What to Expect During Your Hospital Stay following Bariatric Surgery

Sep 15, 2020 | Tara Schmidt, RDN, LD | @taraschmidt

Kimberly Ollendieck, registered nurse at Mayo Clinic, writes about expectations during your hospitalization following a weight loss surgery. 

  • Surgical pain is expected from the incision(s). Your health care team will do their best to make the pain tolerable. Surgical pain may feel different; likely more comparable to heartburn after this type of surgery.  It is encouraged to take pain medication as needed to minimize discomfort.
  • You will start to sip fluids slowly after surgery.  Drinking too fast or too much at once may cause nausea and vomiting. The goal is to drink one liter of fluids before dismissing from the hospital. Poor intake of fluids increases your risk of readmission for dehydration. The dietitian will speak with you to review the diet progression before dismissal.  IV fluids will continue to be administered until your time of dismissal.
  • You will be instructed and encouraged to administer the monthly Vitamin B12 injection before dismissal.
  • You will have an appointment with a dietitian and member of the surgical team for post op follow up.
  • No straws or carbonated beverages, which increases gas in your new stomach and may make you feel bloated or uncomfortable.
  • You will be expected to be out of bed and walk several times a day to decrease risk of blood clots and pneumonia, and to promote bowel function return.
  • The goal is for patients to stay overnight one night, possibly two, depending on fluid intake.
  • Vital signs will be taken often postoperatively and then per unit routine throughout your stay.
  • It is important to cough and deep breathe to decrease the risk of pneumonia.  Placing a pillow over your abdomen and squeezing while cough will help in decreasing discomfort.
  • Weight loss should not be expected in the first few days due to IV fluids given in surgery and postop.  Do not be alarmed with an increased weight the day after surgery.
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