After weight loss surgery, it’s natural to be excited about returning to real life and showing off your new results. However, it’s important that you take the right steps and use caution.
Take a moment to learn more as Dr. Robert Snow of Snow Bariatric Center shares these six important tips for recovering from weight loss surgery quickly.
Follow your doctor’s instructions
First and foremost, do what Dr. Snow advises after weight loss surgery — you receive detailed post-op guidelines for a reason. These guidelines include:
- Making sure you take any medication in the full prescribed amounts and at the prescribed times
- Following any diet guidelines
- Following all physical activity guidelines
- Returning for all necessary follow-up appointments
Following Dr. Snow’s post-op instructions for weight loss surgery is the best way to ensure you experience a speedy and successful recovery.
Hone your diet and eating habits
After your weight loss surgery, Dr. Snow provides you with a list of foods you can and cannot eat. At first, you may need to stick to soft foods. But once you return home, you’re able to expand your food options a bit. This is a great time to start shifting your diet to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy whole grains (if you haven’t already!).
Not only will a healthy diet help you recover from weight loss surgery faster, eating the right foods can help you develop sustainable healthy habits for the long-term, which is critical to maintaining your results. And don’t forget that a healthy diet includes staying hydrated!
Plan for recovery at home
A successful recovery at home begins before you ever have the procedure. Before surgery, make sure your home is ready to support a speedy recovery. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is my bedroom easily accessible?
- Is the bathroom easily accessible?
- Do I have a comfortable place to rest?
- Do I need to bring anything down from upstairs?
- Is the kitchen stocked with healthy foods?
- Is someone at home to help out, or do I need to ask someone to stay with me for a while?
- Do I need to get any other items to support my recovery? (Such as a detachable/extendable shower nozzle or stepping stool to get into bed.)
Start small with exercise
Almost immediately following surgery, you will be asked to start exercising. Keep in mind, however, this doesn’t mean a gym workout. Rather, Dr. Snow or your recovery assistant shows you helpful exercises to speed recovery, such as:
- Breathing exercises to strengthen your abdomen
- Foot and ankle exercises to encourage blood flow
- Changing positions in bed, such as from lying to sitting up
You should also take short walks around your hospital room or hospital wing to keep your blood flowing and prevent blood clots. Once you return home, you should continue to take walks and perform the exercises you learned during recovery.
Dr. Snow’s post-op instructions will detail specific exercise guidelines for your case, but here are some general activity guidelines to expect after weight loss surgery:
- Avoid lifting anything heavier than 20-30 pounds (including small children) for up to six weeks
- Avoid push/pull motions, such as vacuuming, for up to six weeks
- Avoid sudden, jerking motions that require you to quickly rotate your abdomen
- Don’t sit or stand still for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. Change positions and move around frequently, but keep the activity gentle.
If you’re itching to exercise more, talk to Dr. Snow about your options.
Watch for symptoms
Certain physical symptoms can be a sign of complications after weight loss surgery. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Snow right away:
- Fever greater than 100.5℉
- Increased pain at the surgery site, rather than decreased pain with time
- Pus or other discolored drainage from your incision
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe or prolonged chest pain
- Severe or prolonged pain and swelling in your legs
- Lack of urination, despite drinking enough water
Follow up with Dr. Snow
One of the most important pieces of the recovery puzzle is coming back for your follow-up appointments. These appointments are critical for Dr. Snow to see how you’re doing post-op, and to intervene if anything is wrong.
To learn more about weight loss surgery, visit our bariatric surgery FAQ page. To make an appointment with Dr. Snow, call Snow Bariatric Center or request an appointment online at one of our Texas clinics. You can also send us a message here on our website.