Movement in the Days after Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, you’ll need to give your body ample time to heal. To prevent strain, fatigue or injury, there are several activities you’ll need to avoid for some time after the operation. Though your weight loss program will require changes to your diet and exercise habits after you’ve recovered, your body will need time before it can handle the new requirements of your program.
Restricted Activities after Weight Loss Surgery
During the first week after surgery you can expect to tire easily and should remain conservative in your physical activity, subjecting yourself to nothing more than light housework during the first three to six weeks after the procedure. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and be sure not to push yourself too hard. To retain some level of physical activity, Dr. Taylor may request that you casually walk around the house several times each day as you recover.
To prevent injury, all patients of weight loss surgery are advised to avoid heavy lifting for a period of time after the procedure. You should avoid pushing, pulling, lifting or moving any object that weighs more than 15 pounds for four weeks after a laparoscopic operation and eight weeks after an open surgery.
Sitting, Standing and Climbing
As you recover from surgery, you should rest in a reclined position as often as possible. Your body will tire easily, making it necessary to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Climbing stairs may be a necessity, but you should keep a careful grip on the railing to prevent a loss of balance or dangerous fall.
Overpowering fatigue may become a hazard on the road, while the steering wheel can rub against and irritate your incision. For these reasons, you should avoid driving for the first two weeks after your operation, or until you’ve stopped using any prescribed narcotic pain medications. If possible, you should seek out a close friend or relative to help out by driving you on necessary errands in the first few days and weeks after your operation.
Showering and Swimming
You can take showers after weight loss surgery, but should wait six weeks to take a bath after your operation. If your incision has healed, you may begin swimming four weeks after surgery.
You will likely need to change your Band-Aids dressing when you shower, which can be done about 24 to 48 hours after the operation. Remove the bandages gently and avoid using any soaps that may be potential skin irritants to wash away lingering adhesive residue. A product called Goo-Gone can be very helpful in removing this adhesive and is available at most stores that carry home and kitchen supplies. If your wound is dressed with Steri-Strips you do not need to remove them before showering.
Your Unique Recovery
Every individual’s experience recovering from weight loss surgery is different. The guidelines above are general and may differ according to your individual case. If you have any questions or concerns about your activity levels following surgery, be sure to contact Dr. Taylor. His instructions will be most conducive to helping you achieve the best results after surgery.
To continue learning about your weight loss journey after surgery, go to the next page on pain management.