McLaren Port Huron - an accredited bariatric surgery center

What to Expect Following Bariatric Surgery

Answers to questions about bariatric surgery


Question Topics:


Will I have a lot of pain?

Every attempt is made to control pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about quickly and become active. This helps avoid problems and speeds recovery. Various methods of pain control, depending on your type of surgical procedure, are available. Ask your surgeon about other pain management options. (back to top) 

How long do I have to stay in the hospital?

Although it can vary, the hospital stay (including the day of surgery) can be 1-2 days for gastric band surgery and 2-3 days for gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. (back to top) 

Will I feel bloated after my surgery?

Immediately after surgery, you may feel bloated due to the gas that was placed in your abdomen from the laparoscopic procedure, and if you had gastric bypass, from the gas that was placed in your intestines during the endoscopy that is performed. The feeling of bloating usually resolves when you start having flatus. Some patients will experience cramping after surgery which is usually related to the build up of gas in the intestines from the surgery.  (back to top) 

I’ve had a lot of gas since surgery, is this normal?

Generally, the gas subsides a few days after surgery. Make sure to move around, this helps the gas to pass. If you are having gas pains or incision discomfort, be sure to take the prescribed pain medication. If the pain gets worse, you should call the McLaren Port Huron Bariatric Center of Michigan at 810-989-3328. (back to top) 

When can I shower or take a bath?

You can shower the day after your surgery.  (back to top)  

How soon will I be able to walk?

Almost immediately after surgery doctors will require you to get up and move about the day of surgery. (back to top)  

Will the doctor leave a drain in after surgery?

Some gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients will have a small tube to allow drainage of any accumulated fluids from the abdomen. This is a safety measure, and it is usually removed in the clinic one week after the surgery. Generally, it produces no more than minor discomfort. (back to top)  

Is sexual activity restricted?

Patients can return to normal sexual intimacy when wound healing and discomfort permit. Many patients experience a drop in desire for about six weeks. (back to top)  

Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?

It is recommended that women who have had weight loss surgery wait at least 18 months after the surgery before a pregnancy so that your body will be fairly stable (from a weight and nutrition standpoint) and you should be able to carry a normally nourished fetus. Patients who have had adjustable gastric band surgery may require removal of the fluid from the band. (back to top)  

Will I be able to take oral contraception after surgery?

Most patients have no difficulty in swallowing and absorbing these pills. (back to top) 

Are there activity restrictions following bariatric surgery?

Yes, strenuous activity should be avoided until you are healed. Walking is recommended right away. Light exercise can begin in seven to 10 days. More intense regimens should be avoided for at least three weeks. You are advised not to drive if you are taking pain medication other than Tylenol. At your first follow-up visit, your doctor will determine when you can return to work, but most people return to work two to six weeks after surgery. Heavy lifting is generally okay six weeks from your date of surgery but should be cleared with your surgeon. (back to top) 

When can I return to work?

This depends on the individual, the surgery you have had and the type of work you do. People with desk jobs or more sedentary work can go back as early as seven days after surgery. Patients with more lifting in their jobs usually go back to work three weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work within two weeks of their surgery. (back to top) 

What do I do if I develop a fever?

You should contact the McLaren Port Huron Bariatric Center of Michigan at 810-989-3328 to determine if there is cause for concern. (back to top)  

What do I do if one of my incision sites looks red and becomes painful to the touch?

This could mean you have a surgical site infection. You should contact the McLaren Port Huron Bariatric Center of Michigan at 810-989-3328 during normal business hours and your surgeon’s office after hours. (back to top)  

Is it possible to gain weight after surgery?

While bariatric surgery is an excellent tool for helping morbidly obese individuals lose weight and maintain weight loss, it is possible to gain weight back.  Individuals who make lifestyle changes, maintain good dietary habits and exercise regimes are more likely to keep the weight off than those who do not exercise and who snack frequently. (back to top)  

Will exercise help with excess hanging skin?

A regular exercise program is recommended to help with weight loss and muscle tone. Unfortunately, most people may still be left with large flaps of loose skin depending on their pre-surgery weight and fat distribution. (back to top)  

Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I have lost a lot of weight?

That is not always the case. As a rule, plastic surgery will not be considered for at least a year or two after the operation as, sometimes the skin will mold itself around the new body tissue. Give the skin the time it needs to adjust before you decide to have more surgery. (back to top)  

Click here to register for a free bariatric surgery information seminar

General Bariatric Surgery Information:

McLaren Port Huron HealthAccess
Email HealthAccess
1.800.228.1484 (Michigan Callers)

Patient Contact Information:

McLaren Port Huron
Bariatric Center of Michigan
Wismer 3rd Floor Clinic
1221 Pine Grove Avenue
Port Huron, MI 48060
(back to top)