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What to Expect During Your Bariatric Surgery Hospital Stay

Preoperative Care

  • Your bariatric team will talk you through the procedure and what to expect in the operating room.
  • You'll be given an IV, antibiotics, and medication to help you relax. You'll also be given medications to help limit post-operative pain and nausea.

Postoperative Care

  • You'll be taken from the operating room to a recovery room where you'll stay for a few hours and eventually be moved to your hospital room.
  • Your pain will be managed with IV medication. Some of the medications will be given around the clock, while others will be given on an as-needed basis.
  • You'll also be given anti-nausea medication since it's common to feel nauseated after surgery.
  • You can have clear liquids (water, sugar-free Gatorade, popsicles, broth) four hours after surgery. Staying hydrated is the most important thing. Drink 1 oz of any fluid every 10 – 15 minutes when awake for a total of 40 – 60 oz of fluid per day.
  • If you're doing well the day after surgery, you can start the full liquid diet (clear liquids, protein shakes, yogurt, etc.), which you'll continue for the first week after surgery.
  • Within the first hours of your surgery, you'll need to get out of bed and walk in your room or in the hallways. The nursing staff will assist you with walking, but it's important that you keep moving to prevent blood clots and other complications, such as pneumonia, gas, and constipation. You should try to walk at least three times a day during your hospital stay.
  • Sequential compression devices will be applied to both of your legs to help with circulation and prevent blood clots. You'll also be sent home with compression socks to wear for several weeks after surgery.

Before Leaving the Hospital

  • Ask your surgery team any questions about post-surgery care, diet restrictions, or anything else you need to be successful with your recovery at home.
  • You'll begin increasing liquids gradually before discharge.
  • Your surgical team will review your medication plan with you, including your current and post-surgery medications.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon for one week after surgery.
  • Review your post-surgery diet plan with your surgical team.
  • Make sure you have someone to drive you home. If you have a long drive home, be sure to get out of the car every hour to walk and stretch to prevent stiffness and blood clots.

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