Right after your surgery, you’ll be taken to the post-operative recovery area. Then after you wake up, you’ll be transferred to your regular room. Your nurses will place special compression stockings on your legs. At this point, you will also begin to move around.
You will stay in the hospital two or three nights. Depending on the physical requirements of your job, you’ll be able to go back to work in two to six weeks.
Back at Home
You should be OK at home without any extra assistance. Insurance doesn’t cover additional child care. Just remember not to carry or lift anything more than 20 pounds for the first six weeks (if you’ve had an open procedure).
- Be sure to follow the diet plans we give you. Remember to sip and eat liquids slowly. Don’t forget your vitamins!
- Exercise every day. Walk for 15 minutes, resting when necessary.
- Participate in normal activities
- Use the stairs
- Shower ly. Don’t worry if your skin gets red around the staples. But do call the office if the redness becomes severe or you experience pain or drainage.
Routine Follow-up Appointments
Your first follow-up visit will be 7-10 days after surgery. Now is when your doctor removes the skin staples. You will also get a prescription for Trinsicon (an iron and B12 supplement). And while you’re here, we’ll work with you on preparing to transition from a liquid diet to a soft diet. We’ll also review the lifestyle changes you should be incorporating, including exercise and eating “techniques.”
Your second follow-up appointment will be four weeks later. If you have your gallbladder, we will give you a prescription for Actigall to help prevent gallstones during the early, rapid phase of weight loss.
Your third visit after surgery will be four weeks after your second appointment. If everything is OK, we will schedule your next appointment for four months later. This brings you to six months after surgery. Six months after that we will see you for your “first year after surgery” appointment. After that, you will come in once a year for routine blood work and prescription refills.
It will take about 9-11 weeks for you to progress to solid foods. All along you will choose low sugar, low fat foods and drinks. Here are the guidelines for your new way of eating:
- Diet #1 (Discharge Diet): Liquid / semi-liquid diet for one week. You will start with water and then clear liquids, such as sugar-free jello, diluted juice, and broth. You’ll only be able to eat a few small spoonfuls of each item on your tray or plate. Always eat the high protein foods first, so that if you are unable to finish a meal you will have still met your protein needs. View our gastric bypass diet #1
- Diet #2: Pureed / blended / baby food consistency (no chunks) for one month. Chunks of food could obstruct the opening leaving your stomach and cause vomiting and pain. View our gastric bypass diet #2
- Diet #3: Transition to soft / fork-tender diet for the next month. You are learning to chew your food thoroughly now. View our gastric bypass diet #3
- Diet #4: Transition back to roughage, raw fruits and vegetables. Choose low fat, low sugar foods. You will always need to chew your food completely. Over the long term, you’ll work with your physician and our dietitian to make sure you understand and practice the appropriate “new way of eating” to stay healthy and successfully lose excess weight…and keep it off. View our gastric bypass diet #4
You’ll also always take supplements to make up for nutrients that you no longer absorb in the bypassed parts of your stomach and intestine.
Sometimes certain foods will make you vomit or feel uncomfortable. This could be caused by several factors, so wait awhile and try that food again. You will find out, through trial and error, which foods work for you. Introducing new foods one at a time will help you to know which foods cause problems. Some of the more difficult foods include:
- Tough meat, especially red meat
- Milk products (some people develop a milk intolerance)
- Carbonated beverages
- Pasta and rice
- Fatty, fried foods
Dumping syndrome results from food passing too quickly from the stomach into the small intestine. Symptoms include rapid heartbeat, nausea, feeling cold/clammy, and possibly diarrhea.
To prevent dumping syndrome:
- Do not drink liquids with meals. Wait until 30 minutes after a meal to start sipping calorie free, non-carbonated beverages.
- Avoid concentrated sweets, such as candy, cookies, and ice cream. The symptoms of dumping syndrome will likely be an unwelcome reminder that you have not made good menu choices. However, with time after surgery, you may no longer experience these symptoms.