Congratulations on completing your gastric bypass procedure, now you’re headed home! We’ve compiled a little information for you to refresh your memory about the operation and what to expect afterwards.
- Keep your wounds clean and dry, shower daily. NO tub baths until wounds well healed. You should wait about two weeks before getting in a pool/hot tub.
- If the wound has spreading redness or has drainage, call the office, 205-620-9065, during office hours.
- You should strictly adhere to the diet as instructed by your physician and the dietician. You may also refer to your “Going Home After My Gastric Bypass” booklet.
- EAT SLOWLY!: Chew your foods well. Your entire meal should fit inside a ¼ cup or less, including liquids.
- Concentrate on eating nutritious, avoid fatty or greasy foods. It is important to get protein with every meal. Also stay away from highly concentrated sugary foods, natural sugar (i.e. fruits) are OK.
- WATER: You should sip all day long. Recommendations are to drink a minimum of 40-60 ounces a day. A bottle with a spout allows you just a mouthful for you to pass to your new small stomach. This is essential in order to maintain proper hydration
- Abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting is generally an indication you ate or drank too much or too fast. Persistent vomiting should be reported to us.
- The gastric bypass will alter your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B 12, calcium, and iron. Take a multivitamin with iron once a day. “Flintstones Complete with Iron” chewable is good, but it doesn’t have to be that brand. Take “Citracal-D” twice a day with food or after a meal. There are other calcium supplements available but Calcium Citrate is noted as best absorbed and more beneficial in Gastric Bypass patients. You need at least 1000-1500 mg a day of calcium supplement with Vitamin D a day.
- Do not skip your vitamin and mineral supplements!
- During your first year after surgery we recommend a B 12 supplement which we will administer. This is usually given every three months during you follow-up examination with the nurse or Physician Assistant.
- The first week home you should be up and about. Walking is great exercise. Get yourself into a walking routine, slowly increasing your exercise. You will advance to toning of the body within the next few months. Bending over, climbing stairs are fine but no heavy lifting for OPEN gastric bypass patients.
- You should wait about two weeks before getting in a pool.
Regarding other medical conditions:
Many of you have medical conditions other than obesity for which another physician takes care of. It is important to check in with your primary care doctor soon after your gastric bypass, as many conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are often helped or even cured by the operation. Often this will require medication changes.
- Diuretics are usually stopped after the surgery.
- A diabetic patient should monitor their blood sugars closely.
- Tablet Medication: Tablets can be taken once you go home. You may need to space out your variety of home medications, as not to fill up the small stomach with tablets instead of nutritious food.
- Resume your home medicines as ordered by your physician at the time of discharge.
Other frequently asked questions:
- Driving: No driving for the first seven days, and make sure that you have been off all narcotics for 24 hours prior to driving.
- Tylenol can be taken for headaches or mild pain.
- Constipation can be a frequent problem when you are not getting enough water. You can add “Colace” a stool softener. A suppository to stimulate things from below may be helpful-suggestion is “Dulcolax”. Fiber sometimes needs to be added such as Citrucel or Metamucil at half the recommended dosage. These are all over the counter medications.
- Diarrhea can easily dehydrate you, so be very cautious and concentrate on staying hydrated. Fiber may need to be added but increase your water supply is also essential. If this continues for greater than 24 hours call the office.