Weight Loss Surgery Recovery Timeline
Recovering from bariatric surgery varies from patient to patient. Typically, a full recovery will take several months and requires strict adherence to guidelines.
The professional team at Tijuana Bariatrics can help you recognize important milestones and prepare for each step of the recovery process to reduce your risk of complications.*
What should I expect during recovery from my bariatric surgery?
The Basics of Recovery
While a full recovery typically takes six months or more, following your surgeon’s direction can help to support the healing process. Eating or exercising too much or too soon can not only undermine your weight loss, but also endanger your health. Generally, the more closely you stick to your surgeon and nutritionist’s instructions, the faster and safer your recovery will be. The Tijuana Bariatrics team will schedule routine follow-up appointments by phone or online to discuss your progress, approve dietary changes, and adjust instructions.
There are certain aspects of recovery that can significantly impact your success...
If you undergo laparoscopic bariatric surgery, your recovery may be faster...
Immediately after Surgery
While you may not require assistance around the house during the first week of recovery, you will need to limit your activities considerably. However, it is still important to get up and move around every day to encourage digestion and proper circulation.
In terms of diet, you will be restricted to liquids while your system is healing. Patients should take care to consume water and meals slowly, in careful sips rather than gulps. Additionally, while you should avoid drinking during a meal, it is important to stay hydrated in order to prevent constipation.
The incision site typically requires at least two weeks to heal completely. Patients must take extra care of the area during this time, avoiding scrubbing during baths or showers. While some swelling, bruising, and leaking is expected, contact your surgeon immediately if you noticed chronic inflammation or a change in fluid consistency.
With your surgeon’s approval, you can typically transition from a liquid diet to thoroughly pureed foods about three to four weeks after surgery. Most patients can also return to work and resume their daily routine at this point. While you should maintain a light exercise routine, be sure to avoid any extreme physical exertion including heavy lifting, jogging, and bike riding.
After clearance from your surgeon, you may be able to re-introduce solids into your diet: ground or finely diced meats, canned or soft fresh fruit, and cooked vegetables. If your system tolerates this diet for at least eight weeks, you may be able to incorporate additional approved solids. Patients can also begin more moderate-impact exercise, such as swimming and light aerobic routines.