Every patient is different, but our experience tells us that most patients return to work within two weeks of bariatric surgery. We don’t recommend that patients take a certain amount of time off work. Many patients who have surgery on Wednesday, for example, return to work the following Monday. Some want to take a whole week off. It’s up to the patient.

The good news is that you likely won’t be bedridden during that time. In fact, we encourage our patients to start mild physical activity almost immediately after the procedure, as long as they are not in any pain or discomfort. This usually consists of slow, short walks.

And that’s really the crux of the issue.

The answer to the question of how long you’ll be off work after bariatric surgery really depends on you and your individual experience.

Working After Bariatric Surgery

In most cases, there are few medical reasons why a person wouldn’t be able to get right back to work.

To fill in the details a bit, bariatric surgery recovery times will include at least a two-day hospital stay. This is due to our staff wanting to ensure that you are able to consume your full 96 ounces of hydrating fluids before being discharged from the hospital.

It also depends on whether the procedure is open or laparoscopic surgery. Since open surgery requires a large incision, naturally the recovery time will be longer.

Our patients are operated on using laparoscopy, which is minimally invasive and made up of several small incisions in the abdomen. Both of these surgeries have been proven effective in helping people lose weight.

Patients must balance their need to be back at work with their need to give themselves adequate recovery time. Although some surgeries are considered “routine,” that doesn’t mean they aren’t also to be taken with the utmost level of seriousness.

At a minimum, we advise patients to remain off their feet for at least one day after surgery, regardless of the type. This gives our staff time to monitor the patient.

Finally, the question of how long you’ll be off work after bariatric surgery also depends on the job type. Those who sit or stand at a desk all day may be able to return to work sooner than those who engage in more strenuous activities for a living.


As always, please contact WeightWise with any questions or concerns about sleeve gastrectomies, gastric sleeve surgery in general, gastric bypass surgery recovery, or anything else.

We are here to help you for the long term and want you to have all the information you need about surgery, patients’ recovery times, post-op procedures, and more. This is true whether you are pre-surgery, or if you or weeks after surgery or months after surgery.

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