Recovery from bariatric surgery can take between 6 months to 1 year and the patient can lose 10% to 40% of the initial weight during this period, being faster in the first months of recovery.
During the first month after bariatric surgery, it is normal for the patient to have pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea frequently, especially after meals and, to avoid these symptoms, some care with food and the return to the activities of daily life and physical exercise.
Breathing exercises are indicated to be performed in the first days after surgery to prevent respiratory complications. See examples in: 5 exercises to breathe better after surgery .
Diet after bariatric surgery
After the surgery to lose weight, the patient will be fed with serum through the vein and, just two days later, he will be able to drink water and teas, which he should drink every 20 minutes in small quantities, at most one cup of coffee at a time, as the stomach is very sensitive.
Generally, 5 days after bariatric surgery, which is when the person tolerates fluids well, the patient will be able to eat pasty foods such as pudding or cream, for example, and just 1 month after the surgery he will be able to start eating solid foods, as indicated doctor or nutritionist. Learn more about the diet at: Food after bariatric surgery.
In addition to these tips, the doctor may recommend the use of a multivitamin such as Centrum, because weight loss surgery can lead to the loss of vitamins such as folic acid and B vitamins.
Bariatric surgery dressing
After bariatric surgery, such as placing a gastric band or bypass, the patient will have bandages on the abdomen that protect the scars and, which must be evaluated by a nurse and changed at the health post one week after the surgery. During that week the patient should not wet the dressing to prevent the scar from becoming infected.
In addition, 15 days after the surgery the individual will have to return to the health center to remove the staples or stitches and, after removing them, should apply moisturizing cream daily on the scar to hydrate it.
Physical activity after bariatric surgery
Physical exercise should be started a week after surgery and in a slow and effortless way, as it helps you lose weight even faster.
The patient can start by walking or climbing stairs, because, in addition to helping to lose weight, it helps to decrease the risk of developing thrombosis and helps the intestine to function correctly. However, the patient should avoid picking up weights and doing sit-ups in the first month after surgery.
In addition, two weeks after surgery to lose weight, the patient can return to work and do day-to-day activities, such as cooking, walking or driving, for example.
How to relieve pain after bariatric surgery
Having pain after weight loss surgery is normal during the first month and the pain will subside over time. In this case, the doctor may recommend the use of painkillers, such as Paracetamol or Tramadol to relieve it and have greater well-being.
In the case of laparotomy surgery, where the abdomen is opened, the doctor may also recommend the use of an abdominal band to support the belly and reduce discomfort.
When to go to the doctor
The patient should consult the surgeon or go to the emergency room when:
- Vomiting at all meals, even if serving the quantities and eating the foods indicated by the nutritionist;
- Have diarrhea or the bowel doesn’t work after 2 weeks of surgery;
- Not being able to eat any type of food due to very strong nausea;
- Feel pain in the abdomen that is very strong and does not go away with analgesics;
- You have a fever above 38ºC;
- The dressing is dirty with yellow liquid and has an unpleasant smell.
In these cases, the doctor assesses the symptoms and guides the treatment if necessary.