Understand the Bariatric Recovery Timeline From Start To Finish

Recovery from bariatric surgery varies from patient to patient. The specifics of your recovery depend both on the type of procedure you undergo and your overall health. However, most patients will spend two to three days in the hospital and can return to their normal activities three to five weeks after surgery. The professional team at Tijuana Bariatrics can help you to recognize important milestones and understand the full bariatric recovery timeline when you contact the Tijuana, Mexico, practice. Reach out today to learn what to expect during your recovery.

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. 

A Brief Timeline

Immediately After Surgery

Patients will need to remain at the hospital for a few days after their surgery before returning home by car or plane. 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.

Juices next to fruits and veggies

Patients will initially need to consume a nutritious liquid diet following surgery.

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.

Other Considerations

Recovering from any surgery can be a physically and emotionally exhausting process. The additional change in diet that bariatric surgery requires often compounds this fatigue even further. It can be easy to lose motivation. Many patients find that attending bariatric support groups helps to keep them on track – not only for the emotional support, but with new recipes and practical weight loss tips. 

Contact Tijuana Bariatrics Today

Through the coordinating efforts of Tijuana Bariatrics, patients can fully prepare themselves for both bariatric surgery and the recovery afterward. Reach out today to learn which bariatric procedure is right for you. 

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Dr. Garcia is awesome. I chose bariatrics vertical sleeve surgery. I've lost 85 lbs. since January 2017. No complications... I regret not doing this years ago. Debbie M.

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