If you are considering bariatric weight loss surgery, you might be wondering about the timeline of activity following the procedure. How long will you need to take medication? How long after the procedure can you get back to regular activity?
It’s natural to worry about these sorts of timelines, especially as you begin to return to normal. Check out some of the average timelines to return back to your regular routines after a LAP-BAND procedure.
LAP-BAND patients typically spend one day in the hospital after their procedure. While in the hospital, you will be given IV medication to manage your pain. You will then be sent home with medication to manage any additional pain, but will soon transition to over-the-counter medications until your body completely heals or you no longer experience any pain. For many patients, this is around the 4 to six-week mark.
Transitioning to a New Diet
Immediately after you go through a LAP-BAND procedure, you will begin your new nutritional plan with a clear liquid diet for the first 1 to 2 weeks. This can include clear broth or soup, instant shakes, sugar-free popsicles or jello, or drinkable yogurt. At the 3 to 4-week mark, you can upgrade to slightly textured foods such as mashed potatoes, pureed vegetables, pureed chicken or fish, or low-fat cream soups. After 5 weeks, you’ll begin introducing soft foods like eggs, fish, skinless chicken or turkey, beans, or peanut butter.
Should you experience trouble keeping food down or acid reflux issues, your doctor might keep you on a more restricted diet until your body adapts. Should your LAP-BAND need an adjustment, your doctor will advise you to return to a liquid-only diet for the first few days and slowly transition back to solid foods as your body again adapts.
Activity and Exercise
As we have stated, hospital stays for LAP-BAND patients are roughly one day. Bariatric weight loss patients are often given an exercise plan after they are sent home. General physical activity will help patients recover and heal more quickly. Ramsay Health Care explains, “It will help improve your circulation, reduce the risk of blood clots, promote wound healing, and improve your bowel function.”
You can begin walking in the first week after surgery and return to regular activities in 2 to 4 weeks. In general, it is safe to begin exercising two weeks after surgery, as much as your pain threshold will allow. Begin slowly, just 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Count regular activities like household chores or errands in your daily routine. After 4-6 weeks, incisions are healed and full recovery and you can move back to regular activity.
Stay in close contact with your surgeon in the immediate weeks to prevent any issues. For more tips on exercise after bariatric surgery, check out this article.