How Long Will I Stay in the Hospital After Bariatric Surgery?
The skilled and compassionate team at Tijuana Bariatrics is here to help patients prepare for weight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico. From start to finish, we guide and support you through each step of bariatric surgery, including the recovery process.
If you’re considering weight loss surgery, then you may be wondering: How long will I stay in the hospital after bariatric surgery? Here, our team of talented bariatric surgeons explores factors that can influence the days immediately following weight loss surgery.
Understanding how these factors can influence your recovery timeline can help you:
- Calibrate your expectations
- Avoid potential complications
- Heal better and faster
Pain, Bleeding, and Swelling
It is normal for patients to feel generalized discomfort or body pain after waking up from surgery. Patients may also notice moderate bleeding, swelling, and pain around their incision site.
Our postoperative team closely monitors bleeding, swelling, and pain for approximately 24 to 48 hours after weight loss surgery. If pain, swelling, and bleeding increase or remain unchanged, then we may decide to keep patients in the hospital for an additional 24 hours for continued observation.
Although it may seem contradictory, patients should try to get active as soon as possible after bariatric surgery. Remaining sedentary can lead to complications, like:
- Poor blood circulation and healing
- Bed sores
- Life-threatening blood clots
Subsequently, our team recommends light activity, even on the day of surgery. Patients should begin with simple movements, like dangling their feet off the side of their hospital bed or repositioning themselves. Once approved by our team, patients may then try to slowly work their way toward sitting, standing, and walking.
Patients who are active immediately following bariatric surgery typically experience:
- Fewer postoperative complications
- Better wound healing
- Improved blood circulation
- Fewer bowel issues, like constipation or diarrhea
- Enhanced weight loss results
If excessive pain, bleeding, and swelling prevent patients from getting active after surgery, then we may decide to keep patients in the hospital a little longer. Our team wants to ensure patients’ safety and success before sending them home.
Constipation and Bowel Issues
Oxycodone and acetaminophen are the two most common painkillers given to patients after surgery. Although these medications are remarkably effective at mitigating pain and reducing swelling, they are not without their side effects.
Roughly 10% of patients experience acetaminophen-related constipation, while 81% of patients experience opioid-related constipation.
Medical professionals often assess gastrointestinal performance as a marker for successful recovery after bariatric surgery. As a result, our team may not clear patients for release until they have had a successful, postoperative bowel movement.
Average Recovery Timelines
In general, patients stay two to three days in the hospital before they can go home. Patients should plan to take approximately one to two weeks off from work while they heal at home. After two weeks, patients may go back to work.
After three to five weeks, patients may begin to increase their activity levels incrementally. With dedication and the proper aftercare, many patients completely recover from bariatric surgery in just six months.
Consult with Our Bariatric Surgeons
If you want to verify your candidacy or ask more questions about bariatric surgery, then contact the caring team at Tijuana Bariatrics. We can help you explore all of your surgical and non-surgical options for safe, effective, and lasting weight loss.
Patients can request a consultation online or they may call our bariatric surgery center at (664) 167-7290.