Adult Health Library
After Bariatric Surgery: The First 6 Weeks
After surgery for weight loss, your body needs time to adjust. Once you're ready, you will be given programs to follow for your nutrition and physical activity. Follow these programs as directed. The success of the surgery depends on the choices you make. You will need to make lifelong changes in your eating and exercise habits to maintain your weight loss.
At first, you may have stomach or bowel cramping, or nausea. Tell your healthcare provider if pain or nausea is severe or doesn’t improve with time. Take pain medicines as prescribed for 1 to 2 weeks. To ease back into your daily life, you may be given guidelines like those listed below:
You may shower within 48 hours.
You may return to driving after a week and once you no longer need pain medicines. This may be up to 3 weeks after surgery.
You may resume sex in 3 weeks.
You may return to work in 4 weeks, or as instructed.
Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds for 3 weeks.
Becoming more active
Activity helps you lose weight after surgery. Start easy, but try to be a little more active each day. You might try walking. Other choices include chair aerobics or using a stationary bike.
Working with your healthcare team
Your healthcare team members can help you adjust to changes after surgery. Here’s how:
Your medical surgical team oversees follow-up care after surgery. Keep all your appointments, and ask any questions you have.
Your dietitian sets up your new nutrition plan. He or she can help you plan meals you’ll enjoy.
Your psychiatrist or psychologist or other mental health professional can help you adjust to change. It may help to talk to someone about your body or other issues. Consider contacting a bariatric surgery support group in your area.
Call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider if you have any of the following:
Eating during healing
After surgery, a special diet will help your stomach heal. At first, you will just drink low-sugar liquids. You might have tea or broth, for instance. As you feel better, you’ll eat low-fat pureed or semisolid food, such as applesauce. When your system is ready, you’ll eat a range of foods in small amounts.
Certain problems may happen after surgery, depending on the type of surgery you have. These problems can include:
Online Medical Reviewer: Sather, Rita, RN