Life After Bariatric Surgery

In the initial days, weeks and months after bariatric surgery, it’s important to walk while you recover. You should also follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions very carefully to help reduce your risk of complications.

You may also require lifting restrictions to ten pounds for at least three weeks following surgery. This will depend on your type of surgery and your physician’s recommendations.

Recovering in the Hospital

The amount of time you spend in the hospital depends on which type of bariatric procedure you undergo, but generally speaking, you will spend anywhere from one, possibly two days recovering in the hospital. During this time, Inspira’s staff will monitor your vital signs and administer pain medication as needed.

On the first day in your hospital room, you will be given a diet of ice chips and select liquids, such as juice and broth to drink. These are gentle on your system. Over the following days, you will progress from clear liquids to thicker substances, such as pudding, milk or cream-based soup—and eventually—pureed foods. Generally, by the one-month mark, you may be eating solid foods.

Before you are discharged from the hospital, you will receive information about nutritional supplements, dietary changes and more. Arrangements will also be made for a follow-up visit with your physician.

Recovering at Home

Once you are home from the hospital after bariatric surgery, it’s important to keep the surgical area clean and dry. Your physician will give you specific bathing instructions. Any non-dissolving sutures will be removed during a follow-up visit. You will be limited to showers only for the first week, no tub baths.

The incision and abdominal muscles may ache, especially with deep breathing, coughing and exertion. It is safe to take a pain reliever for soreness as recommended by your physician. Aspirin or other pain medications may increase the chance of bleeding, so be sure to take only recommended medications.

It will likely take several weeks to return to your previous level of stamina, and you should increase your physical activity gradually to avoid injury. Remember to follow your doctor’s orders.

Everyone responds to surgery differently, but for most, it’s normal to feel especially tired during the first month following your procedure. Light exercise and attending a support group may be helpful as you adjust to your “new normal.”

If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
  • Fever and/or chills
  • Redness, swelling, bleeding or other drainage from the incision site
  • Increased pain around the incision site
Patients tend to have better outcomes when they can share their stories with people going through similar experiences. There are many psychosocial issues that you will experience as you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. We strongly encourage you to attend one of Inspira’s free support groups for bariatric patients.

The following resources will also help you understand how bariatric surgery can change your life, and what you can do to achieve your weight loss goals: For more information about our bariatric services or to schedule an appointment at one of our South Jersey facilities, call 1-800-INSPIRA.

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Why Choose Inspira?

Nutrition Education and Fitness Guidance

By providing nutritional education and fitness guidance, Inspira’s exercise specialists, dietitians and bariatric coordinators help patients understand what to expect when it comes to life after bariatric surgery. Keeping weight off in the months and years following surgery can be difficult if patients don’t understand how to adjust to their new lifestyle. Inspira’s post-op support groups allow patients to engage with one another, swap stories and tips and connect with others who have had the same or similar experiences. No matter what stage you’re at in your weight loss journey, our dedicated team of caregivers is here to guide, support and inform.

Excellent Surgical Experiences

Inspira’s bariatric surgeons combine years of experience with the latest surgical techniques to produce optimal patient outcomes. With some of the highest quality and patient safety ratings in the region, our bariatric program is highly effective at reducing patients’ risk of postoperative complications. And as an accredited bariatric center, our surgeons across all of our medical centers adhere to strict guidelines that promote lasting results. At Inspira, we’re committed to helping you safely reach your weight loss goals.