After bariatric surgery, you will spend three to four days at Memorial University Medical Center. You will begin doing simple exercises from your bed just four hours after surgery. You will have some discomfort after surgery and will receive pain relief as needed.
To help prevent blood clots, anti-embolism stockings and sequential compression boots will be placed on your legs. You will also receive small doses of a blood thinning agent to prevent clot formation. We will encourage you to get out of bed and walk several times a day.
Initially, you will only be allowed to consume liquids. In the weeks following surgery, you will begin to eat small portions of solid food again. For approximately six months, you will be on a strict low-carb, protein diet.
You will return to Memorial Health Bariatrics after two weeks, one month, three months, six months, one year, and then annually for the rest of your life. At each of these visits, we will check your weight, measure certain parts of your body, check your strength, and perform other tests as needed. These check-ups are necessary to help us ensure that you are healthy and are following your diet and exercise guidelines. Taking special vitamins is a critical part of your postoperative care.
You will be asked to attend a support group regularly. Research has shown that adequate support is a vital part of weight loss success. We offer meetings in Savannah in the Mercer Auditorium located in the Hoskins Center on the Memorial Health campus. We also hold monthly meetings in outlying communities.
You will meet with an exercise physiologist and dietitian. You will be given telephone access to a nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional counseling will be available if necessary.
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits. Some of the changes include:
Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary based on your physical condition and the nature of the activity. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use at least two effective forms of birth control during the first 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. A woman's ability to become pregnant returns within a week or two after you start to lose weight. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this requirement very important.