Once you are out of the operating room, you’ll be transferred to recovery where you will spend the next few hours waking up from anesthesia and being monitored. Gastric sleeve patients will then spend one night in the hospital while gastric bypass patients will spend from one-to-two nights. Often, patients can be discharged the same day after a sleeve gastrectomy, if the surgeon feels you are a candidate. During this time, you will begin a clear liquid diet under the supervision of the nursing staff. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about postoperative care and considerations for going home.
Walking: While you may want to stay in bed all day long, the nursing staff will encourage you to start walking almost immediately after surgery. This helps with blood circulation and the avoidance of blood clots, especially in the legs.
Wound Care: During the hospital stay, please take note of how your nurses check and replace your bandages. Wound care is a very important part of avoiding infection after your procedure.
Pain: We also want to make sure you’re comfortable, so if you feel any discomfort or pain, please talk to the nursing staff. Don’t try to tough it out – it will make recovery more difficult.
Getting ready to leave
Discharge can only happen if you have a friend or family member to take you home. This should be coordinated prior to surgery to ensure a smooth discharge process. You will not be able to drive for about 10 days after surgery. Remember that you will not only be recovering from anesthesia, and possibly a narcotic pain medication, for a day or two, but your incisions will make it very difficult to brake in an emergency, should you need to.
Upon discharge from the hospital — congratulations! You are starting the first day of the rest of your life and have taken the most difficult and largest step toward improving your health. Of course, as you know, the journey doesn’t end at surgery, so be sure to read on and understand what you need to do when you get home.