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After Your Surgery

What to expect after your bariatric surgery.

Short-term Risks
All abdominal operations carry the risks of bleeding, infection in the incision, blood clots, lung problems (pneumonia, pulmonary embolisms), strokes or heart attacks, anesthetic complications, and blockage or obstruction of the intestines. These risks are greater in patients suffering from morbid obesity. Some surgical side effects, such as a blood clot, can also be life-threatening. According to the 2004 consensus statement from the ASBS, the risk of death during bariatric surgery is less than 1 percent. 

bariatric surgery patientBariatric (weight loss) surgery is not a quick fix. It's an ongoing journey toward weight loss through lifestyle changes. After surgery, the difference in your body makes it physically easier to adjust your eating habits and lifestyle. Positive changes in your body, your weight and your health will occur, but you will need to be patient through the recovery process.  Our goal is to make you, as our patient and guest, as comfortable as possible, relieve your anxiety and help you to heal after your bariatric surgery. Our team of surgeons and healthcare providers is committed to providing compassionate care and ongoing support after your surgery to ensure that you will not have to go through the process alone. The following information will be helpful to you as you recover from surgery:

Waking Up in the Recovery Room
Some doctors will provide a Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA), or a self-administered pain management system, to help control pain. Other doctors prefer to use an infusion pump that provides a local anesthetic directly to the surgical site to control pain without the side effects of narcotics. 

Support Following Surgery

Do I meet with a nutritionist after surgery?
Personal nutrition counseling after surgery is available as needed or as required by your physician.

What is the long-term follow-up schedule?
Although the short-term effects of bariatric surgery are well-understood, there are still questions about the long-term effects on nutrition and body systems. Over time, you will need regular checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and vitamin B12, and folate and iron levels.

To ensure success, it is recommended that you make several visits to your bariatric surgeon within the first year and then a yearly visit for life.

How can I find a support group?
Support groups will give you an excellent chance to talk about personal and professional issues. Most patients learn, for example, that bariatric surgery will not fix existing emotional issues right away or heal the years of damage that morbid obesity may have caused to their emotional well-being. Most bariatric surgeons who frequently perform bariatric surgery will tell you that ongoing support after surgery helps to achieve the greatest level of success for their patients. The Rochester General Bariatric Center offers free support groups to assist you with your short- and long-term questions and needs.

If you have additional questions about your postoperative surgical care, please call Patient Information at (585) 922-4528.