For those people who are severely overweight, gastric bypass surgery can offer effective weight loss results that can be difficult to achieve with diet and exercise. Gastric bypass surgery alters the stomach to restrict the amount of food that can be eaten in a single setting, speed up digestion, and limit the amount of calories that are absorbed by the body. Following this procedure, most patients are able to lose up to 10 to 20 pounds a month until they have reached their weight loss goal. Of course, immediately following surgery patients will need to rest and recover. Here, we discuss the typical gastric bypass recovery timeline following treatment at our Tijuana, BC surgical center.
Gastric bypass is an operation that alters the stomach and digestive track. To ensure that patients are recovering comfortably from their procedure, it is common for them to stay in the hospital for a short period of time after surgery. On average, a patient can expect to spend one to three nights at the hospital. During this time our doctors and nurses will evaluate the patient, help to manage any post-surgical pain, and provide valuable information regarding proper nutrition, after-care, and follow-up appointments. If a patient has traveled for care at our practice, we may have them stay at a local hotel for an additional one to two nights after discharge before returning home.
The first week that a patient returns home, they are likely to be low on energy. While it is important not to push the body, movement is also an important aspect of recovery. Patients are encouraged to walk regularly. These walks should be short and frequent, and patients should gradually increase the distance to improve stamina. Even when resting, it is helpful to change positions frequently and avoid staying in one position for too long.
During the first week at home, it is normal to continue to experience some mild discomfort around the incision site. Our doctors will prescribe pain medication that can be used as directed to control discomfort. Additional side effects that may be experienced during this time include bruising, swelling, and a tight, itchy feeling around the surgical site. These symptoms should continue to dissipate over the next several days and weeks.
One of the most important aspects of gastric bypass recovery is learning how the body can process food now that the stomach has been altered. Many patients experience gas and bloating during recovery from bypass surgery. Bowel movements may also be more frequent. These are all responses to a shorter digestive tract. It is important that patients eat slower, take in smaller and more frequent meals, and learn to recognize when the stomach is full. Our patients will be provided specific nutrition guidelines to assist them throughout the gastric bypass recovery period.
Within three to five weeks after gastric bypass surgery, most side effects have dissipated. Patients should be able to return to work and other usual activities within this timeframe. It is important to continue to monitor meals and make time for regular exercise. Strenuous activities and heavy lifting should still be avoided at this time, but walking and light aerobics are highly encouraged. Most patients are pleased to see that, even within just a few weeks of surgery, they are already experiencing successful weight loss results.
If you have been unable to achieve your weight loss goals through diet and exercise alone, it may be time to consider gastric bypass surgery. Gastric bypass can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. To find out if this procedure is right for you, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors at Tijuana Bariatric Center.