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Recovery time after gastric bypass??


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#1 Jodi

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 04:57 PM

I am planning on having gastric bypass late January. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but I was wondering how the first week after surgery will be. I would like to hear of your experience, what you did that helped you get through the first week or what you wish you would have known.

#2 poet_kelly

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 05:04 PM

It really varies for different people. Everyone is so different.

My first week was not too bad. When I was in the hospital, I was on a morphine pump. I could push a button and get more whenever I needed it. And it worked very well. I had very little pain. My stomach hurt some when I moved.

A lot of people have a lot of gas pain, and I had gas pain when I had my gall bladder removed recently, but for some reason I didn't when I had my RNY.

They sent me home with a prescription for Vicodin, which worked pretty well, but I had a bit more pain the first day or two home than I'd had in the hospital. Getting up and down off the couch was painful. I slept sitting up on the couch the first week or so because lying down in bed was really uncomfortable.

The best advice I can give you is not to hesitate to take your pain meds, and don't wait until the pain is really bad. If you're still having pain and the bottle says you can take them every four hours, then take them every four hours. And walk as much as you can, because it will help with the gas pain and help you feel better sooner.

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#3 quilterpam

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 07:01 PM

I had a pretty easy time of it. The liquid pain medication worked well (I don't like morphine). I walked alot in the hospital, the nursery was just down the hall!

My biggest problem now is lack of energy!

Good luck
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#4 lowercases

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 01:18 AM

I was in the hospital for 3 days and at work by day 5... I have a desk job so that wasn't a problem at all and it kept my mind focused on other things. My boss had bought me a new comfy chair for this and I never had any problems at all.. I have a very high pain tolerance, too.

Honestly, though... I didn't even need the pain meds. I took one and decided that taking pills was more painful than the surgery pain (which was barely anything) and since I couldn't swallow the pills my doc gave me the ok to discontinue the antibiotics, too..
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#5 Christi

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 02:21 AM

I had a really easy time of things. I was in the hospital for a week after surgery. I walked alot in the hospital, had the morphine pump for two days then only had pain meds at night to help me sleep. The first week home was also good. I didn't have hardly any pain and I felt fine. I was driving my second day home. My first day home I went to the store to do some walking and window shopping.
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#6 hollycerniglia

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 03:15 AM

I was in a lot of pain the first week home. It hurt like h*ll to sleep in my bed. I ended up stacking a couple of pillows together so I didn't have to lay down flat. I wish I had a recliner because I would have slept in it. Make sure you have a heating pad because that seemed to help with the pain. You also need to walk as much as possible to prevent blood clots. Good luck with your surgery.
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#7 justme1963

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:07 AM

Hi, I just had my surgery a week ago today and the first week has been hell. first of all I wasn't prepared for the emotional turmoil it would bring. The entire week all I did was cry. I am not taking pain meds because my pain was tolerable and didn't feel I should take a pill if I could manage.

I hear everyone is different and that a lot of people have this reaction. All I can tell you is be sure you want a Gastric Bypass. I am convinced I made a mistake and should have done the band. I am seeking doctors that do revisions. I just don't feel the need to lose weight should come with the sacrafice of your boding absorbing nutrients.

For those that said they went back to work, I find it amazing. I find my entire day is managing my shake, vitamins and medications. Its a full time job. What I encourage you to do is get the first 2 week diet and try and follow it for two weeks at least a month before your surgery. This will give you a small sampling of what you are in for. Keep in mind, you have to follow where it says, sip water every 5 mintues, don't drink thirty minutes before the shake or 30 minutes after, that the shake should take you 45 minutes to an hour to get down for the entire meal. Along with multiple vitamin and your meds. If you don't get up at 9am and go to sleep at 10pm there is no way to manage getting in all the nutrients they want you to with the restrictions of how fast to drink and space things apart.

I also have not had a full nights sleep since the hospital. It hurts to lie down and the pillow propping doesn't work for me. I sleep one hour, I am up one hour.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you truly consider not such a drastic surgery. Please read all the good and bad before you make your final decision.

#8 mistymee

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:27 AM

Hi, I just had my surgery a week ago today and the first week has been hell. first of all I wasn't prepared for the emotional turmoil it would bring. The entire week all I did was cry. I am not taking pain meds because my pain was tolerable and didn't feel I should take a pill if I could manage.

I hear everyone is different and that a lot of people have this reaction. All I can tell you is be sure you want a Gastric Bypass. I am convinced I made a mistake and should have done the band. I am seeking doctors that do revisions. I just don't feel the need to lose weight should come with the sacrafice of your boding absorbing nutrients.

