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Returning Home After Surgery

It's vitally important to follow these instructions when you return home after your surgery.


  • Get up and walk every hour to prevent blood clots.
  • Do not lift anything over 15 pounds for four to six weeks after surgery.
  • Do not do any heavy housework (vacuuming, mopping, etc.) for at least two weeks after surgery.
  • Do not drive until you're no longer taking pain medication and it doesn't hurt when you turn or bend.
  • Do not have sexual intercourse for at least two weeks.


  • Do not soak incisions in a bathtub or swim for two to three weeks after surgery.
  • During your daily shower, let the water and soap run over your incision sites. Any soap is fine.
  • Pat your incisions dry, but do not use any ointments, lotions, or powders on them. Do not scrub or peel off the surgical glue in the first two weeks. It should flake off on its own but can be removed after two weeks.


  • The most important part of your diet after returning home is staying hydrated. Make sure you're drinking 40 – 60 ounces of clear liquids per day or 1 ounce every 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Stay on a full liquid diet for one week after surgery.
  • Adhering to the phased diet program given to you by your dietitian and surgeon is pivotal to avoiding complications and jumpstarting your weight loss journey.

Emotional Wellbeing

  • You may go through emotional ups and downs after surgery. This is completely normal.
  • Eating 60 grams – 90 grams of protein per day, getting out of the house, exercising, and participating in a bariatric surgery support group can help improve your emotional wellbeing.
  • Avoid weighing yourself more than once a week.


  • Do not use any of the following medications that can cause stomach ulcers:
    • Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Meloxicam, Naproxen, Celebrex
    • Aspirin
    • Pepto Bismol
    • Excedrin, Mobic
  • Permanently avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs if you had gastric bypass surgery.
  • For the first four to six weeks, any approved medication larger than the eraser on a pencil should be crushed or split. You can put the crushed medication into an approved liquid or food for easier consumption. Large pills in capsule form should be opened and the medication poured into an approved liquid or food.
  • Do not take all your pills at once. Space them out and take one pill every 10 minutes to avoid them getting stuck.
  • Remain on the antacid medication for three months after surgery.
  • Take blood thinner injection (Lovenox) daily for two weeks following surgery.

Pregnancy and Birth Control

  • It's very important to avoid getting pregnant within the first year after bariatric surgery.
  • You should stop taking birth control pills one month before surgery and start taking them again one month after surgery. Please use a back-up method for contraception.
  • Birth control pills may not be as effective as they were prior to surgery due to malabsorption. Use a back-up method and consult your doctor about what birth control method would be best for you.


You should absolutely NOT smoke or use nicotine products after bariatric surgery. It causes delayed healing and increases your risk for ulcers, blood clots, pneumonia, wound infections, and other medical issues. If you had gastric bypass, avoid secondhand smoke as well, since it can increase your risk of ulcers.

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