These are the most popular bariatric surgery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) that nearly all patients ask at one point in time or another. These questions are critical, as they directly impact your recovery, healing, weight loss results, and long-term success. In this outline, we will discuss the FAQs of post-bariatric surgery.
Life after weight loss surgery (WLS) can vary depending on the individual, the surgeon’s experience, and many other factors. We strive to provide the best post-surgery patient care and can be reached conveniently.
Diet, Physical Activity, and Exercise After WLS
What happens after the post-op diet?
After your post-op diet, you’ll be back on your regular diet. However, you’ll be equipped with a new dietary understanding – helping you make the right choices to accelerate your weight loss.
When can I return to work?
This depends on the physical requirements of your job; please check with your surgeon. You should not lift more than 10-15 pounds for at least four weeks with a laparoscopic procedure, and six weeks if an open procedure. Here is a guide to returning to work after weight loss surgery!
When can I begin an exercise routine again?
You can usually start walking up to thirty minutes per day after just one week after the operation. Very difficult exercises use judgment after 4-6 weeks postoperatively—the best exercises after bariatric surgery.
When can I start driving an automobile again?
It is usually no problem just a few days after surgery for Lapband, Sleeve, and RNY should wait two weeks.
You can have intercourse within one week after returning home, although much depends on how you feel. Of course, use judgment on this and no real strenuous activity until after one month postoperatively.
When can I begin bathing & swimming again?
Showering for the first four weeks after your surgery and washing with soap is best. Swimming can be more strenuous and should be avoided for at least one month after surgery to prevent infection of surgical wounds.
How long should I wait before lifting weights or doing sit-ups?
You should wait at least 6 weeks after surgery to begin a weight lifting routine again, and about the same for sit-ups.
Will I need to have loose skin removed later?
Much of this will be individual and can depend on your age, the amount of weight you lose, and your desire to want cosmetic procedures after a few years.
Pain Tolerance, Nausea, and Incisions After WLS
What are the stomach staples?
The staples are titanium, allowing for an MRI and bypassing airport security.
Do surgeons remove the staples?
No. After surgery, the three rows of titanium staples will remain in the stomach. The stomach will heal (just like other areas of the body) and will form a solid stomach barrier.
How much pain should I be in after surgery?
The first 24 hours, you will feel gas pains in your shoulder and chest areas and pain in the incision areas, which can be uncomfortable, although remember, the sooner you become mobile and walk, the gas will dissipate better. You may also feel stinging around your incisions. Pain medication will be given as needed, but we can’t eliminate all discomfort. Your tummy is going to feel bruised and sore.
What type of pain should I expect is normal?
Pain tolerance can be very individual.
Should I expect to have any oozing or bleeding from my incision sites?
It’s okay to have some oozing or usually to bleed from the incision sites, and you may have to change your bandages a few times after surgery. Although after about a week, you should not see any bleeding or oozing. If you notice this after day eight, please get in touch with your surgeon.
If I am experiencing more pain than we have described, what should I do?
If in doubt, go to your local ER!
What if I suffer from nausea or vomiting after arriving home?
Whether you are vomiting or not, you may need to visit your doctor at home to get a prescription for anti-nausea medication. Keep a close eye on this and obtain the help of your Doctor there if needed.
If I suffer from acute vomiting after surgery, can I have a slippage of the band or damage my sleeve gastrectomy or RNY?
Of course, this is possible, although very rare. That is why it is so important that if you are feeling a lot of nausea before leaving Tijuana, you should notify your surgeon so that maybe he can send you home with medication to treat this before your nausea becomes intolerable.
When should I remove the bandages from the incision to bathe?
You should not remove them; they will remain on during your bath, and they should fall off on their own.
How much swelling or bruising should be expected after the surgery?
There is usually moderate swelling and some mild swelling on the other incisions as well. This should subside after a week or two. There can be some bruising on the incision sites, although it is normal. If you feel it is more than normal, apply a warm compress for 20 minutes several times that day. If you are very concerned about this, you should contact your surgeon’s office in Tijuana.
Surgical Complications After WLS
If you arrive home and have a fever, pain, and red and hot incisions, please go to your ER!
Pain is never normal!
What can happen to the new pouch if I begin eating solids too soon after surgery?
In this, please remember you have to put some effort into this procedure. Please follow the diet you were given and avoid the temptation to integrate solids too early.
What if I form an infection at the incision sites?
If you believe you may have an infection at any of your incision sites, contact your surgeon right away or go to your local Doctor as soon as possible. This will need treatment with antibiotics immediately.
If I ever suffer from a complication that is surgical, what should I do?
In this case, you should go to your local hospital and tell the attending emergency Doctor who did your procedure so that your surgeon can be contacted and possibly give advice to the surgeon who will be operating on you. Although it is very rare that an emergency complication can arise from these procedures after you arrive home, always go to the ER if in doubt!
Should I have an urgent matter, how can my surgeon be contacted after hours?
We ask that you only call your doctor.
Medication, Vitamins, and Pills After WLS
What medications should not be taken post-operatively?
The most common drugs known to be associated with gastritis are Analgesics, Anti-inflammatories, Aspirin, and alcohol. Mainly Naproxen, Ibuprofen, and drugs containing Codeine. These medications should probably be avoided. There are many other brand names to avoid. Check with your regular doctor before taking these types of medication, for they will have a better overall view of your general health. Here is a list of medications to avoid.
What about taking vitamins?
We highly recommend taking bariatric-specific multivitamins manufactured from high-quality ingredients according to ASMBS standards. It comes in different forms; chewable, soft chew, and drinkable.
Many patients wonder if they can drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. The answer has a lot of variables. We recommend that patients do not drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. However, if patients do decide to drink, be aware that your stomach size is a fraction of what it used to be. Be very cautious about drinking alcohol, as the littlest amount can make you extremely impaired.
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