Recovering after Bariatric Surgery
Partner with Rex Bariatric Specialists in the Raleigh area for support that helps you recover successfully after weight-loss surgery. Expect detailed guidance on bariatric eating, including during the hours after your surgery. You’ll also get guidance on how to exercise safely.
Attend all of your postoperative check-ups to maintain your progress and check on your health. They should take place:
- In seven to ten days
- One month
- Three months
- Six months
- One year
- 1 ½ years
- And annually thereafter
You’ll get lifelong follow-up care at Rex Bariatric Specialists from a bariatric surgeon—an expert in protecting your health after obesity.
First Few Days
You’ll likely return home on the second morning after bariatric surgery, as long as your vital signs are stable, and you’re able to urinate as usual. Follow some additional guidelines to maximize your healing:
- Walk around your hospital room to stimulate circulation in your legs.
- Practice deep breathing exercises to increase your oxygen intake.
- Don’t be alarmed if your bowel movements are unusual or irregular at first. Constipation or diarrhea are common side effects following surgery.
Activities to Avoid After Weight-Loss Surgery
You can return to most normal activities within a few months of weight-loss surgery. For the first two weeks after surgery, refrain from:
- Tub bathing (Daily showers are okay, but avoid perfumed soaps.)
- Returning to work (Wait four to six weeks if your job is physically demanding.)
- Sexual activity (Wait longer if you’ve had an open procedure, and use reliable contraception for the first two years after surgery.)
Body Changes to Expect
Most of the body changes you experience after bariatric surgery will decrease or pass altogether after a few days or months:
- If you feel nauseous or vomit after returning home, try over-the-counter anti-nausea medications. Ask your doctor about receiving intravenous fluids if your nausea interferes with eating.
- Keep yourself hydrated; drink at least 1 1/2 liters of water every day, and avoid caffeinated beverages.
- If you are still constipated after resuming a solid food diet, try stool softening suppositories, Milk of Magnesia, or prune or pear juice.
- To minimize hair loss, often caused by the excess fat you’ll likely burn, try not to color, perm or blow dry your hair for about nine months after your surgery.
- Brush your teeth several times a day, and chew sugarless gum, to cut down on the bad breath sometimes caused by burning excess fat.
Expect to lose weight most quickly during the first year after bariatric surgery. Eventually, you’ll likely regain 5–10 percent of the weight you lost. For a more comprehensive measure of your surgery’s impact, watch:
- Measurements of your waist, hips, thighs and arms
- Body fat percentage
- Body mass index
- Blood pressure
- Cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Hear the bariatric surgery success stories of patients like you.
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