What to Expect

What to ExpectAfter you have undergone weight loss surgery, you will need to adjust to your new life. You will need to change your eating habits, create a new exercise routine, deal with excess fat and skin, and learn how to fine-tune your new and improved body.

About 10 percent of recovering patients experience minor complications such as redness, swelling, wound infections, bleeding and blood clots. To avoid these minor complications and speed up your recovery time, consider the following issues:

Recovery time

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 you perform.

Post-surgery personal care

No tub baths or swimming until your post-op check-up. If you experience any redness, swelling, drainage or foul odor from the incision, consult your surgeon.

Returning to "normal" life and work

No lifting anything over 20 pounds for six weeks. If you had open gastric bypass surgery, do not lift anything for three months. This will prevent you from developing a hernia.

Pregnancy

After weight loss surgery many females become very fertile, so please be very careful during this time. You should avoid getting pregnant for 18 to 24 months because maternal malnutrition might impair fetal development. If you become pregnant after surgery, contact your physician.

Excess skin removal

It is best to wait at least 18 months before considering any type of plastic surgery for excess skin removal. You should consult with a plastic surgeon, as well as your bariatric surgeon, to see what type of reconstructive surgery is best for you.

Sex

Refrain from sexual activity until at least two weeks after surgery. However, when you do begin having sex again, you will find that it is much more satisfying and enjoyable.

Exercise

The best exercise you can do after surgery is walking. Start walking slowly for 20 minutes each day for the first few weeks, then gradually increase your time and speed, depending on the muscle mass you have built up. Biking and swimming are also great forms of exercise, but only after you receive clearance from your doctor.

Psychological impact

Long-term success is very important. To ensure positive outcomes, we stress the importance of follow-up care with your bariatric surgeon. If you reach a plateau and need to speak with someone, we encourage you to call the office.