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Weight Loss Surgery Recovery Times

The process leading up to a weight loss surgery is generally long and involved, with many visits to surgeons, nutritionists and even psychologists before the actual surgery is performed. While it is easy to think of bariatric surgery as a magical solution for weight management, it is important to remember that the real work begins once a patient comes home from the hospital.

Losing the weight will happen, but it takes dedication.
Losing the weight will happen, but it takes dedication.

Depending on the type of surgery or procedure performed, doctors usually recommend taking 3-8 weeks off from work to fully recover. Immediately after the surgery, patients must adhere to a liquid diet for their first two to three weeks at home. After this initial phase you will meet with your nutritionist or surgeon, and they will explain how to reintroduce soft and solid foods slowly over the course of two to three months.

A soft foods diet allows your system to acclimate to more complex foods without putting too much strain on the new stomach yet. At this point, it is important to focus on consuming lots of high-protein foods. These include eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft fish, beans and soft cheeses. Most bread, rice, pasta, stringy cheese, peanut butter and anything sticky should be avoided as the stomach continues to heal. Raw vegetables, popcorn, tough meat and anything high in fat can be a problem for a new stomach pouch, potentially getting stuck or causing severe discomfort or pain.

During this time (3-5 weeks post-surgery) patients can return to most of their normal activities, including working and light exercise. Most surgeons will recommend a daily walking regimen to both help with the recovery process and promote additional weight loss. People who adopt an exercise routine early on are less likely to regain weight down the road.

Approximately 10-12 weeks after your surgery, solid and “regular” foods can be eaten again. The first few weeks of a solid food diet should incorporate lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits and vegetables as the new stomach will tolerate them. Because the stomach will now only hold a few ounces of food at a time, it is important to get a variety of nutrients in each meal. For optimum success, focus on high-quality foods and avoid junk or snack foods high in fat and sugar.

Weight loss after a bariatric surgery will be most dramatic for the first 6-12 months, and can continue for the next 1-4 years. The length of time during which weight continues to be lost is based largely on the new eating and exercise habits of the patient. Following your surgeon’s advice as closely as possible will ensure that you lose as much excess weight as possible. Though the initial recovery period lasts only a few weeks, the eating and exercise changes required will be lifelong.

If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment to see one of our surgeons, call our office at (516) 616-5500 or fill out our contact form to start a conversation now.


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Our team is happy to speak with you and help you understand any of the treatments we offer, or answer any questions you have. Please call and speak with us at 800-633-8446, or read more about the surgical and non-surgical options we offer here.

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What our patients are saying

“The staff and doctors at the New York Bariatric Group are amazing! They are always patient, helpful, and very understanding and pro-active with questions, problems, etc. After Lap Band surgery I feel fantastic. For the last 6 years I have not had to worry if my clothes would fit. I have been able to maintain my weight loss, and have so much more energy.”

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"Dr. Holover has a great personality, I love him, I consider him a good friend, and I recommend him to everyone. He and his staff are amazing. I thought my recovery would be worse, but it wasn’t. It was great. After a couple of days I was back on my feet and going, with three boys you don’t have time to be down. Now, my kids have to keep up with me!"

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"My results are incredible; I can go to any store and find clothes that fit, I don’t have to go to the big and tall store anymore. My family and friends say I look great, but more so are so happy about my health. Definitely go for it, it is well worth it."

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"My recovery was very easy, I started moving around pretty quick because the nurses had me up and about. Dr. Angstadt has a great bedside manner, a cheerful disposition and is very knowledgeable. He was genuinely concerned for me, he answered all of my questions and put me at ease. I couldn’t be happier, I think it is the best decision I ever made."

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"I was concerned about my health, my blood pressure, cholesterol, my mobility, my flexibility. A few friends told me about NYBG and I went to a seminar. I wanted to live a healthier life and live a long life. My recovery was great, after a week I was 100%. My doctor, Dr. Sekhar, has the best personality in the world."

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"I had a couple of friends who had bariatric surgery done by Dr. Garber a few years back and I decided to make the appointment. My favorite thing about the surgery is not being able to eat that much, eating whatever I want but in smaller portions. My results are amazing"

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*Individual results may vary.

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