For those that said they went back to work, I find it amazing. I find my entire day is managing my shake, vitamins and medications. Its a full time job. What I encourage you to do is get the first 2 week diet and try and follow it for two weeks at least a month before your surgery. This will give you a small sampling of what you are in for. Keep in mind, you have to follow where it says, sip water every 5 mintues, don't drink thirty minutes before the shake or 30 minutes after, that the shake should take you 45 minutes to an hour to get down for the entire meal. Along with multiple vitamin and your meds. If you don't get up at 9am and go to sleep at 10pm there is no way to manage getting in all the nutrients they want you to with the restrictions of how fast to drink and space things apart.

I also have not had a full nights sleep since the hospital. It hurts to lie down and the pillow propping doesn't work for me. I sleep one hour, I am up one hour.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you truly consider not such a drastic surgery. Please read all the good and bad before you make your final decision.


You're in the midst of 'hell week'.. what you're feeling is soo normal but as the days go forward, you'll find it less and less of a struggle every day. Right now, your dealing with buyers remorse, honey..

One thing I would suggest is that you do take your pain meds.. though I would ask the doctor for liquids instead of pills, as they're much easier to get down. Staying on top of the pain meds will help you heal. Being in pain causes stress and stress inhibits healing.

And remember that estrogen is stored in our fat cells and when we are in that most active stage of weight loss early out, those hormones are streaming through our veins and basically, it's like one massive case of PMS. So you've got a lot of things going on. It will get easier as the days go forward.

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#9 GoolyMoogly

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 08:09 AM

1. Be prepared not to have fluids at all the day before and a whole day after surgery. This was a real toughy for me and the hours in hospital dragged and dragged and dragged and ..... you get the picture. I found if I didn't ask the nurses for a sponge of icy water to relieve me the generally didn't offer it. So ask for relief if you need it.

2. The pain is not unbearable but I felt as though my insides had been turned upside down. I felt like everything was in the wrong place. My pouch (once I was able to have something to drink and broth felt high up in my chest and it was really strange.) The kind of pain you feel is muscular for example if you have to laugh it feels like ha ouch ha ha ouch ouch.... I don't know how to describe it.

3. I had severe foot pain hours after surgery. I suffer from plantar fasciitis (sp?) and because the surgery is done while you are upright my feet were constantly on fire for days. In fact the foot pain was more overwhelming than the surgery pain for the first few hours. Glad to report due to the weight loss I no longer have P.F and exercise with ease. Also I no longer have chaffing of the thighs and it feels good to walk quickly and run without the sting or rash.

4. The pain doesn't sting. I imagined it would feel like a dagger had sliced open my skin but for me it was not a raw searing pain. It felt more like I had done one million sit ups and it hurt to move my abdomen.

5. I had a tough time walking a few hours afterwards. They tried but my legs felt like jelly. I was fine the next day.

6. Going home was tough for me because my family is spoiled. I still had to do housework and pretty much fend for myself. I husband would offer to get me water now and again but my kids are too young for chores and my husband is well...spoiled so I was one of those that broke some rules I should have stuck to.

7. I was very hungry at home, I had terrible cravings. I made one terrible mistake of eating cheetos (the story made headlines on this forum) and I ended up in hospital. Just stick to the plan and and don't get tempted to eat anything you are not allowed to eat. I found tv food commercials very upsetting to watch because I felt extremely deprived however after the first week things became much better for me.

8. I always like to gulp down my water really fast. I have vomited a few times drinking too quickly since the surgery. Get your water in by drinking small tiny sips. It becomes a habit and eventually it won't bother you as much.

9. My immediate gut feeling after the surgery was "What have I done. Why did I do this to myself. This is so much harder than I imagined." When hell week was over I honestly have no regrets and am already reaping the benefits of being a smaller person.

10. Food is no longer a constant feature in my life. In fact I hardly think about it. I don't miss sugar ( I thought I would) I don't miss grease ( the smell or thought of it makes me sick). I love eating my protein first (for me it legumes, soy and vege fake meaty things and I hardly get to my carbs) That for me is a miracle because I was fat mostly due to my addiction to high carbohydrate foods especially potatoes. Now I don't even want them and that is a MIRACLE!!!!

Good luck and all the best. You can do it!

Edited by GoolyMoogly, 26 October 2009 - 08:20 AM.

*NOTHING TO LOSE, EVERYTHING TO GAIN*

Pre-Op Highest weight 262
Pre-surgery 247lbs
Weight at surgery 252 lbs
Surgery date 09/10/2009
Current weight: 146 lbs (116lbs since highest and 106lbs since surgery)

Interim goals:
Goal 1: 200lbs REACHED ON 11/26/2009 YAYYY!!!
Goal 2: 175lbs by 01/14/10 @184 failed 9lbs out:(
Goal 3: 170lbs by 03/25/10 reached 163lbs on 03/23/10
Goal 4: 160lbs by 04/25/10 reached 160 lbs on 04/15/10
Goal 5: 150lbs
by 05/25/10 reached 149lbs on 05/25/10
Goal 6: 120lbs by 08/25/10


Goal 7: 110 by 09/25/10 Weight 110!!!!:D Oh my I cannot wait!!

