Gastric bypass surgery is a life-changing procedure that can help you lose weight and improve your health. A St. Louis bariatric surgery clinic can help you decide if this procedure is correct. This surgery involves surgically altering your stomach and small intestine to help you eat less. It is essential to understand the recovery process to plan accordingly.
We will explain what to expect in the recovery process for gastric bypass surgery.
Timeline of Recovery According to Weeks
Recovery from gastric bypass surgery can take several weeks. Patients should expect to be out of work for at least two weeks, perhaps longer, depending on the job and the individual’s healing rate.
1) Week 1
This week, patients are typically still in the hospital recovering from surgery. The patient will need help with basic activities, such as bathing or grooming, and may be subject to some restrictions due to surgery. Bedrest is encouraged during this time. Pain medications may be prescribed to help keep the patient comfortable during this recovery period.
2) Week 2
Gastric bypass involves significant surgery, and the body needs time to heal. You may still feel discomfort during the second week, but it will not be as intense as in the first week. You can start taking short walks, although your activity level should still be low, and you should avoid any strenuous activities. Your dietician will provide recommendations on appropriate foods that are easy to digest and that will help you heal.
It is essential to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, but avoid fizzy drinks as they can cause gas in your stomach. You should also start taking supplements prescribed by your doctors, such as multivitamins, iron, and calcium tablets.
3) Week 3
At this point, your energy levels should start to improve, and you will have more strength. You can slowly start increasing your activity level and taking long walks, but it is essential to listen to your body and not over-exert yourself. You may also be able to go back to work depending on your job type, though you will likely still be limited in what physical activities you can do.
During week 3, you may also start introducing more solid foods into your diet. Your doctor can guide you in slowly transitioning from liquids to solid food and the recommended food types. You should continue eating small portions and avoid overeating because you can still feel abdominal pain and cramping during this stage of recovery.
4) Week 4 and Beyond
By week four, most patients have returned to their normal activities. However, you should avoid strenuous activity that requires bending over or lifting heavy objects as your body may still be weak from the surgery. You should also avoid alcohol consumption, as it can impair your recovery.
Your diet should also gradually change, introducing more complex carbohydrates and proteins into your meals. You will still feel full quickly and may find that you must eat a full meal in one sitting. This is normal and expected after this type of surgery.
Finally, you may experience some changes in how your body absorbs nutrients. You will need to take vitamins and minerals, such as iron and B12, daily to make up for any deficiencies.
Gastric bypass surgery is an effective and permanent solution for those struggling with obesity—Call Arch Bariatrics for the best gastric bypass in St. Louis, MO. We provide personalized care for all of our patients.