After the Surgery
If you experience:
- Severe abdominal pain not relieved by Tylenol
- Fever with temperature more than 38.5° C
- Vomiting of blood
- Shortness of breath with minimal activity
- Painful, warm, swollen calves
- General feel of malaise: not feeling well or can’t walk with ease
If you are within 2-3 hour commute from Montreal, present yourself immediately to the Montreal General Hospital emergency room of the McGill University Health Centre and ask that the Bariatric Surgery Team and your surgeon be contacted immediately.
If you’re outside of the Montreal area, please present yourself at the emergency of the closest local hospital. Be sure to also contact our bariatric nurse by phone (514-788-2311 ext 205) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) during business hours (Monday to Friday 8 AM to 3 PM) or by email only outside of business hours (email@example.com).
Remove the dressings over your small cuts if the nurse has not already done so. Leave the wounds exposed to the air, unless there is a lot of liquid drainage. In that case, apply a clean dressing (which you can obtain from any pharmacy) and call us.
You may take showers when you go home and allow soap and water to run over your cuts. Do not rub the face cloth over them as this can dislodge the clips and start bleeding. Let the wounds dry and keep them uncovered.
You can walk as much as possible, and you can do all exercises that do not involve severe contact (e.g. play contact hockey or football) including stationary bike, walking or jogging on a treadmill etc. as long as there is no pain. You can drive your car if it feels comfortable and only if you are not taking narcotic medications that can make you drowsy. You can have sex if there is no pain. You can sleep on your belly if that is your preference.
You can lift your children without worrying about wound hernia since we do not make a cut up and down your belly with the laparoscopic approach we use for both laparoscopic banding and laparoscopic gastric bypass.
Follow-up with the Bariatric Team
If not already given to you call to make an appointment to see the bariatric nurse within 10-14 days of your surgery. At this visit we will assess your health, the clips will be removed, your weight will be taken and all wounds will be examined.
At the 2 week visit you will be given another appointment with your surgeon at 30 days post surgery. At this visit we will again asses your health, your weight will be taken and your diet will be monitored and fine-tuned as needed. You will also be asked to see our dietician at this visit.
Subsequent visits with the Bariatric Team will be 3 months after your surgery. Visits with the dietician will also be organized for 3 and 6 months after the surgery.
Annual visits are recommended for life thereafter. Weight and diet history will be monitored and you will have appropriate blood tests to ensure that you are not developing vitamin and iron deficiencies.
What to do with medications after surgery?
You may resume taking your regular medications as soon as you go home, unless otherwise instructed by your surgeon or your health care providers.
You should avoid medications containing aspirin for 15 days following your surgery in order to reduce the risk of bleeding. It is important to crush your pills before taking them. If they are long acting pills (LA or XL) they must not be crushed. Talk to your pharmacist.
Crush all large pills (pain killers, vitamins, etc.) and mix them in the recommended liquid (or pureed food, if you are at that stage in your diet) to prevent them from blocking in the esophagus or obstructing the outlet of your pouch.
After the surgery we expect our patients to follow the advice provided to achieve optimal success
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day.
Physical exercise is critical to the success of your weight loss goals and long-term weight maintenance. Exercise consumes energy and burns calories. You can start with simple exercises such as walking or swimming. With weight loss, it will become easier to exercise. Consider investing in a pedometer to count your steps.
You have taken a major step toward reaching your weight loss goal by choosing to have weight loss surgery. Now you need to motivate yourself to exercise and maintain self control when it comes to your post-surgery diet. A psychologist may help you in working through barriers to your long-term success.
- Follow the dietitian’s advice.
Refer to the section ‘Diet and Nutrition’ for details.