Recovery from gastric bypass surgery lasts for three to six weeks, but the actual recovery lasts for a lifetime. The reason is that you have to adopt strict exercise and eating habits to sustain your weight loss.
To raise your chances of a positive surgical outcome, it is essential to follow your surgeon’s instructions post-surgery cautiously.
1. Lifestyle Changes
You can obtain dramatic results after gastric surgery, but you will need to sustain them with lifestyle changes or risk regaining weight.
The quantity and type of food you have will be scheduled by how many days you are post-surgery. For example, you may wonder, “what can I eat 3 weeks post-op gastric sleeve?” during the third week after surgery, you will be required to eat pureed and soft food such as soft fruits, cooked vegetables, beans, fish, ground meats, and eggs. Cottage cheese and hummus are also good at this time after surgery.
Eat frequent but small meals as your stomach is now smaller and cannot hold as much food as it did before surgery. Large meals will bring problems, although adapting to smaller meals may be challenging. You are advised not to drink during meals as it may wash food out too quickly and affect your feeling of satiety. Commit to good nutrition with the help of a dietitian to develop a plan to provide you with essential nutrients.
2. Wound Care
Keeping the abdominal wound area dry and clean is vital to prevent irritation and infection. Although your surgeon may permit you to shower after surgery, they will recommend patting the place dry after a gentle wash with a mild soap. You should also not swim or bathe until the wound heals completely, typically within three weeks.
You may have thin bandages or dressings on your wound site. Talk to your doctor about redressing the wound after having a shower or when they will fall off. You may also need the removal of surgical staples or dissolvable stitches, which do not require intervention.
On top of eating healthy, regular exercise is also essential to help you lose weight after the surgery. You will probably be issued with an exercise plan that usually increases physical activity levels slowly as you recover.
After attaining full recovery, you should incorporate intense activities that make your beat faster and leave you out of breath, such as:
• Housework or gardening
• Brisk walking
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4. Follow-up Appointments
When leaving the hospital after gastric surgery, you will be asked to attend follow-up appointments as long as you live. The meetings will typically be held in a weight loss surgery facility for about two years and, after that, go for check-ups with a GP annually.
The appointments may involve:
• Psychological or emotional support
• Support and guidance about exercise and diet
• A physical health check
• Blood tests to evaluate your mineral and vitamin levels
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Support will be offered as part of the follow-up. However, talking to people who have undergone gastric surgery may be helpful.