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How Quickly Can You Get Back to Work After Weight Loss Surgery?

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Making the decision to undergo bariatric surgery requires a lot of planning. Part of that process is asking the right questions both about how to prepare for your procedure and what to expect after you leave the operating room. Among the most common questions asked by gastric surgery patients pertain to the post-op recovery period. How long will it take you to recover? How long will you need to take off work? When will you be able to return to normal activity? What can you expect from the healing process? These are all real and valid questions. While gastric surgery recovery times can vary by patient and procedure, most weight loss surgeries today are minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures which promise speedier recovery and fewer complications. Certain procedures may even allow patients to return home the same day. In other cases, however, patients may need to remain in the hospital for two or three days following surgery.

Here’s a quick overview of weight loss surgery recovery times by procedure.

Gastric sleeve recovery time: A two- to three-day hospital stay, followed by four to six weeks for full recovery. Most patients return to work in less than two weeks. Gastric bypass recovery time: A one- to three-day hospital stay, followed by four to six weeks for full recovery. Most patients will need one to three weeks off work. Gastric banding recovery time: Up to a one-day hospital stay, followed by four to six weeks for full recovery. Most patients are able to return to work in less than two weeks. Even after you return to work after undergoing bariatric surgery, you may experience low energy. Consequently, it may take you a few days to adapt to working a full day again. Your weight loss surgeon will provide specific instructions about when you are able to return to work and resume performing normal duties. Always remember that your safety is of utmost importance, so follow your doctor’s orders as it pertains to work and returning to activity. When it comes to exercise after bariatric surgery, your weight loss surgeon will encourage you to take gentle, short walks immediately following surgery, even while you are still in the hospital. In fact, walking can help ease some of the post-op discomfort and pain associated with gastric surgery. For the first month after surgery, you should stick to low-impact workouts and avoid competitive sports, gradually building up your activity level and exercise tolerance over the next several weeks. Do you have more questions about what to expect from weight loss surgery? Contact your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss surgeon to schedule a consultation and get your questions about bariatric surgery in Dallas answered today.