So, you’ve finally made the decision to get a laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy. Congratulations! You’re taking a big step toward a healthier life. But you, like many people, are probably worried about the surgery. You’re also probably worried about recovery after the surgery. This is a perfectly normal concern, and it can be helpful to prepare yourself with the right information so you know what to expect. Although Dr. Balsama will give you detailed instructions to follow, here are some important things you can expect during your recovery from laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy.
You will likely remain in the hospital overnight for observation after surgery, so pack a bag accordingly. Pending no problems, you’ll be discharged the next day. Make sure to arrange for transportation home from a close friend or family member and ensure you’ll have someone to take care of you in the days following surgery.
Pain levels vary for everyone since each person has a different level of tolerance. Some people have a higher pain tolerance than others. However, you won’t feel much the day of your surgery. You’ll be on a lot of drugs, so the pain will be minimal. Most people experience the highest levels of pain between days 3 and 6 of recovery. This is generally the time that you will be weaned off the pain medications. Make sure to communicate your needs for pain management at every stage of recovery so that Dr. Balsama can ensure you’re comfortable and safe.
You will not be able to eat the day of your surgery. The next day, you may start on your liquid diet that will be recommended for about two weeks. You’ll be allowed to drink water, non-fat milk, and broth. After two weeks, you’ll be able to eat soft foods, such as boiled vegetables and scrambled eggs. After about four weeks, you will be able to begin eating solid foods again (with Dr. Balsama’s clearance, of course). Since the goal of the surgery is to limit your calorie intake, it’s important to begin your new eating style as soon as possible (even before surgery).
Be prepared to do a lot of relaxing after your surgery and plan to have all of your responsibilities covered for at least a couple of weeks. You’ll be unable to do basic tasks like cleaning or taking care of kids or pets, so you should enlist help. You will likely need to take at least a week off of work after your surgery, although most people take off two weeks. During this time, you should rest most of the time but also make sure to move and walk around without putting too much stress on your body.
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Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing event that transforms your body and your confidence. To learn more about weight loss surgery, contact our Sewell office by calling or filling out our online form.