Your Hospital Stay
How Long Will My Hospital Stay
Everyone's hospital stay is different, so it
is impossible to know beforehand exactly how long you
will be in the hospital after your weight loss surgery.
What we describe here is a typical patient's
hospital stay. Of course, this may not be exactly the
same as yours.
When the anesthesia staff feel that
you are ready to leave the PACU, or recovery room, you
will be transferred up to a regular hospital room. Most
patients are not given anything to eat or drink right
after their operation, except for a few ice chips to
keep your mouth moist.
The First Day After Surgery
Most patients can start the "Stage I"
diet on the first day after surgery. Stage I includes
low-calorie, noncarbonated clear liquids and jello.
If your surgeon feels it is necessary, you may have
an upper GI study performed to assess your new stomach
pouch. This is similar to a barium swallow: you will
be taken down to the Radiology Department and have some
X-rays taken after you swallow a small amount of X-ray
If it has not already been taken out, your urinary
catheter will be removed. This does not hurt at all!
Your nurse will encourage you to do 2 things today:
You will be given a breathing exerciser, known officially
as an incentive spirometer. This is a small clear
plastic device with an indicator inside to let you
know how deeply you are breathing. By exercising
your lungs with this device you can reduce your
chance of getting fevers or pneumonia after surgery.
is very important to get out of bed and walk, even
right after surgery! This will reduce your risk
of a blood clot and will help you to take deep breaths.
The Second Day After Surgery
If you were able to tolerate your Stage I
diet, you will probably be advanced to the Stage II
diet today. This includes everything in the Stage
I diet with the addition of pureed foods. Additionally,
some soft solid foods like bananas and oatmeal are
permitted. It is still critically important to spend
as much time out of bed walking as possible, and to
diligently use your incentive spirometer!
When you are tolerating your diet well, your surgeon
will remove your intravenous line (IV) and switch
you over to oral pain medication. Most patients are
ready to go home by the middle of the second day after
their surgery (so if your surgery was on a Tuesday,
you would go home that Thursday).
||Q. Can I be 100% guaranteed
that I'll be ready for discharge by postop day #2
A. Absolutely not! Remember that the
hospital course described above is for patients
who have a completely "normal" recovery.
If you have major medical problems that require
treatment during this time, or if you have complications
of surgery, your hospital stay may be substantially