Following your weight loss surgery, you’ll spend about 1-2 hours in the recovery room before returning to your room on the surgical floor. A small number of patients with severe medical problems may spend one or two nights in the intensive care unit so they can be more closely monitored.
A few patients will have a tube in their nose for about 24 hours after the operation. This nasogastric tube is put in place in the operating room after the patient is asleep. It removes the mucous and blood which can collect in the upper portion of the stomach after certain surgical procedures.
Anywhere from two to four days, depending upon how you’re feeling post-surgery.
You’ll be given nothing by mouth and remain on intravenous fluids for one or two days after your surgery. This will minimize the possibility of leaks and also allow normal gastrointestinal function to resume following surgery. Typically on the first day after the operation, you’ll be offered cracked ice or clear liquids by mouth. You’ll remain on a clear liquid diet for the first 7 days after surgery. You’ll switch to the first stage of your new diet after completing your first postoperative follow-up.
Prior to hospital discharge, you’ll meet with the dietician who will review all of the food groups in the diet and emphasize the need to take small bites and swallow slowly.
Managing Your Pain
There may be some discomfort following your surgical procedure. At NJ Bariatrics, our goal is to make your recovery as pain-free as possible. To this end, most patients receive PCA to help control any pain they may experience.
What is PCA?
PCA stands for Patient Controlled Analgesia. With PCA, a syringe with ordered medicine is loaded into an electric pump that hangs near your hospital bed. The pump limits the dose you receive. The pain medicine is administered through a tube that’s connected to your intravenous (IV) line. There’s a control button on a cable attached to the pump. This cable lets you give your own pain medicine when you push the button. Your attending nurse will demonstrate how to use the device.
PCA is very safe. Your doctor orders the dose of medicine you can receive as well as how often you can receive it. The advantage of PCA is that gives you some control over your own pain management. Push the button whenever the pain becomes uncomfortable. You will receive the pain medication very quickly. Thus, you do not have to wait for the nurse to provide your relief.
When you’re able to take fluids by mouth, the PCA is stopped. Liquid pain medicine will be given instead.
Coughing, deep breathing and jaw relaxation exercises may also be helpful for pain relief. Your nurse will be happy to assist you with these exercises.
After your hospitalization, you’ll undergo a recovery period lasting several weeks. It’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions and allow yourself some time to recuperate.