After Surgery


For the first two weeks we recommend just fluids to decrease the risks of postoperative complications.

For the first 4 to 5 days after gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery patients can usually only tolerate small amounts of fluids. We recommend sipping small amounts regularly e.g. every 20 minutes for the first few days, we aim to increase the amount of fluids tolerated from 600ml to 1L over the first 4-5 days e.g. protein shakes, VLCD (Optifast), soups and broths, drinking yogurts, Gatorade, Hydralyte and Powerade. The aim should be 40g or more of protein per day during this period. After about 4-5 days patients usually can tolerate more fluids and the nausea tends to settle.

Regular consultation with your dietitian during this period is extremely important.

If you are unable to tolerate fluids please contact the office.

For weeks 3-4 post operatively we recommend pureed food progressing to soft food as tolerated and as directed by your dietitian to reduce the risks of postoperative complications.

The aim should be 40g or more of protein and 1L of fluid per day during this period.

During your initial consultation with Dr Blair Bowden we will supply a dietitian guide for this period it contains suggested foods suitable for this phase, however it is important to stay in contact with your dietitian to help monitor your intake.

You would have seen a dietitian and should have a detailed plan of what you have to do for the next month.

Dissolvable stitches and steri strips will have been used to close your wounds. The steri strips can also come off in about 5 days. When at home you can shower normally and simply pat the wounds dry. Dressings don’t generally need to be applied unless there is an ooze from any of the wounds. If you notice redness, inflammation, a discharge or the area is hot to touch please contact the office or see your GP.

The pain from your surgical wounds is normal for the first week, please take any pain relief as prescribed (please see the post op sheet). Pain in the shoulder is a result of the gas used during your surgery, it is not uncommon for this pain to loiter for up to 2 weeks. Please continue to take regular pain relief e.g. Panadol and the stronger pain relief as directed by Dr Blair Bowden and contact the office if it becomes problematic.

The band has its first adjustment one month after surgery. This is a simple procedure performed in the rooms by either Dr Bowden or Dr Duncombe. You will not need to change but you will need to be able to expose your stomach so your ‘port site’ is accessible.Remember: Do not eat anything (drinking is fine) two hours prior to your adjustment and only have fluids for 24/48 hours after that adjustment.

Vomiting is not normal. You may vomit if you eat too quickly, too much or you don’t chew your food well enough. Remember: If vomiting continues stop eating and go back to fluids for 24 hours to give your stomach a rest.

Please contact the office if vomiting continues or you have concerns.

Resume taking any medication you may be on the day after surgery, unless otherwise instructed by Dr Bowden. You may find it easier to break up large tablets.

The first four weeks the main aim is to avoid vomiting. Often patients notice that in the first month after surgery they are still hungry. DON’T PANIC! Soft food and liquids often rapidly transit through the new stomach do not to help you feel full after a small portion size. Once patients start more regular consistency foods they will notice less hunger and a significant portion size reduction.

Your first post operative appointment will be with Dr Blair Bowden two to three weeks post surgery for local patients and four to six weeks for country patients, from then we will arrange follow up with either of our bariatric GP’s (Dr Jennifer Duncombe or Dr Louise Gore-Jones) approximately one month later, then three months and onto six months (this will be dependent on when they deem necessary to review you again). If they think you need review again with Dr Blair Bowden they will refer you back to him and also discuss your problems with him. Follow up is very important no matter which procedure you have done.


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