Guidelines

After Gastric Bypass Surgery and Sleeve Gastrectomy

  • May shower 48 hours after surgery. Just wash incisions with mild soap and water, pat dry. No bandages needed.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. OK to lift: babies, a gallon of milk, a TV remote, etc. Avoid lifting over 40 pounds until 4 weeks after surgery. Follow the “if it hurts, don't do it rule.”
  • Exercise: Start with walking right away. Jogging, stationary bike, low-impact aerobics are fine at 2 weeks, then you can increase as tolerated. Avoid crunches and weight lifting for 6 weeks. Follow the “if it hurts, don't do it" rule.
  • Prescription medications: Resume usual medications unless you have been directed otherwise. Most pills should go down fine, but you may not be able to take all of them at once. Call the office if you are having problems with a medication.
  • Vitamins. For Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy: two multivitamins, Iron, B12 and Two Calcium citrate. We recommend Bariatric Advantage at www.bariatricadvantage.com.
  • For pain, acetaminophen (Tylenol) over the counter, as directed on package, is usually enough. If not, use the prescription medication given to you by us.
  • Over-the-counter medications (such as cold and sinus medications): may be used according to the directions on the packaging. Avoid long term use of anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, if possible. Occasional use is usually fine.
  • Driving: Try to wait one week. Do not drive if you are taking any of the prescription pain medications we gave you. Take a short drive first to make sure you are comfortable. Avoid long trips for first six weeks; if you do take a trip longer than one hour, you need to stop and walk at least every hour.
  • Returning to work: The general recommendation is to wait one week for Lap-Band, two weeks for Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy, but if you feel ready to return sooner, that is fine.
  • Attend support groups and nutrition classes. Call office for times.
  • Call the office number with questions or concerns, including after hours if you think it is an emergency. Dr. Babineau or another surgeon is always on call. Come to the Emergency Room or call 911 if you have to, but usually it is best to try calling us first.