Bariatric Surgery, Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These instructions provide you with information on caring for yourself after your procedure. Your health care provider may also give you more specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to current medical practices, but problems sometimes occur. Call your health care provider if you have any problems or questions after your procedure.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE

After your procedure, it is typical to have the following sensations:

  • Soreness.

  • Sluggishness.

  • Tiredness.

  • Moodiness.

  • Chilliness.

It is not unusual to have dry skin and some hair loss after bariatric surgery.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Do not drink alcohol, use public transportation, or sign important papers for at least 1 day following surgery.

  • Do not resume physical activities or drive until directed by your surgeon.

  • Avoid lifting anything over 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for 6 weeks following surgery, or until approved by your surgeon.  

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your surgeon.  

  • Resume your diet as directed by your surgeon.  You will resume eating with liquids and pureed foods, then soft foods, and progress to a more normal diet over time. Follow your surgeon or dietician's guidelines for what and how much to eat and drink. You will need to eat slowly, so as not to cause discomfort and vomiting

  • Use showers for bathing as directed by your surgeon.  

  • Change dressings as directed by your surgeon.

  • Schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon as directed.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • There is redness, swelling, or increasing pain in the wound.  

  • There is pus coming from the wound.  

  • There is drainage from the wound lasting longer than 1 day.  

  • An unexplained oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C) develops.  

  • You notice a foul smell coming from the wound or dressing.  

  • There is a breaking open of the wound (edges not staying together) after stitches have been removed.  

  • You notice increasing pain in the shoulder-strap areas.  

  • You develop episodes of dizziness or faint while standing.  

  • You develop shortness of breath.  

  • You develop persistent nausea or vomiting.  

  • Your soreness seems to be getting worse rather than better.  

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You develop a rash.  

  • You have difficulty breathing.  

  • You develop, or feel you are developing, any reaction or side effects to medicines.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

American Society for Bariatric Surgery: www.asbs.org

Weight-control Information Network (WIN): win.niddk.nih.gov