you need to set you up for your new life and to keep the weight off. All you have to to find out if we’re right for you is to book an appointment.