After surgery, each patient will receive guidelines from his or her bariatric surgeon. The following are general patient guidelines for after weight-loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery is a life-long commitment. For the initial year after your surgery, your surgeon will arrange periodic tests, as needed, for anemia (low red blood cell count) and Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. It is extremely important that you see a bariatric surgeon annually for the rest of your life. If you are new to the area or your surgeon leaves the area, call Sonia Portillo, Bariatric Surgery Program Coordinator, at 301-754-7774, to be referred to a Holy Cross Hospital bariatric surgeon.
Immediately after bariatric surgery, you should be able to walk moderate amounts. In the first six weeks after laparoscopic surgery (up to 12 weeks after "open" surgery), do not lift more than 10 pounds. After that initial recovery period, you can begin more strenuous exercise after being cleared by your surgeon. This can range from normal exercise programs at the local gym to programs modified to meet your individual needs.
Holy Cross Hospital offers a self-paced "Movement, Stretch and Strength" class to pre- and post-bariatric surgery patients. The class helps to increase lung capacity, flexibility and strength. It helps patients get in shape for surgery and successfully move beyond surgery. Your physician must provide permission for you to participate in this class.
For upcoming dates and to register, visit our classes and events section or call 301-754-8800.
Going Back to Work
Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight-loss surgery you had. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their morbid obesity procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a shorter time.
Bariatric Surgery and Pregnancy
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age avoid pregnancy during the first 16 to 24 months after weight-loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a most important requirement.