Our bariatric surgery patients at Tempe, Arrowhead, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona understand that Weight Loss Institute of Arizona will help them achieve their weight loss goals. Our specialists guide and support patients every step of the way, from the first time they come into the office all the way to their final follow up appointments after their weight loss. We provide detailed instructions for what to do and what not to do during bariatric surgery recovery, but more importantly, we always make ourselves available to patients when they’re in need of help: even on nights and weekends.
So what should you expect for bariatric surgery recovery?
What to Expect
Your recovery will depend a great deal on the type of weight-loss surgery you undergo. For example, LAP-BAND® patients may have a hospital stay of just five to 24 hours; while more involved surgeries, such as an open gastric bypass may require up to a 72-hour stay.
After you’ve been discharged from one of our hospitals, you will be given written instructions for your care at home. It is very important to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding diet, rest, medication and activity.
Here are some very important considerations that all patients will need to keep in mind after surgery:
- Post-op diet. Patients are asked to follow the surgeon’s instructions very closely. Not all procedures will have the same post-op diet, and not all patients will progress with the diet at the same rate. Failure to stick to the post-op diet can result in severe abdominal distress.
- Activity. After getting gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery, patients are required to keep a low activity level. Walking around the house is generally okay for the first two weeks, but no heavy lifting or exercise should take place until the doctor gives the OK.
- Time off work. Patients who receive one of the balloon systems will not need to take any time off work, although it may be recommended to take a day or two off in case of complications. Patients who undergo surgery will generally be asked to take 1-2 weeks off work.
- Hydration. Patients will no longer be able to drink large amounts of water at one time, and are thus asked to keep a large water bottle (64 oz or 2L) and sip from it through the day, every 15 minutes or so.
- Vitamins and supplements. Multivitamins are important for preventing malnutrition after bariatric surgery. Patients will be asked to take a protein supplement at a certain point in their post-op diet. Most patients continue to consume these supplements until they have settled into a normal diet.
After getting a weight loss procedure, you will not be able to eat like you normally would. In fact, gastric sleeve and gastric bypass patients are asked to go through a multi-stage post-op diet that slowly reintroduces foods that the recovering stomach can tolerate. Ask your doctor about the post-op diet, as not all procedures will have the same diet.
Your Long-Term Diet
After you have recovered from surgery and completed the recovery diet progression to regular foods, eating will still not return to “business as usual.” Depending upon the type of weight loss surgery you had, you will need to make long-term adjustments to your diet.
For example, gastric bypass patients will need to avoid food and drinks that are high in fat and sugar. In general, consuming high amounts of calories and carbohydrates will make any type of surgery ineffective. Whatever type of surgery you’ve chosen, you will significantly reduce your portion sizes. We will give you specific diet details after your procedure.
Continued Follow-up & Support
At Weight Loss Institute of Arizona, we provide a one-on-one patient support program that is an essential component of patient success. Patient success is based on how well a patient is able to stick to a healthy lifestyle and maintain good eating habits. For the first few years, patients have regularly scheduled follow-up appointments. We provide the following services to all patients as part of our weight loss surgery programs:
- A Dietitian who will provide diet expertise, support, and guidance to help you make healthier and more balanced food choices that are conducive to living a healthy lifestyle
- Follow-up assessments for patients, every step of the way, in order to make sure that they are in good health and that they are continuing to lose weight
- Support groups to allow people to share their stories in an intimate setting. Our support groups also feature speakers that can inspire and motivate people while they’re dealing with their weight loss journey.
- A Private Facebook page where our patients can share their journeys, their concerns, their experiences, and provide group support to help other patients during trying times