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10 Tips for a Quick Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery

You did it. You invested in your health and wellbeing, and now it’s time to embark on the journey toward full gastric bypass recovery.

One of the most common questions our team hears is this: How long does it take to recover from gastric bypass surgery? We get it. You want to resume your normal life and start seeing results as soon as possible. There’s no hard and fast answer to this question. Gastric bypass healing time differs from patient to patient.

That being said, there are a few things you can do to hasten your gastric sleeve surgery recovery and make it as positive of a time as possible. Here are our top ten tips for a quick and comfortable gastric bypass recovery period.

Tip 1: Follow your doctor’s orders to a T

Whether you’ve had a gastric bypass, mini-gastric bypass, gastric balloon, or non-surgical bariatric procedure, you absolutely must follow your doctor’s orders.

Your doctor understands the ins and outs of your procedure, and they know what a successful recovery from gastric sleeve entails. When they give you orders, such as what to eat and how much to move, be sure to follow them. These guidelines are in place to ensure your recovery is fast, easy, and free from complications.

Remember, if you have any questions about your gastric bypass surgery recovery, ask your local practice. If you’re in the Sydney, NSW area, be sure to visit our Liverpool Clinic with any concerns or queries.

Tip 2: Stick to diet guidelines

Your gastric bypass recovery diet is crucial to not only your post-op experience but also your long-term results. You probably won’t be able to eat any solid foods for a few weeks following surgery, and for the first week, you’ll be limited to a clear liquid diet. After that, you can begin to introduce pureed and soft foods.

Chat with your trusted doctor, who will help you devise a dietary plan that meets your individual needs.

Tip 3: Drink water, and plenty of it

Staying hydrated is essential if you are to reduce your recovery time after gastric bypass surgery. Water helps your body recover quickly after the procedure, so aim for 1.5 to 2 litres (about eight glasses) of water a day. 

Be sure to keep up this good habit as you begin to lose weight.

Tip 4: Walk around as early as possible

Your stomach bypass surgery recovery time can be greatly improved if you start walking around as early as possible. Why? Because gentle movement can drastically reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis after weight-loss surgery.

Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that typically forms in the legs. It can become dislodged, travel through the body, and end up somewhere (such as the lungs) that can cause severe complications – if not death.

Tip 5: Don’t overexert yourself

Walking around may be beneficial, but overexerting yourself certainly isn’t. Avoid strenuous exercise, lifting heavy objects, and other physically taxing tasks as these may lead to pain and complications after bariatric surgery.

Tip 6: Communicate openly

It’s imperative that you communicate with your doctor and support network during the recovery period. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share any issues that you’re having. Speak with friends and family about how you’re feeling – you’re not only going through a big physical change, but also an emotional one.

Tip 7: Educate yourself

Your recovery from gastric sleeve will, most likely, go without a hitch. That being said, it’s essential that you educate yourself and know the warning signs of potential complications. Your doctor should share this information with you.

One rare but serious complication is a stomach leak (staple line). Watch out for a rapid pulse, dizziness, fever, worsening abdominal pain, and pain in your left chest or shoulder. If you recognise any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Tip 8: Avoid pregnancy for a little while

If you are planning on having children, let your surgeon know during your consultation. Weight-loss surgeries don’t, by any means, limit your ability to have kids. It is, however, advisable to wait at least 18 months.

Tip 9: Take advantage of support groups

How long does gastric bypass surgery take to recover? At first, it can feel like a lifetime. Remember that you are not alone. There are others here in Australia and across the globe that are or have experienced exactly what you are right now. Take advantage of the many support groups out there – especially across social media – as these can be a fantastic place to find advice, inspiration, and maybe even a lifelong friend.

Tip 10: Don’t expect to reach your goal weight immediately

You’ve invested time and money into this process, but good things come to those that wait. Do not expect to reach your goal weight within the first few months – that just isn’t realistic. Of course, you will see results just about right away, but avoid putting any extra pressure on yourself. Allow your body to heal now and reap the rewards long-term.

Still have questions about recovery? Here are some quick FAQs.

What is the recovery time for gastric bypass surgery?

Most gastric bypass surgery patients enjoy a relatively swift recovery time. You can expect to get back to normal activities within three to five weeks. Talk to your doctor about your individual needs and limitations as some patients do take longer to reach a full recovery.

What is the best gastric bypass recovery diet?

The best gastric bypass recovery is one that follows your doctor’s guidelines. Typically, you will be restricted to a clear liquid diet for about one week. You can then introduce soft and pureed foods, such as mashed avocado, pumpkin soup, and scrambled eggs. At 5 to 6 weeks post-op, you will be able to eat solid foods again.

When can I return to work after gastric bypass surgery?

The answer to this question really depends on the type of job you have and your overall health. As a general guideline, we recommend taking at least two weeks off. If you are required to lift heavy objects (more than 10kg), you may need to organise an extended period of time off with your employer.

General Weight Loss Tips

Weight loss works best when you take small steps that you can easily maintain. Trying to do too much at once or to take on a diet or routine that you cannot keep up with long-term is a recipe for failure. Below find some straightforward, actionable steps that you can take towards losing weight and improving your health.

make sure you have a healthy diet even after weight loss surgery

Journal – You’ve probably heard about food journaling, but writing down your feelings and what you are thankful for each day is a good way to get grounded, remind yourself of your goals, and put a stop to emotional eating.

3 Miles or 30 Minutes – You don’t need to jump right into an intense exercise regime on day one to see results. Try to get in a 30-minute workout or 3 miles of cardio (running or walking) every day. This is a low-cost activity with a big return on your investment!

Get the Blues – There is some research that shows the colour blue is an appetite suppressant. Try eating off of blue plates, it can’t hurt!

Find Exercise Balance – Sure, it’s possible to lose weight only lifting weights or spending all your time at the gym on the cardio machines, but there’s a better way. Try to incorporate both modes of exercise into your routine.

Make Your Workouts Fun – You are way more likely to keep up an exercise routine if you enjoy what you’re doing. Like dancing? Pick up a dance cardio class or just dance around your house to your favourite music for 30 minutes. Did you spend your childhood riding around on a bike? Maybe spinning is for you. Playing basketball, rollerblading, even gardening are easy ways to add a bit more movement into your day.

Meatless Mondays – Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake is one of the best ways to “crowd out” unhealthy foods while improving the nutrient quality of your diet. One way to do this is to make one (or more!) days a week meatless. If that seems too difficult, start with making one meal a week meatless or try to make half of your plate plant-based whenever you eat at home. Added bonus – eating less meat is better for the environment!

Get Up! – You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking. Use that fact as extra motivation to get some more steps into your day. Set a timer for 30 minutes and get up to stretch, take a quick walk around the office or do some desk exercises throughout your day. A little bit will add up quickly!

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Have you tried everything and still can’t get the results you want? Discover your BMI to see if you are eligible for Weight loss Surgery!