Following Gastric Bypass Surgery, a patient will embark on a slow but steady recovery process. Immediately after gastric bypass, each patient will be given specific instructions regarding which foods may be eaten, and in what quantities and intervals. For the easiest recovery process and the highest chance of long term success with Gastric Bypass Surgery, all of the post-operative instructions should be followed meticulously.
Recovery Immediately after Surgery
In the period immediately following Gastric Bypass surgery, patients will be unable to eat at first, and will then start a liquid diet. For the first couple of days immediately after surgery, the patient will typically be nourished intravenously, and will be given pain medication intravenously as well. After 1 to 3 days, the patient will be put on a liquid diet consisting of bland soups, water, milk and juices. The patient may gradually be given pureed foods such as reduced fat yogurt, jello, or any other food that can be easily mashed and has a smooth consistency.
After an average hospital stay of about one week, the patient will be released, barring any major complications. Before the patient can be released, it must be demonstrated that they are able to move around without a great deal of pain, and can ingest either liquids or pureed foods without regurgitating them.
Recovery at Home
When patients goes home following Gastric Bypass, they will normally be about one week post surgery. At this time, they will continue to follow the diet and exercise plan that was started in the hospital. The foods that are normally eaten during this period are pureed foods that do not contain any chunks, and liquids like milk and clear soups. The doctor will typically prescribe a light diet of pureed foods for about 2 to 3 weeks. Following this, patients usually have a period of about 2 months in which they will eat soft foods that require minimal chewing, such as fruit without skin, puddings, chopped meats, cooked vegetables, and other protein sources such as tofu. Daily exercise is also important during this early recovery period, and will often take the form of slow walks or other low impact exercises.
Long Term Recovery
Recovery from Gastric Bypass can take several months. Normally patients will need to follow a highly restricted diet and exercise program for about 2 months after the surgery before the doctor allows them to resume eating regular meals. Even when the doctor allows the patient to resume eating regular foods again, the patient will still need to closely monitor the quantities and types of food that she eats.
Heavily fried food, food high in fat, and foods high in carbohydrates or sugar can cause gastric distress and will need to be avoided. Since the stomach of Gastric Bypass patients will be a much smaller pouch than it previously was, patients will need to watch the quantities of food and liquid ingested at one time. Gastric Bypass is a life changing surgery that can have permanent positive results as long as the patient strictly adheres to all recovery instructions.