11116 Medical Campus Road Hagerstown, MD 21742 image spacer Office 301.790.8000 - TDD 1.800.735.2258
Patient Portal Button
Meritus Health

Recovering from Weight Loss Surgery

Recovering from Bariatric Surgery

Gastric bypass surgery is a major procedure, and recovery doesn't happen overnight. Therefore, it's important to follow your surgeon's postoperative recovery instructions.

Postoperative Pain and Discomfort

Many people think that bariatric surgery will be followed by a long and painful recovery period. However, postsurgery patients usually do not have that experience. In fact, many patients who were interviewed spoke of discomfort and soreness rather than pain. Recovery does, however, vary from patient to patient. You may want to speak with your surgeon if you are very concerned about postoperative pain.

Being out of Commission

As with any major surgery, there will be a recovery period when you'll have to take it easy. Remember that this is a necessary step, and the better care you take during recovery, the more likely and quickly you'll return to normal activity. Recovery time varies from patient to patient and also is based on the type of surgery you have.

You can expect to be up and moving within hours of your gastric bypass surgery. While you may move slowly at first, many patients have found that each day often brings improvements. Many patients return to normal activities, such as driving, cooking, and caring for children, three to six weeks after surgery.

Whether it's family, friends, or coworkers, build a support network for all aspects of your life. Those supporting you are dedicated to helping you achieve better health and wellness. Show your appreciation by accepting their help and allowing yourself to heal.

How Long Is Recovery?

The recovery period varies among patients and is dependent on many different factors. For example, many patients choose to have laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, gastric bypass surgery because the recovery period generally is shorter than with open surgery. In some patients, the laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, approach to surgery cannot be used. The decision to perform the open procedure is a judgment made by your surgeon either before or during the actual operation, and is based on patient safety.

Other factors for recovery time include pain tolerance, preoperative health, preoperative BMI, any complications that may occur, and even the patient's level of compliance to the surgeon's recovery instructions.

Long-term Success

For people suffering from the lifelong disease of morbid obesity, gastric bypass surgery can be a powerful tool that allows people the ability to manage their condition. The surgery works using both malabsorption and restriction; therefore, patients do not absorb some calories and nutrients and are satisfied with smaller portions of food.

Of course, gastric bypass surgery is a tool, not a cure. For the surgery to be effective long term, it must be used properly. Through lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and a healthy food plan, many patients are able to make a long-term change for better health.

Keeping Off the Weight … Is Gastric Bypass Surgery a Permanent Solution?

The majority of people who consider gastric bypass surgery do so after years of unsuccessful dieting attempts, including participation in diet programs, taking weight loss medications, and exercising. After years of losing weight and gaining it back, it is not unusual to blame yourself. Many gastric bypass patients who have been on several diets have felt like a failure and were demoralized. However, many in the healthcare community would argue otherwise: The patients were not failures. It's important for sufferers of morbid obesity to understand the medical science behind morbid obesity.

Morbid obesity is a disease requiring lifelong treatment. Gastric bypass surgery is a treatment option that permanently alters the patient's anatomy and physiology, while allowing for significant weight loss and the reversal or improvement of co-morbid conditions.

Gastric bypass surgery is not a cure-all and never should be regarded as such. However, as an effective tool, it helps patients attain a feeling of satiety, or fullness, because the stomach has been partitioned into a pouch. For many gastric bypass patients, dieting was frustrating because the feeling of satiety was missing. So, satiety can be the unique result of the surgery, helping patients to feel full and satisfied with less food. Gastric bypass surgery also includes a malabsorptive aspect, where some of the calories and nutrients taken in by the patient are not actually absorbed by the patient's body. While this assists in significant weight loss and other long-term health benefits, it also requires that the patient supplement his or her diet with vitamins and other important nutrients.

Successful gastric bypass surgery patients use the surgery as a powerful tool to help control their hunger. Along with exercise and a healthy diet, gastric bypass surgery can help patients feel full and attain their goals of health and wellness.

Gastric Bypass Surgery: A Tool

The medical community views morbid obesity as a lifelong disease. Individuals suffering from morbid obesity generally are genetically predisposed to the condition, and they face environmental, social, and psychological factors that can increase the likelihood of morbid obesity.

Gastric bypass surgery has a history of helping patients effectively manage their disease. The surgery uses two methods to help patients lose weight: restriction and malabsorption. During the gastric bypass procedure, the stomach is partitioned and a small stomach pouch is formed. Then, the small intestine is rerouted to allow for malabsorption of calories and nutrients. Gastric bypass surgery uses these two mechanisms to help patients experience satiety, or fullness, with less food, while also reducing the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed.

Most bariatric programs teach patients that gastric bypass surgery is a tool designed to help patients manage their disease. As a tool, gastric bypass surgery has impressive long-term weight loss results and benefits patients with the reversal or improvement of co-morbid conditions. However, the achievement is not completely due to the surgery.

While most gastric bypass patients are able to lose excess body weight and improve or resolve their co-morbidities, they still must use the tool effectively long term. This includes following a healthy and balanced food plan with additional nutritional supplements, as well as regular physical activity. These lifestyle changes contr ibute to patients' overall health and can be embraced before surgery, with your doctor's approval, to prepare you for the changes ahead.

It's important to view gastric bypass surgery as a tool that can help you transform your health.

11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742
301-790-8000
TDD: 1-800-735-2258
meritus Health
© 2017 Meritus Health. All Rights Reserved.