As with any surgery, there is a concern about how long it will take to get back to normal activities. It could be returning to the gym, walking the dog, or just playing with the kids. And, of course, when can the patient get back to work. Any amount of missed work could be a concern.
There are a few factors that come into play when deciding to go back to work. The type of surgery, the type of work, and how the patient is feeling after the procedure. Having gastric bypass surgery, or any bariatric surgery, is an important decision and all aspects need to be considered.
One thing to consider is what kind of procedure you’re having: open or laparoscopic surgery. Open surgery consists of one large incision and takes much longer to heal than a laparoscopic procedure. Laparoscopic surgery consists of five or six smaller incisions around the abdomen and is used for the vast majority of Weightwise patients.
Initial Time Off
While most procedures can be completed in a few hours, we recommend staying off your feet for the rest of the day. Although complications aren’t anticipated, we want to be able to monitor our patients for at least 24 hours after the gastric bypass has been performed.
Many of our patients come from out of town, including Dallas, Little Rock, or elsewhere around Oklahoma. If that’s the case, then expect to miss a few days for travel, both before the surgery and after. Consider it a long weekend before starting your newer, healthier lifestyle. We have a partnership with SpringHill Suites in Oklahoma City, which includes special rates for our patients.
Physical activity immediately after gastric bypass surgery
When done laparoscopically, many of our patients can take easy, small walks shortly after the surgery. But every patient is different – our doctors will let you know what activity is safe for the first day or two. But for the first 24 hours, it’s a good idea to take it easy.
After observing patients for a day, doctors will give the go-ahead to resume to everyday operations. Driving, going grocery shopping, or taking a stroll shouldn’t be an issue for most patients. For such a life-altering procedure, the recovery time from gastric bypass surgery is relatively fast.
Returning to work after gastric bypass surgery
Just like anything, going back to work depends on what kind of work it is. For example, working at a computer all day or otherwise sitting for long stretches is much different than working at a construction site. All of this will be taken into consideration by the doctors.
We like our patients to take at least one week off from the job after the procedure. This doesn’t mean you’re in bed the entire time – you are encouraged to start physical activity almost immediately. But we want to make sure you’re not in any discomfort before heading back for good.
If you just can’t be away from the office for that long, consider a part-time schedule at the start or even working from home if that’s an option. Some patients will feel lethargic in the following days, and we certainly don’t want you feeling overworked or stressed during this time.
Even if your job requires manual labor, there are few limitations after surgery. Since WeightWise utilizes laparoscopic procedures, there are no lifting restrictions placed on our patients. You can return to normal lifting and work routines as you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that you might fatigue faster due to the liquid diet and surgery recovery, so make your fluids and taking breaks a priority if you return to work quickly.
In many cases, our patients won’t miss much time at all after surgery. Depending on their benefits, they can use sick time/leave or even vacation time. If not, consult with our patient advocates for steps that can be taken to lessen the amount of time missed.
For many of our patients, gastric bypass surgery is life-saving. Weight-loss surgery has been shown to improve or even resolve certain heart conditions, some forms of diabetes, and even decrease death from different types of cancer. Lessening pain in the hips, knees, neck, and other joints are also beneficial side benefits.
Being able to work is very important for many patients, but so is extending their life expectancy. The entire Weightwise staff wants nothing but the best for you. We invite you to attend one of our seminars or watch an online seminar to see just how much gastric bypass surgery has helped our patients. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.