For your own safety, you should not drive until you have stopped taking narcotic medications and can move quickly and alertly to stop your car, especially in an emergency. Usually, it takes 7-14 days after surgery.Show Less
Almost immediately after the surgery, doctors will require you to get up and move about. Walking also decreases the risk of getting life-threatening blood clots. Patients are asked to walk or stand at the bedside on the night of surgery, take several walks the next day and thereafter. On leaving the hospital, you may be able to care for all your personal needs but will need help with shopping, lifting, and transportation.Show Less
No. Doctors encourage you not to drink alcohol after surgery. It is dangerous since alcohol rapidly enters the intestine in all the procedures and can become unexpectedly toxic. Alcohol also contains too many calories and will slow or limit weight loss.Show Less
No. Doctors do not recommend smoking after surgery. We encourage you to stop smoking at least 3 months before surgery. We routinely check your blood levels of nicotine and byproducts to make sure nothing is in the blood. Nicotine products greatly interfere with wound healing and increase risks of severe complications such as leaks, infection, heart and lung complications, risk of death.Show Less
Recovery is easier after lap-band procedures - placing an inflatable band around the stomach that can be reduced in size to restrict eating. Lap bands, however, may not be as effective. Lap bands require a great deal of patient compliance with diet as well as with visits to the physician. With gastric bypass, most people lose weight no matter what they do, because the physiological response after the operation makes them physically ill if they eat fattening foods. With gastric banding, patients can still eat fattening foods, so it takes a lot of patient buy-in. Weight loss is very slow with the band; It may take 5 years to achieve the degree of weight loss with a band that one observes a year after a bypass.Show Less
Reduction in nutrient absorption following a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is fairly minimal. The major problem comes from iron and vitamin B12. These are poorly absorbed and need to be supplemented. Calcium absorption is reduced and needs supplementation. A primary care physician should conduct annual checks of basic nutritional measures.Show Less
The mortality rate for bariatric operations ranges from 0.2 to 1.8 percent. This relates to the patient's risk for complications. Surgery on obese individuals is inherently high-risk. Many of the complications that cause postoperative death are not related specifically to bariatric surgery; rather, they are a function of obesity. For example, one of the most common causes of postoperative death is pulmonary embolus - a blood clot in the lung. These can occur in obese patients from any type of surgery they have.
The risks vary with the patient. Very large older men have a much higher risk of complications than relatively healthy, smaller women.
Although 1 in 200 or 0.5 percent seems high, death rates of 5 percent following heart operations are not unusual.Show Less
Current recommendations allow for bariatric surgery if there are significant obesity-related medical conditions for those with BMI ranging between 35 and 40. More studies are needed before clear recommendations can be given regarding the safety/efficacy profile for patients with BMI less than 40.Show Less
Over time, stretching of the stomach may occur. No one has clearly documented that this really happens. It is known that weight loss is not related to pouch size or the size of the connection between the stomach and small intestine. It has been clearly shown that subsequent operations to reduce the size of large pouches or make the connection smaller do not result in further weight loss.Show Less