After weight loss surgery, patients will need to adjust to a a new life that will consist of new eating habits and an exercise routine. Patients will also need to deal with excess fat and skin and learn how to fine-tune their new and improved body.
To avoid minor complications and speed up recovery time, patients should consider the following issues:
Patients should plan on taking four weeks off from work. Although some people return sooner, others may need at least four weeks. It all depends on the type of physical work they perform.
Postsurgical Personal Care
No tub baths or swimming until the post-op checkup. If the patient experiences any redness, swelling, drainage or foul odor from the incision, please ask him or her to consult the surgeon.
Returning to "Normal" Life and Work
No lifting anything over 20 pounds for six weeks. If the patient had open gastric bypass surgery, he or she should not lift anything for three months. This will prevent developing a hernia.
After weight loss surgery many females become very fertile, so please advise your female patients to be very careful during this time. Pregnancy should be avoided for 18-24 months because maternal malnutrition might impair fetal development.
Excess Skin Removal
It is best to wait at least 18 months before considering any type of plastic surgery for excess skin removal. Patients should consult with a plastic surgeon, as well as their bariatric surgeon, to see what type of reconstructive surgery is best for them.
Postsurgical sexual activity should not begin until at least two weeks after the surgery.
The best exercise you can do after surgery is walking. Patients should start walking slowly for 20 minutes each day for the first few weeks, and then gradually increase time and speed, depending on the muscle mass they have built up. Biking and swimming are also great forms of exercise, but these activities should only begin after receiving clearance from the bariatric surgeon.
Long-term success is very important. To ensure positive outcomes, we stress the importance of follow-up care with the bariatric surgeon.