Gastric bypass surgery is a procedure used in severely overweight patients to help them lose the weight they need to return to good health. The procedure involves surgically altering the size of the stomach and eliminating a portion of the small intestine. By having a smaller stomach capacity you will feel full faster and eat less as a result. This lower caloric intake will help you lose the weight you need over time as long as you stay active.
Also, by bypassing a portion of the small intestines, the food you eat is absorbed less by the body and therefore your calorie intake is reduced.
There are several different types of gastric bypass surgery, but most of them are about a 2 to 3 hour procedure. The process is normally done through a series of small incisions that make healing easier for the patient and also result in less scarring. The recovery period after surgery varies for each patient but normally involves about an extra day’s stay in the hospital for recovery and observation followed by a light activity schedule at home for 4 – 6 weeks. There are very few activities allowed first week after gastric bypass surgery and you are normally told to rest as much as possible.
Activities of Daily Living
Patients are expected to be able to carry out their daily living activities. This includes taking care of themselves in the bathroom or shower, going up the stairs, etc. This type of activities should be performed without requiring any special assistance from someone else.
When you return home from the surgery your doctor will encourage you to start walking when you can manage it. This will help you with your healing and also help with some of your new digestive processes as well. Other activities allowed first week after gastric bypass surgery include drinking small quantities of clear liquids and eventually broth as part of your new diet. You may also experience a gaseous feeling and walking helps relieve the pressure from this.
Other activities allowed first week after gastric bypass surgery deal mostly with your new and evolving diet. Because your stomach capacity has been reduced, you’ll need to get accustomed to smaller meals and a lighter diet. This means eating smaller portions of food at each meal and more frequent meals each day. Initially this may seem unnatural but in a few weeks time you’ll get used to the new style of diet. Your dieting
activities allowed first week after gastric bypass surgery will include a very limited pallet of foods. Initially you will be sipping small amounts of water and then eventually add broth to your meals. This will eventually progress to other solid foods that have been pureed until your digestive system can handle more solid foods in stride. As you progress through these phases of your diet you will start to become stronger and things will normalize for you when eating.
No Weight Lifting
You will also have limits on your physical activities allowed first week after gastric bypass surgery and will not be able to do much at all but rest. You will not be allowed to lift anything heavier than 20 lbs or handle activities that require excessive physical involvement. You will be encouraged to walk as much as possible and are fine with stairs as long as you take your time. Over the next few weeks these activities will expand to include all of your regular daily routines as you start to get back to a normal schedule. The activity should gradually increase until three weeks after the surgery where practically all exercise is allowed including effortful activity, lifting and sexual activity.
How Soon Will I Return To Work?
The time that a patient is able to resume his/her professional work depends on the type of occupation he/she has. After gastric bypass surgery there is usually a minimum of 7-10 days before a patient returns to a sedentary, office-type work. For occupations that require strenuous activity, it is recommended that patients limit their physical efforts (i.e lifting) until 3 weeks after surgery.