How Long Does it Take to Recover & Lose Weight After Bariatric Surgery?

If you're over one hundred (100) pounds overweight and are considering having bariatric weight loss surgery, you probably have a lot of questions you want answered before scheduling your surgery. Right Weigh has received many questions about gastric bypass and lap band surgery, most of them concerning how long it takes to recover from surgery and get back to work and your normal life. Obviously, another big question is how long it takes to actually lose weight. We answer these frequently asked questions (FAQ) below.

Is Bariatric Surgery Inpatient or Outpatient? How Long is the Hospital Stay?

How Long Does it Take to Recover & Lose Weight After Bariatric Surgery? Lap band weight loss surgery can be done on an outpatient basis, so you can usually be discharged from the hospital to go home the same day you have weight loss surgery, in most cases. For gastric bypass surgery, your hospital stay and recovery time will be a little longer. Hospital stay after gastric bypass is usually 2-4 days.

Is Outpatient Lap Band Surgery Safe?

YES! If the doctor has significant experience in lap band and if the program has a comprehensive program of care. Many fields of surgery have developed to where formerly inpatient procedures could be done in a healthier, safer outpatient environment. Gall bladder removal, hernia repair and many orthopedic procedures are just a few that used to require hospitalization. But, as progressive, high-quality surgeons became experienced and versed in laparoscopic procedures, it became evident that these surgeries didn't require hospitalization, where the patient was needlessly kept one or two nights, and exposed to infection or other diseases that the very sick in those hospitals were admitted for.

Such is the case with Lap Band Surgery. Very capable laparoscopic surgeons are seeing that the otherwise healthy lap band patient really doesn't need inpatient hospitalization, which drives up healthcare costs for all of us. "Hospitals are for the sick," one doctor said. "Most patients getting lap band surgery are not sick, but are there to have a surgical procedure done to help htem live better." Even the Wall Street Journal, in a March 2008 article, chronicled the rise of outpatient lap band centers as the growing wave of the future. At outpatient lap band centers, you are often discharged to home the same day.

Of course, your surgeon will medically screen you. If there is any reason you need to be in an inpatient setting, he or she will perform your surgery there. In every location we have an outpatient lap band center, we also have an inpatient program at a local hospital. Your medical safety is always of preeminent concern. If you have any questions about this, please let us know by calling or emailing.

How Long Does Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, and Gastric Sleeve Surgery Take?

Lap band surgery usually takes only about 45 minutes. The roux-en-y procedure usually takes a little longer, ranging from ninety minutes to three hours in the operating room, mainly depending on the size of the patient.

How Long Does it Take to Lose Weight After Surgery?

With gastric bypass, patients generally lose 60 to 75 percent of their excess weight within the first 6 to 9 months after surgery. After that, weight loss continues until about 18 months post-surgery when the patient usually achieves his/her goal weight.

With lap band, the rate of weight loss can be much slower. Patients will have to be "in tune" with their bodies, determining whether they are eating too much, which will minimize weight loss. If you feel hungry or that you are not losing weight fast enough, consult your surgeon who can arrange for an adjustment ("fill") or he may consult with you concerning the food choices you are making. There is a special dietary program for Lap Band patients that has resulted in significant, quick, health weight loss when followed. This program is at an additional charge. More information can be provided, if you are interested, by calling or emailing Right Weigh.

With any bariatric surgery, be sure you follow your surgeon's and dietitian's instructions exactly to achieve the best possible results.

How long does it Take to Recover, Heal & Get Back to Work After Bariatric Surgery?

Normally patients are out of bed the same day, but recovery rates can vary. We encourage you to be up and about as quickly as possible. You will be able to live a normal, active lifestyle after the surgical incision has fully healed (usually 6 to 8 weeks).

Most patients who have had bariatric surgery can get back to work within two to six weeks of their surgery, but this depends largely on the amount of physical activity your job requires.

Will I Have a Scar from Lap Band or Gastric Bypass Surgery?

If you have gastric bypass weight loss surgery, you will have a scar. The incision scar runs from the breast bone to the navel with open gastric bypass. There is no incision or scarring if you have laparoscopic gastric bypass.

What are the Side Effects of Weight Loss Surgery?

Some common side effects and complications related to gastric bypass and lap band surgery are hair loss, vomiting, intolerance of some foods, mineral deficiency, or stoma ulcer development. Most of these complications can be resolved or avoided by good nutrition and carefully eating. Your surgeon has a sound pre-surgical medical plan and comprehensive post-surgical follow-up plan that minimizes the risk of these complications. National outcome studies show a mortality rate of less than one-half of one percent for gastric bypass patients.

How Safe is Bariatric Surgery & Gastric Bypass?

As with all types of major abdominal surgery, there is a minor chance of post-operative complications. Complications may include (but are not limited to) cardiac arrhythmia, pulmonary embolism, or wound infection. Your surgeon will discuss possible complications and risks with you. The experience level of your surgeon can affect your risk for complications. Be sure to ask your surgeon about his experience level with bariatric surgery.