After Gastric Bypass Surgery - Obesity Surgery Guide

After your surgery, it is vital that you rest until the general anaesthetic has completely worn off. Once this has happened you may experience some pain and discomfort, which can be relieved with painkillers that may be administered by your surgeon or nurse.

If your gastric bypass surgery was 'open' then it is possible that you will need a catheter. This is a special bag that is used to drain the urine from your bladder. In addition to the catheter, you may also have more small tubes, which are often required to drain the wound of fluids for the first couple of days after the surgery.

It is possible that you will be required to wear some specialised stocking on your lower legs for the first 24 hours after the gastric bypass procedure. These stockings are connected to a compression pump, which acts by inflating the stockings to keep the blood in your legs flowing normally. This is done to try and prevent the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis. Another type of stocking that may be recommended for you are compression stockings. These are employed to maintain the circulation of your blood. In addition, your nurse may suggest that you try and move about a bit to try and stop the formation of blood clots in your legs as well as chest infections.

You will be unable to drink water for some time after your gastric bypass surgery. Therefore, to keep your fluids up you will have a drip inserted into a vein either in your arm or your hand. Once you feel more normal and well and when a medical professional approves, you may commence consuming non-alcoholic drinks again.

Normally, you will be able to return home within five days of your surgery. Your surgeon will determine the specific time you will have to wait. You should also make sure that you have a friend or family member available to transport you home and stay with you for a while as you recover.


If you feel that you require pain relief during your recovery period, you are able to take over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. However, you should check this with your surgeon, as they may not deem it appropriate depending on your medical history and how successful your surgery was.

One of the main aspects to take into account after your gastric bypass is that you will need to adjust your diet. It will only be possible for you to consume a small amount of food and the actual types of food you should eat will differ from before your operation – dietary advice will be given before you leave hospital. At first, your food will have to be extremely soft and sometimes liquidised, but over time you can reintroduce solid food into your meals. It may also be recommended that during your recovery, you take certain vitamins and minerals, as you may be incapable of eating foods with necessary ones in for some time.

There are lifestyle changes, other than diet, that you will also have to adopt after your gastric bypass procedure, such as exercising more (once your are recovered enough). It is changes such as these that ensure the success of your surgery and help the weight come off and stay off. You will be given a great deal of advice before leaving the hospital by your surgeon and by a trained dietician so you are aware of what changes should be made.

In general, it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for one to completely recover from a gastric bypass. You should note that this time can vary considerably and is very much dependent on you individually. During this time, you may be required to undergo a number of blood tests to ensure you are not deficient in any required nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Pain and Scarring

You may notice that your stomach feels painful and swollen after your gastric bypass operation. This is normal and should subside relatively quickly, however in the meantime you can take certain drugs to ease the pain and discomfort.

As with most surgical procedures, you should also be prepared for scarring. Despite this, due to where the incisions are made, clothing can hide any scars that do occur.

Weight Loss resulting from Gastric Bypass Surgery

On average, the amount of excess weight lost by patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery is between 60-70% within 2 years. The majority of this weight is generally lost in the first year. You should note, that results do vary from person to person and your surgeon may be able to give you some idea of how much weight you can expect to lose.

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