OGmandyV

How much time did you take off after surgery?

Recommended Posts

How much time did you take off after surgery?

I have FMLA so that I can take up to six weeks and that's what I submitted for. Am I being too ambitious? My friend said she took off 4 weeks because she wanted to be finished with the pureed stage before returning to work. I figured why not take the as much as I wanted!

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had to take 6 weeks off because my employer has a 70 lb lifting requirement.

In honesty, I felt I could have gone back earlier but without my surgeon signing me off, that wasn't possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm three weeks out today and if I have no digestive problems this weekend I'll go back to work (part time) next week. Feeling stronger the last several days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I work at an office job (no lifting) and was back at work part time six days after my gastric bypass.  I was back at work full time about a week later.  I had no post-surgery complications and almost no pain once I left the hospital.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went in at 6 days to do paperwork.  I returned on my feet all day, no break on day 9..  I was supposed to be off 2 weeks..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a teacher. I took two weeks of work off, and that was butted up against a week of vacation for a total of 3 weeks. I was tired the first week but was fine. 2weeks for me would have been pushing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did my surgery during summer break. I worked in special education and believe I would not have kept up with the kiddos very easiely. For me, I had a lot of fatigue. Felt much like jet lag. 

But I noticed so many others on this forum back to work early on and did really well after just a few short weeks.  The pain eased up pretty rapidly, it was just the stamina for me.

I think your friend has a great idea to get the diet down pat. That is a bit of a learning curve. Plus, seems everyone at work can be pretty curious about what we eat and are fascinated by how little we eat. LOL

Best wishes on your upcoming surgery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What type of job do you have? I had my surgery on a Wednesday and back to work on the following Monday. I have a desk job and was able to go on about my day pretty easily besides being tired at the end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had gastric bypass and was back to work full time in one week.  No complications, and I never felt uncomfortable at work.   I was just very tired for the first few weeks.  Other than that I felt great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was out for almost two weeks and then went back for 1/2 days for 2 - 3 days. I was back full time in less than 3 weeks. If you have stuff you want to do then take the time. But I think you'll be ready for work sooner than you think. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

need to discuss with your surgeon. I was going back to work In 2 weeks till he told me I would be out for 4 weeks. he told me then we

can discuss when I would return to work. he told me the reason was I might lift or do something without thinking. he is the person that

controls the paper work, most company's will not let you return with out release. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OGmandyV, 

I think there are merits to thinking about your overall goals and how you can use the time away from work.

My employer also asked me to fill out FMLA paperwork. I "could" have physically gone back to work at 10 days, narrowly defined as how my surgery went. The final drivers for my surgery, however, were a really bad back, and hip (wear-and-tear osteoarthritis), issues that had become near disabling. So, with the blessing and approval of my docs, I took more time (4 weeks) and did both a lot of physical exercise (minimum an hour a day) and physical therapy - I never could have carved out 2-3 hours in a day for those before my surgery given my hectic work life.

Taking 4 weeks allowed me to personally prioritize my own needs, and set the stage for my employer to recognize the importance of my health. I created the personal habit, and social expectation, that I have to do an hour a day of exercise if not more. I'm now able to physically do much more than I could have if I had rushed back to work. Moreover, I had a gratifying amount of initial weight loss, in part (I think) because of my fanatical attention to exercise. My bosses and colleagues are now invested in my success to some extent because I engaged them in a rationale they understand (and which my docs agreed was reasonable). So, I've ended up with a bit more social support and affirmation of my absolute requirement that I will get my exercise/ physical therapy in every single day. Works tends to drown out everything these days. 

Obviously my calculations might have been different if my employer had not paid my salary during the time I was out. Have to put food on the table and pay the bills. I am endlessly thankful for my employment situation and comprehensive insurance. My gym with a great pool is nearby, as is a bike path (I cycled 26 miles this morning). There are a lot of people without these and it would be churlish of me to not acknowledge them. This would have been much harder without FMLA being in place. 

So, if you do get extra time you might want to consider how to set the habits and expectations that will help you to sustain all of this. The place I have happily gone off the deep end is in getting a lot of exercise and setting up a social atmosphere which supports me in this. My medical team bought into this and at the end of the day so did my employer. 

You've asked if 6 weeks is too ambitious. My understanding is that people take 1-4 weeks to return to work after VSG unless there are complications, with an average of ~ 2 weeks. Perhaps I am wrong imputing my situation to yours, but in my case my docs had to complete a form outlining why XXX amount of time off from work was reasonable and certify that I could return to work at the end of it. My docs would not have signed off on 4 weeks unless I had articulated the plan that I came up with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went back to work after 7 days.  I am a veterinary technician and work 10-12 hours/day on my feet, bending, lifting, squatting, kneeling, etc.. I had to limit my duties to accommodate my 20 pound lifting restriction for 3 weeks, and was pretty tired when I'd get home,  but other than that I had no problems.  Kept a good supply of protein shakes and other fluids at work to sip in between appointments since I was on liquids only for the first 18 days.  I had wanted to take two weeks, but we got super busy and actually felt fine to go back to work (being a couch potato, binge watching Netflix for a whole week would have been fun, though :D ).  I am also partners in the clinic, so no PTO, FMLA, etc for me....no work = no pay and due to scheduling my surgery to correspond with the weekend and Christmas, I actually only missed 3 days of work.

Edited by ThinCVT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took 12 business days. I also filled for FMLA, but that was the number of paid vacation days I had left and I liked the idea of getting paid to recover. But had the FMLA and short term disability just in case.

My surgeon was pretty keen on 2 weeks as that is the normal first follow up appointment, he could sign the release form at the same time.

Edited by KMFL28

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not the poster child for self care. I went back to work 5 days I was released from the hospital following gastric bypass, and school the next day. It would have been better to have 2 weeks off due to fatigue and the adjustment to the new diet. I have a sedentary job, so that was not the issue; it was more the brain fog at school. I don't even remember the couple weeks after surgery and I have no clue how I passed.

That being said, I had no pain after the first week and the only restrictions I had were lifting over 20 pounds and no exercise other than walking for the first 2 weeks, and over 40 lbs the next 2 weeks. My biggest adjustment was (and still is) eating right and getting enough fluids.

On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 2:29 PM, BurgundyBoy said:

Taking 4 weeks allowed me to personally prioritize my own needs, and set the stage for my employer to recognize the importance of my health. I created the personal habit, and social expectation, that I have to do an hour a day of exercise if not more. I'm now able to physically do much more than I could have if I had rushed back to work. Moreover, I had a gratifying amount of initial weight loss, in part (I think) because of my fanatical attention to exercise. My bosses and colleagues are now invested in my success to some extent because I engaged them in a rationale they understand (and which my docs agreed was reasonable). So, I've ended up with a bit more social support and affirmation of my absolute requirement that I will get my exercise/ physical therapy in every single day. Works tends to drown out everything these days. 

I would have liked to have been able to take more time for the reasons BurgundyBoy listed. I am just getting into exercise now as my school schedule was so hectic. It would have been great to get that routine in place out of the gate. My employer's buy-in is moot for me, but I can understand wanting that if you plan to be with your colleagues long-term and you want their support.

I am not sure, though, if staying home longer would have been good for me mentally. I have bouts of depression anyway, and I've yet to disembark from the emotional rollercoaster that is early WLS recovery. Without the distractions of work and school, I might still be rocking in a corner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now