Hospital Stay After Bariatric Surgery
The hospital stay after bariatric surgery is an important part of a patient’s ultimate safety as well as the overall effectiveness of procedure. Different procedures will have different requirements for time spent in the hospital, and largely depend on the patient’s speed of recovery. For example:
- The Lap-Band (gastric band) is commonly performed as an outpatient procedure, requiring no hospital stay
- The gastric sleeve requires one night in the hospital
- The gastric bypass requires two to three nights in the hospital
Once patients enter the recovery area and wake up from their anesthesia, they will feel groggy and be fitted with an IV for hydration. Once able to stand up and balance themselves, patients will be asked to start walking, within their physical limits, as soon as possible. Walking promotes increased circulation, which not only helps ward off infection and blood clots, known as deep-vein thrombosis, but also speeds recovery.
While lying in bed, most patients, especially those with pre-existing circulation problems, will be fitted with compression stockings or inflatable leg sleeves that assist with circulation while at rest. Nurses will explain, breathing, coughing and leg exercises, if applicable, to avoid pneumonia and clots.
Pain and Discomfort
The nursing staff will be checking vitals on a regular basis and will be helping the patient manage any pain or discomfort. While most patients will find that conservative pain management is sufficient, it is important to notify the medical staff if there is any significant worsening or seemingly unusual pain. Patients will be instructed on how to manage their pain when at home, after their hospital stay.
One of our surgeons will check on the patient’s progress and be available for any questions they may have.
Discharge and Going Home
Discharge is both an exciting and scary time. While this represents the beginning of a new life, it is also when patients have to start taking care of themselves, accepting their new limitations and sorting through all the pre-surgery information in their heads.
To begin, for safety, all patients must have someone to assist them in returning home. This person should be able to help with light housework and perform the duties the patient will not be able to for the first week or so. We encourage patients to ask us any and all questions that they may have about their return home. No question is silly. This is the time to make sure you are comfortable with the next phase of recovery post-hospital.
And of course, once at home, our office is always available for questions or concerns.