The amount of time you will need to recover will depend on which procedure you and your provider choose. We want to make sure we honor both your lifestyle and recovery needs.
|Hospital stay||0 days||3 days|
|Time until back to work||3 days||14 days|
|Time to full recovery||1 week||6 weeks|
|Back to normal activity||1 week||6 weeks|
|Pain||Mild discomfort||Manageable with pain medication|
Immediately after your surgery, you will be under close observation to make sure you are comfortable and to safely and quickly manage issues that may arise during your recovery. You should expect:
To be issued standard pain and nausea medication to manage any side effects and to make sure that you are comfortable.
To quickly begin a tailored protocol of drinking and supplementation.
To start moving around on the day of your surgery by sitting up, hanging your feet off the bed and standing, rapidly advancing to walking around the floor.
You will feel some discomfort where your incisions are and generally about your abdomen, but this will be well-managed by our ERAS-protocol medication regimen (standardized prior to and after surgery to minimize your pain with limited medication needs). Starting on the day of surgery, you will begin taking in liquids. In one to two days postoperatively you will be taking in enough to go home and maintain good hydration and adequate nutrients.
*Every patient is different, and recovery times vary greatly. If you have any questions, consult with your care team.
Immediately after your surgery, you will be put on a special dietary and hydration regiment and your surgical team will walk you through every phase of your recovery. Most patients will start on a liquid diet for a week and then start to introduce soft foods and eventually solid foods in a 6-week timeline. It is pivotal for patients to drink plenty of fluids — 64 ounces or more — to limit dehydration-related issues. If there are concerns, we have a network of infusion centers to ”catch you up” if needed.
Adequate protein intake is also important in life after bariatric surgery and we recommend ultimately reaching 60 to 80 grams a day. This will mean focusing on the inclusion of protein-rich foods. Adequate protein is necessary to maintain your lean body mass and your metabolic health.
Patients need to establish a daily vitamin/supplement routine. As we will teach you in detail, supplement needs vary per procedure. But patient needs may include multivitamins, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamins A/D/E/K, and Iron.
We do not want you to feel that your diet is hard to sustain or complicated. We will teach you the ropes to ensure the success and safety of your procedure, as well as give you extensive resources and support to build your confidence around your recovery process.Our Nutrition Classes
Those with obesity often have challenges with activity due to the physical limitations of their bodies and the limits of their comfort. Post-operatively, you will be a reimagined version of yourself that is capable of so much more. Life after bariatric surgery usually has you feeling more energized than you were before and much less limited by your body. We will guide you to harness these benefits for a fuller and more active life. Going for daily walks, even shortly after your surgery, will help you recover faster and also kickstart better habits. Each patient is different, but adding activity to your life is pivotal in helping to create your new life, maintaining weight loss, and improving your emotional and physical health. While respecting your body and any physical and emotional challenges, your goals and dreams are the only limiting factors.
Weight loss after surgery is precisely why people opt to have these surgeries in the first place, but exactly how much depends entirely on the kind of surgery you chose and the habits you establish.
Lifestyle choices after bariatric surgery are critical considerations — just about everyone’s lifestyle and habits contribute to their weight struggles. We will help you to re-evaluate your diet and exercise program to maximize your results. Every patient’s nightmare is regaining the weight the surgery helped them lose. While the surgery and management around the time of surgery are huge parts of your weight loss journey, maintaining healthier habits post-surgery is essential to avoiding weight regain. We will teach you the simple steps to sustainable weight-loss.Calculate Your Weight Loss
If you’re wondering how life after bariatric surgery could be and need insight from others, there are support groups available locally and nationally to help you, with some facilitated by DCBS. Whether it’s virtual or a weekly visit to a meeting place, these groups are guided by professionals and designed to educate you about your new body and new life. You’ll be taught about reinforcements to make to your new lifestyle and you’ll be reminded to focus on good habits in bolstering your weight-loss success. Most importantly, you’ll be surrounded by individuals who have made the same brave decision that you did and are all going through the same experience.
Support groups often structure their sessions with helpful topics to discuss as a group with the end goal of empowering you with information so that you can achieve your weight-loss goals in the healthiest, most sustainable way possible.
Weight-loss surgery is life-changing, both for you and the people around you. It can dramatically impact a person’s overall appearance and health, especially if your obesity was causing other severe issues. While the change is almost always for the better, the complete lifestyle overhaul that comes with bariatric surgery can come with unaccounted-for changes. Because we are interdependent beings, bariatric surgery certainly does have an effect on people’s personal lives and relationships.
Research has shown that for those who are single, having weight-loss surgery was linked with an increased rate of marriage and new relationships. This can be attributed to boosted self-confidence and contentment with your overall image, often leading to an increase in socializing. However, it’s important to be aware that bariatric surgery can strain your relationship if you are in one. Remember that you have changed, not just on the outside but on the inside, too. Normally, this doesn’t stop at your physical transformation, and you may look for other areas of your life that need improvement. This can cause upheaval in your personal relationships, especially if your partner or family members aren’t supportive or in agreement with your choice to undergo bariatric surgery.
There is a secondary benefit to feeling better physically — now, you are seeing positive improvements in various other aspects of your life, and you may have newfound confidence to address any unhappiness in it. This may include one or more of your relationships. No one can really prepare for this, but be mindful of how your actions impact others and always consider what’s best for you and to sustain your happiness. Be open and communicative with those around you and don’t let your new way of life get in the way of fostering relationships that bring you joy.
Rachel Mitchell underwent bariatric surgery with Dr. Matthew Metz at Denver Center for Bariatric Surgery after realizing her time with her children was limited and heavily impacted by her weight.