Weight Loss Surgery Recovery

Modern bariatric procedures are a safe and effective method of weight loss when dieting and other interventions don’t work. These surgeries are performed on people to help them lose weight and reduce their risk of potentially life-threatening weight-related health problems

Procedures such as Lap Band, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, duodenal switch and gastric plication are designed to work by either limiting how much you can eat, reducing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients – or both. Obesity-related conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea and high cholesterol often improve noticeably soon after weight loss surgery, and approximately 95 percent of individuals who undergo weight loss surgery say their quality of life improves. 

At VIDA Wellness and Beauty, we not only provide patients with outstanding surgical results, we also offer them a luxurious place to recuperate in our beautiful country. Our recovery boutique includes

  • Both single and double rooms
  • An on-site dining room and appetizers and snacks can be delivered to the rooms any time of day or night
  • Multiple amenities and services, such as 24-hour nursing care, a business center and more. 

Click here to learn more about our recovery boutique in beautiful Tijuana, Mexico! 

The Basics 

There are some general rules to follow after your weight loss procedure to ensure you get the best results and keep yourself healthy while doing so. Along with following personalized instructions from the surgeon who performed your bariatric procedure, you will have regularly-scheduled appointments with your care team – including a bariatric registered dietitian – with the goal of:

  • Assessing for any possible surgery-related complications
  • Monitoring for vitamin or mineral deficiencies through blood tests
  • Keeping track of your weight loss.
  • Discussing and managing any symptoms related to weight loss 

Your bariatric surgeon and care team also will monitor your prescription medication(s) and change or discontinue them if necessary based on the results of post-procedure laboratory results. Some patients may have to temporarily take their medication(s) in a liquid or chewable form for a limited amount of time after the surgery.

Recovery times for bariatric surgery patients vary, but the average recuperation period is from three-to-six weeks. Most types of weight loss surgery are performed laparoscopically, resulting in less pain and a shorter recovery time. 

Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you develop any symptoms or signs of a potential infection or other complication, such as:

  • Fever
  • Yellow/green and/or malodorous discharge from the wound site(s)
  • Increased wound redness, swelling, or tenderness
  • Coughing, chest or leg pain, or shortness of breath
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen or shoulder 

The First Week After Surgery 

Most bariatric surgery patients stay two-to-three days in our ambulatory hospital after their procedure. Any patients who aren’t able to have the surgery done laparoscopically might have to stay a day or two longer. 

During your post-procedure hospital stay, you’ll be closely monitored by our board-certified surgeon and the rest of your care team and given specific post-operative instructions. We’ll keep your abdominal wound area clean and dry and observe you for any complications. 

Generally, you won’t be able to eat for a day or two after your surgery to give your stomach and digestive system time to heal. Once you start consuming nutrients, it will be in the form of liquids. 

The First Month Post-procedure 

The first 30 days after any bariatric surgery are crucial. This is also the time period where you’ll most likely feel the biggest changes from the procedure. 

Your diet the first month post-surgery will start with liquids only and progress to pureed and very soft foods. You should avoid high-intensity workouts and stick to light and low-impact exercises, such as swimming and walking. It’s imperative that you avoid alcohol and nicotine for as long as possible after surgery, especially because nicotine use worsens the body’s ability to heal from surgery and puts patients at risk for heart attack, pneumonia and blood clots immediately after surgery. 

Once you’ve had weight loss surgery, your body may feel significantly different. For example, your breathing might feel different, and you may be able to move your arms and legs easier. Your balance might feel slightly different, and previous aches and pains you experienced might be reduced or even eliminated. 

The First 90 Days After Bariatric Surgery 

Medical checkups to monitor your health will continue during this portion of your recovery. These periodic follow-up appointments with your bariatric surgeon and care team often include laboratory testing and other exams. You might need to schedule an appointment with any specialty physicians you have during which the doctor can adjust any prescription medicines you take. 

You’ll be following a restricted diet for the first few months. Along with your diet, your exercise routine(s) and general lifestyle habits will gradually evolve.  

Key to maintaining muscle mass, healthy organs and a productive mind in your weight loss journey is ensuring your body has enough calories and nutrients to survive. Because a liquid-only diet complicates this effort, you should follow these recommended measures:

  • Keep up with liquids intake at least 48-64 oz a day to maintain hydration.
  • While adopting a liquid-only diet, you will only be able to consume one-to-two ounces of liquid at a time. Therefore, you’ll need to eat and drink small amounts at regular intervals.
  • Maintain muscle mass by drinking protein shakes.
  • Try smoothies to get more nutrients. This can include the addition of various supplements to gain the right nutrients.
  • Although you want to get enough calories to sustain your health, you still need to employ a low-calorie diet in order to lose weight.
  • Avoid foods with high amounts of sugar and starch 

Long-term Bariatric Recovery 

A healthy diet and regular exercise are an essential part of achieving and maintaining weight loss after bariatric surgery. Recommended lifestyle changes include eating small but frequent meals, consuming controlled portions and avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. You may need to be on vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your lie to ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients. 

At VIDA Wellness and Beauty, we offer bariatric revision surgery, which is designed to correct any problems or complications that arise after having a primary bariatric procedure. The aim of the surgery is to repair any issues and ensure that you get what they want from your bariatric procedure.