Your Hospital Stay After Bariatric Surgery
The length of your hospital stay largely depends on the bariatric procedure you undergo as well as the ability for your body to heal. Generally speaking, you will be in the hospital for about a day for a gastric band, one to two days for a gastric sleeve and two to three days for a gastric bypass or duodenal switch. If the procedure has to be converted to an open incision during surgery, this stay may be longer as the risk of infection to the wound site is greater.
Some of the factors that will reduce your hospital stay will include:
- The procedure being performed laparoscopically
- Better general health before the procedure
- Not smoking, or quitting smoking well before the procedure
- Getting plenty of rest
- Getting up and walking around, when directed
- Drinking plenty of water, when directed
- Don’t underestimate the power of positive thinking. As you feel up to it, we encourage you to discuss your new life and lifestyle with those who visit.
Your entire medical team, including the hospital staff, is dedicated to your safety, of course. However, it is also our job to keep you as comfortable as possible during your hospital stay. We want you to be very honest about the type of discomfort and the level of pain you are experiencing. While there will always be pain after a surgical procedure, there is no reason for you to suffer. During your hospital stay you will be administered appropriate painkillers.
You will be visited multiple times a day by nurses who will check your incision sites, take your vitals and make sure that your recovery is progressing smoothly. While you may want to get some sleep instead of getting a check-up, please do remember that these check-ups are necessary and important. Indeed, consistent progress in recovery usually means an on-time departure from the hospital.
Finally, be sure you have appropriate transportation from the hospital. You will not be able to drive both because of the surgery itself and because of the possibility of cognitive impairment from the medications you will be taking at discharge. Plan to have a loved one or family member take care of you at home for the first few days for the same reasons.
We are confident that you will receive the utmost in care. While no-one looks forward to a hospital stay, we do hope to make yours as swift and pain-free as possible.