In the hospital:
Immediately following surgery, you will stay in the hospital for two nights. A urinary catheter will be in place that is typically removed the morning after surgery. You will have an IV throughout your hospital stay.
The first night following surgery, you will be allowed to eat only a few ice chips as your stomach heals. The next day if you are doing well, you will start drinking small amounts of clear liquids and slowly advance to thicker liquids on the following day. You will go home on a liquid diet with the goal of drinking 4-5 oz. every hour to stay hydrated, as well as 2 protein shakes per day. You will continue this liquid diet for two weeks and slowly return to solid food over 4-6 weeks total.
See diet schedule and suggestions:
You will be up and walking just a few hours following surgery, and will need to continue walking on a daily basis as you recover. This helps prevent the formation of blood clots in your legs, which can travel to your lungs and cause severe problems. We will perform certain blood tests before surgery, and you may be sent home on blood thinners for one month depending on the results. We will also send you home with non-narcotic liquid pain medication, if you need it.
About six weeks after surgery, you can start exercising. A healthy bariatric diet and regular physical activity are critical to maintaining long-term weight loss. You will also need lifelong vitamin supplementation.
In women, it is important to avoid pregnancy for at least the first year after bariatric surgery in order to have the best results. We will ask you about your plan to avoid pregnancy.
It is also important to avoid alcohol and other drugs after bariatric surgery, as the way you absorb these substances changes after surgery and can increase dependence. Smoking, hookah or vaping, whether tobacco or marijuana, also increases your risk of postoperative complications and is an absolute “no” after bariatric surgery.
We will closely follow you after your surgery. Clinic visits are scheduled at 1 week, 2 weeks, 2-3 months, 6 months, and 1 year postoperatively, then every year thereafter. These visits are important to check your nutrition and optimize your weight loss. Most of your total weight loss will typically occur over the first year following surgery.