You will wake up in a recovery room after your operation, where nursing staff will monitor you for any complications.
You will have a drip, and may have a urinary catheter and a drain into the wound. You will also be wearing stockings and have a pumping device on your legs to prevent blood clots. As soon as you are fully awake and comfortable, you will be transferred to either the surgical ward or the Intensive Care Unit where your relatives can visit you.
You will be given painkillers to control pain. Your surgeon will instruct you when you can drink water, it is important you do not have anything to drink until your surgeon feels it is appropriate for you to do so. .
You will be encouraged to get out of bed as soon as possible after surgery. This helps to reduce the chance of post operative complications such as, blood clots in the legs or chest infections.
The Day after Operation
If you have been looked after in Intensive Care you will be transferred to the ward. The amount you may drink will be increased every couple of hours until you are able to take at least one glass of water every hour. The drip will be removed when you are drinking enough to keep yourself hydrated.
The following one-two days after the operation
You should start to feel better very quickly after the operation and will be able to move around on your own.
You need to drink one 125ml glass of smooth fluid every hour when you are awake. For example, you may have tea and coffee, drinks containing milk and soup with no lumps.
You will be able to go home three to four days after the surgery.
Pain and medication
Gastric bypass is usually not a painful procedure. You will be given a supply of soluble painkillers to take home with you; these should be taken regularly for the first few days. If you experience no pain, gradually reduce the number of tablets you are taking. Allow soluble tablets to stop fizzing before you drink them.
You will also be prescribed an anti-acid sublingual tablet (lansoprazole fastab) to be taken daily for at least three months after your surgery. If you have been taking medication to control your blood pressure or diabetes, these will be reviewed before your discharge. In most cases these can be reduced or sometimes stopped all together. Please make sure you are clear about this before you leave the hospital.
Please note: Do not take any large tablets for first two weeks as they may get stuck and damage the staple line. All tablets have to be crushed or taken in soluble form. If in doubt please ask your surgeon.
The small incisions made for your surgery will be more or less healed by the time you leave the hospital. The steri-strips (paper stitches) should be left to come off by themselves. All stitches will be soluble. You will only need to go home with dressings, if one of the wounds is oozing. If this is the case the ward nurse will ask you to visit the nurse at your GP surgery.
In case of any concerns, please remember that you can always refer to your surgeon.
If you flying within six weeks from surgery, you should wear them during the flight.
Eating and Drinking:
You will be given a diet information sheet. You should have this with you at all times so you know what to drink and are familiar with the stages of food introduction in the next few weeks. In case of any doubt you are advised to contact your dietician.