This guide will explain the basics of weight loss recovery, including the average bariatric surgery recovery time.
Bariatric surgery is an increasingly popular way to achieve rapid weight loss, particularly for those whose weight prevents them from living a normal life. There are many misconceptions, particularly when it comes to the various types of procedures that are available. Recovery is different for everyone, so you should be aware of the factors that may influence your own recovery process.
Gastric Bypass Surgery Recovery
Gastric bypass is by far the most popular form of bariatric surgery. The reason for this popularity is that a gastric bypass presents fewer complications than other forms of gastric surgery, which generally makes recovery easier and quicker. Gastric bypass surgery is performed by cordoning off a small section of the upper portion of the stomach. The small intestine is then rerouted directly to the smaller stomach section, bypassing the rest of the stomach. This prevents the patient from eating excessive amounts and makes extreme weight loss possible over time. A gastric bypass does not involve the actual removal of any stomach tissues, so the recovery time is faster than that of other surgeries. Recovery spent in a hospital generally lasts from a couple of days to a week, and the patient can resume eating within a couple of days.
Average Bariatric Surgery Recovery Time
The average length of time for full bariatric surgery recovery is five weeks. The average weight loss for the surgery is 61% of their excess body fat over the course of several years. Such rapid weight loss can take a toll on the body if you aren’t careful, so you should carefully follow the recovery protocol given to you by your doctor to ensure the quickest bariatric surgery recovery possible. There are numerous factors that determine the length of time it will take you to resume normal life, including the type of surgery, your age, your original weight, and overall health. Gastric bypass recovery tends to be quicker than other types of weight loss surgery, and healthier individuals recover faster on average.
Depending on the invasiveness of the procedure that is done, recovery time from other forms of bariatric surgery may vary. Gastric bypass is the least invasive type of surgery, but your surgeon may recommend another type depending on your needs. Laparoscopic surgery is a popular option for various forms of weight loss surgery, including gastric bypass. Those who undergo laparoscopic procedures can generally resume normal life activities within five weeks of surgery, as opposed to several months for traditional surgical methods. Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, laparoscopic surgery is a great option to consider for reducing recovery time.
Age is an important factor when it comes to recovery, especially when it comes to gastric bypass surgery. Risks associated with bariatric surgery, particularly those associated with anesthesia, increase with age. As you age, your body begins to lose its ability to bounce back from physical trauma as quickly as it did in your younger years. Even minor surgery damages the tissue and requires a certain amount of time before you can resume the functions of normal life. Individuals over the age of 50 may experience longer recovery time than their younger counterparts, but the effects of aging on recovery can be mitigated. By following your prescribed post-operative regimen to the letter, you can drastically reduce your surgery time and resume normal life sooner.
Other Health Conditions
Extreme obesity often results in various comorbid health issues, so the time to normal life for bariatric surgery recipients depends largely on their overall health. If you suffer from diabetes, you may take significantly longer to heal than other people and have a harder time getting back to normal life after surgery. Diabetes prevents the body from healing wounds, so your surgeon may want your health to improve significantly before you are allowed to undergo surgery. You should begin taking steps now to live a healthy and normal life, so the recovery process will be even easier.
The biggest obstacle to getting back to normal life after going through bariatric surgery is malnutrition. You will be taking in significantly fewer calories, so you will also be getting fewer nutrients than you are used to in normal life. In addition, bariatric surgery can interfere with the body’s absorption of nutrients. If you begin to develop signs of malnutrition, such as dulled skin, hair, and nails, your doctor may prescribe a vitamin and mineral supplements to help you meet your daily requirements. Since patients who go through bariatric surgery are prevented from eating more than a cup of food at one time, they often have difficulty consuming an adequate amount of the nutrients the body needs. Poor nutrition is a leading cause of slow healing times, and vitamin deficiency can stretch the average bariatric surgery recovery length of several weeks into several months.
Ways to Improve Recovery Time
You can improve your bariatric surgery recovery process by following all the instructions given to you by your health care team and taking a few additional steps. Getting plenty of rest is essential too. As with all forms of physical recovery, bariatric surgery necessitates at least eight hours of sleep per night. Getting enough sleep allows your body to heal itself, both at night while you sleep and during the day while you perform normal life activities. Additionally, eating healthily and drinking plenty of water can improve your experience. A healthy diet is essential not only to maintaining your weight loss but also to speeding the recovery process as well.