Bariatric surgery is a weight-loss surgery that can significantly change your life. However, the road to recovery can be long and challenging. Understanding what to expect during the recovery is crucial for a successful outcome. This article will discuss the bariatric surgery recovery time and what to expect during the healing process.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a surgical procedure that aims to help the patient lose weight. This type of procedure is usually recommended for patients with obesity who are unable to lose weight through traditional methods such as exercise and a good diet.
In general terms, bariatric surgery consists of reducing the stomach size so the patient can feel satisfied with less food and lose weight effectively.
There are three popular types of bariatric surgeries that offer positive results. The first is gastric sleeve surgery, which reduces the stomach’s size by 80% of its capacity, making it the size of a banana.
The second is bypass, which creates a small pouch from the stomach that connects directly to the small intestine. This way, the food ingested will enter this small pouch in the stomach and then directly into the small intestine, bypassing most of the stomach and the first section of the small intestine.
The third one is known as mini bypass and works similarly to the previous one because this procedure reduces the stomach’s capacity to 1-2 oz. This surgery doesn’t cut the intestine since the procedure attaches it to the new stomach.
Knowing which bariatric surgery procedure best suits your needs will depend first on the surgeon’s opinion, so it will be necessary to make a previous evaluation, and the surgeon will be the one to indicate the best option.
Once the procedure has been selected, you must follow the surgeon’s indications to avoid complications during the bariatric surgery recovery.
Bariatric Surgery Recovery Time
Bariatric surgery recovery is divided into three parts, which are immediate recovery, short-term recovery, and long-term recovery.
It is important to follow each of the indications that the surgeon has given to the patient because if there is any alteration, it is very likely that your bariatric surgery recovery will be drastically affected.
Immediate recovery is key, so short-term and long-term bariatric surgery recovery is unaffected. Part of this immediate recovery consists of the type of diet the patient should follow and if any pain relief medication is needed.
During the first two days of bariatric surgery, the patient will be fed by IVs connected to the vein, as during this time, the stomach is beginning to heal.
Once these first days have passed, the patient will be able to have food based on shakes or liquid foods, such as water and tea, which should be ingested slowly.
Since the stomach is in recovery and its size has decreased, these liquid foods are enough for the patient to feel satisfied, besides not generating any discomfort since the stomach is still sensitive.
After five days, the patient can finally go home to continue his recovery, where he can switch from liquid food to eating food based on purees and soups. The patient will have to take painkillers (in case the surgeon has approved this medication) to relieve the pain, follow the surgeon’s instructions and attend regular check-ups.
Short-term bariatric surgery recovery begins one week after surgery, where the patient can perform activities to help with recovery and body mobility.
Exercising is an excellent way to lose weight and to have a more effective bariatric surgery recovery.
Walking is an exercise that is recommended 100% of the time because it is not a strenuous activity, unlike other types of exercise.
This also means that the patient should refrain from doing exercises that require excessive strength, such as contact sports or attending a gym.
If the patients keep doing this type of activity after two weeks, they will likely be able to return to work and their daily activities normally.
Weeks after surgery, patients can eat solid foods, starting with chicken and fish. Red meats should be consumed until the surgeon in charge of the procedure approves them since they can affect bariatric surgery recovery.
It is important to keep regular appointments with surgeons. They should remove the staples or stitches (depending on the surgery) and let you know if your recovery is successful.
Long-term bariatric surgery recovery will likely be easier if the immediate and short-term recovery instructions and indications are followed correctly.
Since the stomach is already perfectly cicatrized, it will become noticeable how the patient begins to lose weight progressively.
Eating correctly and continuing to be physically active are the keys to long-term bariatric surgery recovery, as sometimes patients ignore the latter and begin to notice that there is no change in their physique.
Commonly the results begin to be seen months after surgery. Of course, depending on each patient and how well the surgeon’s instructions have been followed, it is very likely that the weight loss begins from the second month of bariatric surgery recovery.
Baja Plastic, Your Best Choice
At Baja Plastic Surgery, we are experts in gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana. Our perfectly trained team provides effective and safe care to each patient.
We have helped hundreds of patients to lose weight quickly through this type of surgery with a personalized treatment that goes from consultation to recovery follow-up. We invite you to make an appointment at our office and take advantage of all the benefits of gastric sleeve surgery.