Recovery Time after Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a serious procedure, but with some care and a good attitude, you can cut recovery time to a safe minimum and begin a new, healthier time in your life. Speeding healing after weight loss surgery is a team effort that starts the minute your surgery is over.

Immediately After Surgery

recovery-after-wlsAfter surgery you will experience some discomfort. Please take the pain medicine prescribed for you. This will allow you to move about more comfortably, and the sooner you begin moving, the sooner you are on the road to recovery.

Post surgery, nurses will get you out of bed and on your feet for a short stroll relatively quickly. Don’t worry about your stitches; they are secure. Your inner strength and determination, along with a dose of pain medication and professional supervision to aid your balance will help you during that first short walk. Becoming mobile helps prevent blood clots, which can have serious side effects.

Eating post surgery will be different than what you are used to. Immediately following surgery you’ll be on a liquid diet designed for optimal nutrition. Of course, once you leave the hospital you’ll progress to thicker liquids and then on to pureed and semi-solid foods.

Your First Weeks Out of the Hospital

Once you’re home, gradually resume your normal physical activities, but avoiding lifting heavy objects. If you’re on diabetes or other medications, please continue to take them until your general physician advises otherwise.

Light exercise, such as walking, helps minimize recovery time because it aids in circulation and getting plenty of oxygen to your healing cells. Don’t be discouraged by what it seems like you can’t do—your horizons are broadening even as your body is narrowing.

Your walk to the mail box will soon be a walk to the corner and then around the block. In no time at all, you’ll be measuring your walks by yards and then miles. Many weight loss surgery patients discover great joy in moving their new bodies—they begin to love how the stretch of muscles and the boost of adrenaline feels.

The Power of Support Groups

One of the most important things you can do during recovery is to join a weight loss surgery support group. Dr. Provost hosts a support group meeting twice a month for his weight loss surgery patients and their families. wls-support-groupParticipating in regular group meetings will help minimize your recovery time and speed your weight loss, because the group leaders and your peers can help you address the mental and emotional challenges you’ll encounter post-surgery.

In addition, you may want to plug into an online support group, such as, to connect with a larger community of people who understand the lifestyle changes needed after weight loss surgery, and who can offer additional guidance and encouragement. You’ll find that Web-based support communities have veterans of all weights, ages and personality types. And because of the Internet, support is available virtually whenever you need it. The words of encouragement and straight-forward advice available through these online WLS support groups can give you great peace of mind during your recovery and continued journey.

Dr. David Provost has helped thousands of patients during his 20-year career as a surgeon and is committed to the life-long treatment of his weight loss surgery patients. He is a recognized expert in bariatric surgery and performs weight loss surgery in Temple, Texas, at the Scott & White Clinic.

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