Gastric bypass surgery is an effective weight-loss tool for those who are severely obese. It’s been shown to reduce these individuals’ risk of early death by 48 percent.
Are you getting ready to undergo a gastric bypass? Are you concerned about what the recovery process will be like?
Listed below are some tips that will help you to enjoy a better and less stressful gastric bypass recovery so you can start seeing results right away.
What to Expect During Gastric Bypass Recovery
Everyone’s recovery from gastric bypass will be a bit different, of course. However, the general recovery process tends to look something like this:
On average, most people spend two or three days in the hospital after their surgery. They’ll then spend between three and five weeks recovering before they can get back to their regular activities.
There are many symptoms that you might experience following gastric bypass surgery. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Dumping Syndrome (nausea, vomiting, and/or weakness after consuming high-sugar foods or beverages like soda)
In serious cases, wound infections might also occur.
After gastric bypass, nutrient deficiencies are common. Because you’re eating less and your body is not absorbing as much as it once did, you’re more likely to become deficient in the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D
You might not be able to get all of these nutrients from your food alone, even if you’re following a healthy diet. Supplementation helps to fill in the gaps and ensure you don’t experience any severe symptoms of nutrient deficiencies.
Your lifestyle will need to change after undergoing gastric bypass, too. You won’t be able to eat large meals anymore, for example, and you’ll need to follow a strict meal plan to minimize your risk of deficiencies.
Regular exercise will be required, too, so that you can shed extra weight faster and improve your overall health.
In the beginning, you won’t be able to do much exercise, although you should try and walk as much as is comfortable. Over time, as your body heals, your doctor will recommend that you add in longer walks and other workouts to increase your strength.
Gastric Bypass Recovery Tips
There are plenty of steps you can take to minimize your discomfort and speed up your recovery. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind following your surgery:
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Above everything else, make sure you’re following your doctor’s instructions. After your surgery, they’ll provide you with a list of steps to follow throughout your recovery.
Some of the steps might seem cumbersome or unnecessary. Do them anyway.
Remember, your doctor has worked with hundreds of people like you in the past. They know what they’re doing, and following their advice will almost always guarantee you a better end-result than if you tried to handle things on your own.
Staying hydrated is essential when you’re recovering from gastric bypass (or any surgery, for that matter). Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Aim for at least 64 ounces to help you avoid becoming dehydrated. This will help with symptoms like constipation, too.
Avoid drinking high-sugar beverages like juice or soda during your recovery, and steer clear of alcohol and caffeine as well. Beverages that contain either of these can lead to dehydration.
It’s also a good idea to be wary of dairy products. Some people have trouble tolerating lactose after gastric bypass surgery.
In addition to changing up your beverage game, you’ll need to stick to a clean, whole foods-based diet, too.
What does this mean? For someone who has undergone gastric bypass, a clean diet is one that’s comprised of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high-quality protein sources (meat, eggs, poultry, fish, etc.).
It’s especially important to ensure you’re eating enough protein. This will help with satiety, and it’ll decrease your chances of losing too much muscle mass as your body begins to shed excess weight.
In the beginning, soft foods will be your best friend. Focus on things like oatmeal, cottage cheese, pureed foods, and soups. Cooked cereal, scrambled eggs, and ground meats are also good options.
Get Up and Walk
The sooner you can get up and start walking after your surgery, the better. There’s no denying it. Walking around after surgery isn’t easy, and you will likely experience some pain in the process.
Walking despite your discomfort will help your body start to recover sooner, though. Do what you can and, as the recovery process continues, try to increase the number of steps you take each day.
Communicate and Seek Support
Going through gastric bypass surgery is a major life event, and it’s normal to feel confused, stressed, or frustrated during your recovery. Don’t feel like you have to handle everything alone, though.
Reach out to friends or loved ones and ask for help. You may want to join a support group, either online or in-person, too. Support groups give you a chance to communicate with people who have experienced what you’re experiencing and get advice from them.
Take Your Vitamins
Finally, don’t forget to take your vitamins.
As you now know, and as the folks who created BariSlim bariatric vitamins have pointed out, you’re at risk for several nutrient deficiencies following gastric bypass. Staying on top of your vitamins will help you avoid serious health problems and ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs to recover.
Start Planning Your Recovery Today
Gastric bypass recovery can be stressful. Between allowing your body to heal from surgery and getting used to a new way of eating, it’s common for people to feel overwhelmed during the process.
If you keep these tips for a simple, successful recovery in mind, though, you’ll find that it becomes a lot easier, and you’ll have a better chance of seeing long-lasting results from your surgery.
Do you want to learn more about gastric bypass or other weight-loss strategies? If so, visit the Health section of our site today for other useful resources.