You’ve had your surgery; you spent the requisite time recovering in the hospital, and now you are heading home. This can be both an exciting time in the bariatric surgery process and also a daunting one. For the first time in the entire bariatric process, you are fully responsible for your progress and your results. However, before you panic, remember that you have a team of supportive clinicians and staff at our office to work through any problems, concerns, or questions you may have in the early part of your recovery.
Once home, take advantage of your caretaker. You will not be able to lift more than 15 pounds and you should get plenty of rest and manage your pain appropriately. While you are on pain medication for the first couple days or so at home, you should avoid climbing stairs, if possible, or perform any activities during which you could hurt yourself or others. You may feel very able, but it is still very early after surgery. Instead, ask your caretaker to perform these activities for you.
Just like you did at the hospital, we will expect you to walk several times a day. In the beginning, it will not be easy. First, your body is recovering from major surgery, and second, you may not have exercised for a very long time. The rule of thumb is to do as much as you can without feeling any pain and without feeling overly out of breath. You will find that you can increase your exercise each day. Soon you’ll be walking more than you thought you could, and this is a great jumpstart toward your longer-term exercise program.
During this time, you will be continuing your clear liquid diet which, within a couple days, will progress to a full liquid diet. The details of this diet can be found in the postoperative packet you will receive during your bariatric program.
Wound care is also important. You will have specific instructions on what you can and cannot do after surgery. You will also learn how to change your dressings. But for now, you can learn more about wound care here.