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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Weight Loss Surgery Recovery Times


Lost 145lbs

Thomas' success story

I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man.

Everybody treated me like a king. The day of surgery, I was excited. The hospital couldn’t be any nicer. I went in for surgery. An hour later, I came out a new man. My recovery was awesome. I was out of bed that day. My wife and kids were my motivation on getting this surgery. They are my whole life. I’m happy I’m going to be around for them.

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Lost 76lbs

Nicole's success story

I hit my goal weight ... and I feel fabulous

I had the gastric bypass. I am Type 2 Diabetic and I wanted to gain control of my sugar. I hit my goal weight in about 5 and half months and I feel fabulous. The procedure has completely changed my life for the better because it has empowered me as a middle aged woman that I can really do everything and anything that I want to do. I don't put an age on anything. I don't say I'm too old for something.

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Lost 76lbs

Robert's success story

I was tired of the way I looked. I was tired of the way I felt.

I knew if I didn't change something soon, I was going to be in a lot of trouble. The consultation process was a lot easier than I expected. I was met with open arms. I was treated like I was the only patient here. Not only did they answer all of my questions, they had questions for me to make sure I was the right candidate for the surgery. After surgery and that weight started dropping off, my life started changing for the better.

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Lost 92lbs

Samantha's success story

I feel like a completely different person.

I had the gastric sleeve procedure. The driving factor behind me getting this procedure was my health. I didn't feel good physically or mentally. I had joint pains, even standing was difficult sometimes. Emotionally, this surgery completely turned my life around. I have so much more confidence. So much more happiness. I feel like a completely different person. I feel stronger. I feel able to accomplish more.

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Lost 99lbs

Eileen's success story

It saved my life.

The driving factor behind me getting my procedure was that I couldn't get up off the floor with my granddaughter. That was my why. That was my big reason for having this surgery done. After surgery, it was a little bit of a struggle with what to eat. What you put in your mouth that you don't even think about. You don't think about what you're eating or how you're eating and portion size. It's what I do now every single day. The procedure has changed my life in so many ways. It saved my life.

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Lost 126lbs

Brittany's success story

I am totally comfortable in my own skin.

I think I always grew up identifying myself as less than other people because I was fat. I decided to tackle that and just live my life. I had a sleeve gastrectomy. It changed how I view myself. How I communicate with people. I'm able to be much more of myself and live the life I always thought I should have been living. I am totally comfortable in my own skin. You have the tools you need to succeed here.

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Lost 157lbs

Desiree's success story

I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before.

I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy because I had just become diabetic, and I had hypertension for many years. I lost a total of 157 pounds in 11 months. I have a brand new life. I can do things I couldn't do before. Everyone at New York Bariatric Group has been wonderful. They are kind. They are understanding. They make you feel comfortable. They will guide you every step of the way on your journey so that you can be successful.

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