Recovery period for every surgery differs from person to person mainly depending upon the type of surgery they have undergone and their physical and mental condition. You should be physically and psychologically strong to be a candidate for bariatric surgery as this would have a profound effect on your recovery afterwards.
After your surgery, it is significant to follow your surgeon instructions thoroughly to have a risk-free recovery period. You should have nutritious diet, get plenty of rest and take prescribed medicines on time to bring your body back to its highest health level.
Below are some guidelines regarding diet, exercise and physical activity during your bariatric surgery recovery period.
Your Diet During Recovery
You have to face a huge modification in your diet after bariatric surgery. Immediately post operatively you are on a liquid diet slowly progressing to solids. If you were previously in the habit of overeating and eating junk or processed foods, then this may be the most challenging part for you. You have to curb yourself from emotional eating. Rather, you have to start eating small portions each meal several times a day to keep your nutritional demands in check. This is mainly because after bariatric surgery your stomach is reduced to a small pouch and will not be able to accommodate large portions of food at one time. In case you try to eat more than your capacity, you will get very sick and may vomit.
For the first week, you will not be permitted to have a solid food to allow the healing of your stomach. Your surgeon will keep you on a liquid diet that would mainly include low-calorie fluids. It is important to stay hydrated during your recovery period. Intake of only water may lead to severe consequences and it may cause imbalance in electrolytes.
You would be instructed to drink fluids especially low-calorie juices along with water. Preferably to prevent yourself from dehydration you should drink at least 48 to 64 ounces of low-calories fluid all day long. Your health care practitioner would advise you on the quantity and type of fluids that would be best for you after surgery. You should strictly avoid carbonated beverages, high-calories drinks and alcohol.
You will be able to eat soft foods about 2 -3 weeks after surgery. If you feel unwell always after starting soft foods, revert to your former liquid diet and wait for some more time to pass. In case your nausea gets worse and you have gastrointestinal pain that lasts for more than 2 hours, you need to consult your surgeon immediately.
Once your body gets accustomed to soft foods you can start your solid food diet. Your regular meal should contain foods that are rich in proteins since proteins play an important role in repairing and regenerating the body. You should include foods like eggs, dairy products, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Avoid eating vegetables that are raw and hard, fruits with skin, hard bread, pretzels and tough meat as they would be tough on your digestive system. Foods rich in sugar, fats and calories can cause dumping syndrome where a person feels heavy, nauseous, experience stomach discomforts, diarrhea and queasiness. Your surgeon would also prescribe high quality supplements like a daily multivitamin to take care of your additional body’s nutritional demands.
Physical Activity During Recovery
You may not be able to perform any intense exercise after surgery since this may injure your incisions and extend your recovery period. You do need to be physically active to keep your body moving and make you feel healthy during your recovery. You may start walking short distances to avoid the incidence of blood clots and pneumonia.
After first two weeks of surgery, you may start doing simple aerobic exercises like jogging to increase your energy levels, burn fat and enhance flexibility. Nevertheless, be careful with the healing incisions. Most strenuous exercises like lifting weights, cycling, swimming should only be done when you are mentally and physically well. Your doctor may examine you thoroughly before letting you start your daily exercises.
Your body recovers and heals best while you sleep, so make sure that you are getting enough rest during the day and sound sleep throughout the night. Also, adhere to a healthy diet after your surgery. A well-balanced wholesome diet gives your body the required nutrients to restore itself. You must strictly follow all directions of your surgeon to make your recovery period relaxing and comfortable.
A valid weight loss surgery option can completely change your life if you are willing to change your eating habits and lifestyle to keep away the extra pounds forever.