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Understanding the Bariatric Surgery Recovery Process

Tijuana Bariatric Center patients undergo laparoscopic bariatric surgery to minimize the potential for discomfort and complications. The typical bariatric surgery patient will spend one night in the hospital before staying at a local hotel for the following night, then return home. The qualified medical professionals and nutritionist working through the Tijuana Bariatric Center can help guide patients safely through bariatric surgery recovery after their procedure at a Tijuana, Mexico, hospital. 

The First Few Days

Once the patient wakes up from surgery, he or she will be somewhat groggy but will not feel much pain due to medication. Intravenous (IV) tubing will be in the patient’s arm for easy administration of pain medication, when needed. The patient will have several small incisions on the abdomen that will be sutured closed, and the doctor will typically instruct the patient to get out of bed and try walking short distances.

The nutritionist working with the practice will visit you in recovery, answer any questions and concerns, and outline the specifics of your nutritional counseling program. In most cases, the surgeon will recommend that the patient not eat on the first day. The next day, the patient may feel more pain that can be controlled with medication. Patients can start on a diet of clear liquids, and eventually ingest foods like milk, strained cream soups, or sugar-free gelatin.

Couple walking on paved path in the forest
Light exercise is recommended shortly after surgery to encourage proper circulation and healing.

After an adequate amount of recovery time in the hospital, patients will be allowed to return home or to their hotel. The patient will experience some discomfort, which can be controlled with medication prescribed by the surgeon. By now, the patient’s diet will include pureed or strained foods. The patient should be walking a few times daily, but otherwise resting.

The First Few Weeks

After about a week, the patient should not be experiencing as much pain and taking daily walks to encourage circulation and promote healing. The patient’s diet should still consist of pureed foods and, to avoid serious complications, it is very important that the patient follow the prescribed diet. The patient may feel strong enough to return to work after a week or two. A few weeks after surgery, the patient should be able tolerate soft solid foods, avoiding all foods that are not easily chewed. About a month following the surgery, the patient’s doctor may allow increased exercise such as swimming and low-impact aerobics.

During the recovery period, patients will have the ability to keep in direct contact with a nutritionist working with Tijuana Bariatric Center. Communication can be conducted through phone calls, emails, and Facebook to address questions and concerns.

The First Few Months

Approximately eight weeks after surgery, the patient can start eating somewhat firmer solid foods. Weight loss should be evident by this point, providing motivation for the patient to continue with the recommended diet. The patient will be able to resume a more normal exercise routine, without weights at this time.

During the recovery period, patients will have the ability to keep in direct contact with a nutritionist through phone calls, emails, and Facebook to address questions and concerns.

Periodic follow-up appointments can be conducted with the patient's local doctor, and patients are also encouraged to maintain correspondence with the nutritionist. At around three months, the patient may be able to resume a normal diet with a few restrictions such as eating small portions and avoiding foods high in fat and sugar.

Long-term Health and Recovery

The most successful bariatric surgery patients are committed to a complete lifestyle change. For the patient’s long-term health and weight loss success, he or she should continue to follow the diet recommended by their doctor and nutritionist. Exercise should also be a part of the patient’s daily routine.

Reach Out Today

Knowing what to expect after bariatric surgery is an important part of educating yourself on your treatment options. For more information regarding bariatric surgery recovery, contact the Tijuana Bariatric Center today.

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