Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery and Time Off Work
If you’re planning on undergoing gastric bypass surgery, you’ll want to prepare for recovery and time off work. You can take steps to increase the success and effectiveness of the roux-en-y procedure while speeding up healing and minimizing medical leave.
First and foremost, the recovery guidelines may differ for your doctor and/or hospital. Always follow the instructions provided by your surgical facility.
Preparing for Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y, or Gastric Bypass, is a minimally invasive weight loss procedure that is called the gold standard of bariatric surgery. Due to its popularity, preparing for bypass surgery is streamlined. Initially, you will receive specific dietary guidelines that you should plan for and have your meals planned for the first few weeks after surgery. Since it consists primarily of a liquid diet, you should have no problem finding the necessary items for after surgery.
Learn more: Things You Can’t Do After Gastric Bypass
Time Off Work
Returning to work after gastric bypass weight loss surgery is based on how your body adapts and responds to the procedure. Some people heal quickly, while others take a bit longer. Make sure you prepare ahead and get your FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) paperwork completed. You can always go back to work sooner, so you should plan on taking an adequate amount of time off.
Sitting: 1 to 3 weeks
- Desk jobs include customer service, call center, accountant, office admin, human resources, digital marketing, and assistant.
Stand/Walk: 2 to 3 weeks
- Examples include teacher, nurse, bartender/barista, conductor, sales, store manager, etc.
Fast-Paced: 2 to 4 weeks
- Examples include waiting tables, housekeeping, cooking, news reporting, teaching, etc.
Lifting: 4 to 8+ weeks
- Examples include firefighters, mechanics, mail persons, shipping, inventory, policemen, hospital staff, personal trainers, EMTs, etc.
Gastric Bypass Recovery (What to Expect)
Body aches are to be expected: You should expect to feel your body adapt to the new stomach and digestive tract in the form of flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and cold. Your skin may become dry, your hair might thin, and you may experience some hair loss. You may also experience some dramatic mood changes after the procedure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
You should expect that you will not be able to eat for the first couple of days following the procedure while your digestive system starts to recover: The diet after this point will be particular for the first 4-8 weeks (1 month or so) of your recovery. This will typically include liquids at the beginning, followed by ground foods, then soft foods until you can eventually eat regular food. You will find that there may be some dietary restrictions regarding the type of foods that you can eat and drink and how much you can take in.
Understand the process and procedure thoroughly: You must take the time to learn all you can about the system you are going through and the results you can expect. You must understand that you will be the most uncomfortable during the initial stages of recovery when you are extremely restricted in your diet. The pain that you will encounter will vary from day to day. You may find that the pain doesn’t begin as much until the first week of recovery. Find out beforehand what you can do to deal with the pain you will encounter. If you wait for the pain to get worse, you might find that you are in too much pain for pain management to help you succeed.
Be careful how you physically push yourself: While exercise can often speed up recovery, according to the University of California San Francisco, you need to be sure you are doing so under the supervision and direction of your physician. You also must remember that you have to take things slowly and not expect too much initially. Mild physical activity is the way to go, along with stretching and walking. You will find that these small steps can make you feel much better and ease the discomfort and pain you might feel.
The medical team will review your expectations post-surgery and work with you to develop healthy diet plans and appropriate exercise options after gastric bypass surgery.
Gastric Bypass Before Surgery
One of the best things you can do to prepare for your upcoming surgery is to start eating differently before surgery. You will be restricted significantly during the first few days and weeks after the surgery, and changing your diet ahead of time can help you to stay focused on the goal later on down the road.
Changing your diet to the new pre-op diet before gastric bypass surgery can improve your chances of long-term excess weight loss and avoid some uncomfortable symptoms.
Ensuring you are in the best shape before the procedure can decrease the recovery time and discomfort. You may want to consider changing how you live your life, such as taking walks, stopping smoking, stopping drinking alcohol, and taking an overall positive outlook on your life.
Guide to RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery: