Gastric Bypass Surgery

Care After

Refer to this sheet in the next few weeks. These discharge instructions provide you with general information on caring for yourself after you leave the hospital. Your caregiver may also give you specific instructions. Your treatment has been planned according to the most current medical practices available, but unavoidable complications sometimes occur. If you have any problems or questions after discharge, call your caregiver.



  • Take frequent walks throughout the day. This will help to prevent blood clots. Do not sit for longer than 45 minutes to 1 hour while awake for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

  • Continue to do coughing and deep breathing exercises once you get home. This will help to prevent pneumonia.

  • Do not do strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling, until after your follow-up visit with your caregiver. Do not lift anything heavier than 10 lb (4.5 kg).

  • Talk with your caregiver about when you may return to work and your exercise routine.

  • Do not drive while taking prescription pain medicine.


  • It is very important that you drink at least 80 oz (2,400 mL) of fluid a day.

  • You should stay on a liquid diet until your follow-up visit with your caregiver. Keep sugar-free, liquid items on hand, including:

  • Tea: hot or cold. Drink only decaffeinated for the first month.

  • Broths: beef, chicken, vegetable.

  • Others: water, sugar-free frozen ice pops, flavored water, gelatin (after 1 week).

  • Do not consume caffeine for 1 month. Large amounts of caffeine can cause dehydration.

  • A dietician may also give you specific instructions.

  • Follow your caregiver's recommendations about vitamins and protein requirements after surgery.


  • You may shower and wash your hair 2 days after surgery. Pat incisions dry. Do not rub incisions with a washcloth or towel.

  • Follow your caregiver's recommendations about baths and pools following surgery.

Pain control

  • If a prescription medicine was given, follow your caregiver's directions.

  • You may feel some gas pain caused by the carbon dioxide used to inflate your abdomen during surgery. This pain can be felt in your chest, shoulder, back, or abdominal area. Moving around often is advised.

Incision care

  • You may have 4 or more small incisions. They are closed with skin adhesive strips. Skin adhesive strips can get wet and will fall off on their own. Check your incisions and surrounding area daily for any redness, swelling, discoloration, fluid (drainage), or bleeding. Dark red, dried blood may appear under these coverings. This is normal.

  • If you have a drain, it will be removed at your follow-up visit or before you leave the hospital.

  • If your drain is left in, follow your caregiver's instructions on drain care.

  • If your drain is taken out, keep a clean, dry bandage over the drain site.


  • You develop persistent nausea and vomiting.

  • You have pain and discomfort with swallowing.

  • You have pain, swelling, or warmth in the lower extremities.

  • You have an oral temperature above 102° F (38.9° C).

  • You develop chills.

  • Your incision sites look red, swollen, or have drainage.

  • Your stool is black, tarry, or maroon in color.

  • You are lightheaded when standing.

  • You notice a bruise getting larger.

  • You have any questions or concerns.


  • You have chest pain.

  • You have severe calf pain or pain not relieved by medicine.

  • You develop shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

  • There is bright red blood coming from the drain.

  • You feel confused.

  • You have slurred speech.

  • You suddenly feel weak.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.