Your Hospital Stay after Bariatric Surgery
Your hospital stay will vary in length, largely depending on the procedure performed and your general health. As a rule of thumb, patients undergoing a gastric band will go home the same day, those undergoing a gastric sleeve; usually go home the next day, and the gastric bypass; usually stay two nights.
While we try to discharge our patients at the earliest possible opportunity, we’re also acutely aware that the patient should be stable in their recovery before they leave a controlled medical environment like a hospital. Hospitals are uniquely qualified and equipped to handle all sorts of emergencies, small or large. That’s why we try to ensure that our patients have a very low risk of complications once they are discharged. If a complication arises at home, it will take significantly longer to receive the critical medical care in a moment where time is of the essence.
Following are some general tips to consider during your hospital stay:
- Other than monitoring you for complications or infection, your hospital stay is a perfect time to get started on your post-surgery life. We will ask you to begin walking shortly after surgery. It will be hard, but it is necessary to kick-start your circulation system and stave off infection. Walk as much as you can without feeling any dizziness or pain. Do not push your boundaries.
- You will begin your clear liquid diet in the hospital. At this point in your recovery you should not eat anything solid or even opaque liquids. Please use your hospital stay to clarify any questions you may have before returning home.
- Your hospital stay is also a time when you will experience new sensations as a result of your surgery. There may be some discomfort, but ultimately you will learn what is normal as a point of reference for when you return home. Be sure to ask your nursing staff or surgeon about any strange sensations you may be experiencing. Most will be related to the anesthesia wearing off or normal recovery, but we encourage you to ask and be sure.
- In addition to their clinical duties, the nursing staff at the hospital is there to keep you comfortable. So, if you are experiencing discomfort, be sure to let them know. When you arrive at the hospital, pay close attention to your intake forms and a note down any medications to which you are allergic. Bear in mind that, as a matter of course, we want you to take the least strong medication that eliminates your pain. If Tylenol is sufficient, you may want to avoid stronger narcotic medications.
We strive to provide our patients with the most comfortable facilities at our affiliated hospitals. That’s why we work with two excellent medical facilities – Overlook Medical Center and Trinitas Regional Medical Center.
Ultimately, we implore you to remember that the hospital stay is an important part of your recovery and nothing should compromise your safety after a surgical procedure. If you have any questions at all about hospital stay and how it can be minimized safely, we are more than happy to discuss options with you.