The First Weeks After Weight Loss Surgery
What Happens After I'm Discharged
from Mount Sinai?
You will usually be discharged from Mount Sinai
Hospital after 1 to 3 nights in the hospital, depending
on the type of operation you've had. Your doctor will
give you a prescription for pain medication before your
discharge. Most people crush their pills to make them
easier to swallow during this time, and take them with
a dollop of yogurt or applesauce. If you are taking
other medications (e.g. for blood pressure, depression,
etc.) please check with your doctor about when you should
resume taking them. You will remain on a diet of liquids,
pureed foods and a few soft solids until you are seen
for your first postoperative appointment, roughly 3
weeks after your operation.
||Q. What medications will
I be taking once I am discharged from the hospital?
A. If you were taking
any medication prior to surgery, you will probably
resume these unless they may irritate your stomach
(like aspirin or ibuprofen). In addition to a
prescription pain medication, you may be advised
to take one or more of the following, depending
on which operation you had:
- A chewable multivitamin tablet, such
as Flintstone's or Centrum chewables, twice
- A chewable calcium tablet, like TUMS
or Viactiv, twice a day.
- A protein shake is optional, but
may be very useful to help you achieve your
protein requirement during this period of early
Do I Have Stitches that Need
to Come Out?
Your incisions will be covered with small paper
bandages called "Steri-Strips." Most patients
will not have any stitches or staples on their skin;
the stitches are internal and will absorb on their own.
It is OK for you to shower starting on the second day
after surgery, but do not take any baths or go swimming,
as your incisions are not yet fully healed. The steri-strips
will start to curl up around the edges about a week
or two after surgery -- when they do, it's fine to remove
them, just like you would a band-aid.
What Types of Physical Activity
You should feel free to try any physical activity
that feels comfortable to you. It is OK to lift about
15 pounds -- roughly 1 bag of groceries -- but not much
more. It is certainly OK to walk, climb stairs, stretch,
and even jog, if you feel up to it. You should definitely
avoid any contact sports at this time.
It is not OK to drive a car until you
have been off all narcotic pain medication for several
days! When you do resume driving, start with slow, easy
trips around the neighborhood -- definitely avoid the
freeway for now!
How Long Do I Need to Take Off
Most patients take 3 or 4 weeks off from work,
although some highly motivated patients go back after
just 1 or 2 weeks. Once you are a week or more out from
your surgery, there is no medical reason why you cannot
resume work activities, so long as your job does not
require strenuous physical activity. The main determinant
of your readiness to return to work is how you feel.
How Do I Set Up My First Follow
You need to call your doctor to set up an appointment
to be seen about 3 weeks or so after your operation.
At this visit, your surgeon will carefully examine your
incisions to see if they have healed well. If so, you
will be given a clean "bill of health" and
will be able to resume all activities including bathing,
swimming, and all exercises.
Depending on which operation you have
had, you may be given prescriptions for a special iron
pill (Niferex Forte 150) and -- if you still have your
gallbladder -- a medicine called ursodiol (Actigall)
which reduces the risk of developing gallstones during
rapid weight loss.