#10 Berkut

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:00 AM

I think the recovery times and experiences can vary greatly.

I remember waking up after surgeryand the nurse asking me to rate my pain 1-10. I coraked out 10!, and she shot meup with some morphine. Once that kicked in it went down quite a bit, and it seemed like a couple minutes later they were getting me up to go walk.

I struggled, with the help of my wife, to get to the end of the little hall and back.

However, 36 hours later I had walked 1 mile at once in the hospital, and walked out that morning and went home. I took prescription of Vicodin home with me, and I think I took two of them.

Two days after I got home, I walked 4 miles in 2 stretches.

I am not saying this because I think I am some kind of amazing person, but because I think I was very fortunate to experience the "ideal" end of the recovery range. I think.

I had surgery on Monday, and went back to work the following Monday, to the great chagrin of my PA.

I imagine my recovery went as well as it did for a variety of reasons:

1. I got lcuky.
2. I was in pretty good physical shape before the surgery - while I was obese of course, I was very active and for a fat guywas actually in very good shape.
3. No real co-obesity health issues, like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., etc. I imgaine a lot of people who have this surgery have a variety of other problems that go along with obesity. That has to make recovery tougher.
4. Great support from my wife. Considering she was very opposed to me having the surgery, she was incredibly helpful, made sure I was taking my meds, eating, drinking, the entire nine yards.

So that is just one view, from the rosy end of the spectrum. I go in for my 6 week check uptomorrow down a little over 40 lbs, and feeling great.

Best of luck to you.

Jeff
Surgery: RNY Gastric Bypass September 14th, 2009.

Weight at surgery: 307
Goal Weight: 190
Current Weight: 228

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#11 Berkut

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 09:02 AM

Hi, I just had my surgery a week ago today and the first week has been hell. first of all I wasn't prepared for the emotional turmoil it would bring. The entire week all I did was cry. I am not taking pain meds because my pain was tolerable and didn't feel I should take a pill if I could manage.

I hear everyone is different and that a lot of people have this reaction. All I can tell you is be sure you want a Gastric Bypass. I am convinced I made a mistake and should have done the band. I am seeking doctors that do revisions. I just don't feel the need to lose weight should come with the sacrafice of your boding absorbing nutrients.

For those that said they went back to work, I find it amazing. I find my entire day is managing my shake, vitamins and medications. Its a full time job. What I encourage you to do is get the first 2 week diet and try and follow it for two weeks at least a month before your surgery. This will give you a small sampling of what you are in for. Keep in mind, you have to follow where it says, sip water every 5 mintues, don't drink thirty minutes before the shake or 30 minutes after, that the shake should take you 45 minutes to an hour to get down for the entire meal. Along with multiple vitamin and your meds. If you don't get up at 9am and go to sleep at 10pm there is no way to manage getting in all the nutrients they want you to with the restrictions of how fast to drink and space things apart.

I also have not had a full nights sleep since the hospital. It hurts to lie down and the pillow propping doesn't work for me. I sleep one hour, I am up one hour.

I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you truly consider not such a drastic surgery. Please read all the good and bad before you make your final decision.

justme, would you say the your wish that you did not have the surgery is based on your emotional reaction to it, or a rational evaluation of the results?

I ask this because it seems like the answer can only be the former - a week out you cannot really evaluate the results yet, but are only experiencing the worst of the costs.

I wish you the best, and hope things get better.
Surgery: RNY Gastric Bypass September 14th, 2009.

Weight at surgery: 307
Goal Weight: 190
Current Weight: 228

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

#12 justme1963

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:03 AM

Gooly, I am so sorry to hear of the lack of support you received from your husband. I am happy for you that it worked out in the long run. You are fairly recent into your recovery right? Do you think all the lack of cravings will stay abated. I am afraid mine won't.

#13 curious1

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 07:48 AM

For me surgery and the first week were no bad at all but mind you I am 29 yrs old and had natural child birth:D I found that the most painful part immediately after surgery was the case and morphine doesn't cover that. The only thing you can do is walk. It will suck for the first bit as you will feel the gas rising but as soon as you start burpin you will feel so much better.

For the first week I wanted to sleep a lot and had naps everyday. By the second week my son was back home with me and while I was uncomfortable sometimes I could handle it as long as he went to daycare and I napped for 2 hours during the day. By week 3 I felt great again and was walking 1.2 miles once of twice daily. I am now almost 4 months out and I feel fantastic. I still deal with nausea some mornings but I can deal with it. The only drawback to my nausea is now my son imitates me puking.
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Highest weight 367 lbs in 2004
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