Going Home after Weight Loss Surgery
The time you spend in the hospital will vary depending on the kind of operation you undergo. While a laparoscopic LAP-BAND procedure may not require you to spend more than 24 hours in the hospital, it may be necessary to stay longer.
Dr. Taylor will be able to provide you with a reliable estimate of when you will be able to return home. Rest assured that your surgical team will be hard at work to provide you with the best experience during and after your operation.
However, when you leave the hospital, your health and the care of your incision will ultimately fall to you. Though this may seem intimidating, following a few simple guidelines will help you heal and thrive as you recover from your weight loss operation.
On the Way Home
- Despite the time spent recovering in the hospital and any pain medications you may be prescribed, your incision may still cause some discomfort during the car ride home. You can make yourself more comfortable by holding a pillow to your abdomen, splinting the incision. Just be sure to keep your seatbelt fastened.
- If you’re one of the many people who must travel long distances to receive the expert care that Taylor Bariatric Institute provides, you may have a lengthy journey home. Keeping your circulation stimulated is important after weight loss surgery, so be sure to get out of the car to walk around once every hour if your trip home will be a long one.
Once You’ve Arrived
- Your circulation will continue to be a concern after you get home, making it imperative to walk around your house or yard every two hours during the day and evening. While you’re seated, try to keep your legs in an elevated position and avoid crossing them.
- You should do your best to monitor your pain levels as they fluctuate during recovery. Consider your pain on a scale of 1 to 10—with 1 signifying very little pain and 10 signifying severe pain that requires immediate medical attention—and try to take your pain medication when your pain level reaches 5. This will help you carefully stop your pain before it becomes intense.
- Your doctor may send you home with an incentive spirometer, a device that helps to keep your lungs active and regulate your breathing as you recover. If necessary, use the device at least four times per day or follow your doctor’s orders regarding the intervals at which to use it.
- Though your post-surgical hygienic needs will vary based on your surgery, you will need to keep the site of your surgery clean and dry and follow Dr. Taylor’s instructions for its care.
- The real work of your bariatric diet will begin once you’ve recovered more fully, but it is imperative that you follow your doctor’s instructions for your post-surgical diet. These guidelines will vary based on your individual procedure and the stage of recovery you have reached.
- Recovering bariatric patients may climb stairs if necessary, but may want to avoid the extra strain that this requires. If your bedroom is upstairs, you might want to set up a recovery and sleeping area downstairs for the first few days after surgery. Slipping in the bathroom may also be a problem, making rails or other safeguards for stability often a good choice.
- You will need to take your vitamins and medications regularly, as directed by your weight loss surgeon. Though over-the-counter remedies like Gas X, Pepto-Bismol and Tylenol may be useful remedies for your discomfort, you should check with your doctor before introducing any of these items to your recovery to avoid any potential complications.