Frequently Asked Questions: Bariatric Surgery Recovery

Cheerful latin woman with her hands on her hips and wearing casual clothes looking happy against a blue background (model)

Women and men considering bariatric surgery often start the decision-making process with little knowledge about their options, how bariatric surgery helps them lose weight, and how much weight they can expect to lose. Some of the most common questions potential weight loss surgery patients ask, though, are about the recovery process.

In this blog post, we’ll answer general questions, such as how long it takes to recover after bariatric surgery, and more specific queries, such as whether you can drink alcohol after a gastric sleeve procedure. Of course, we answer plenty of other questions at SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre during a patient’s initial consultation and additional pre-op appointments.

Bariatric Surgery FAQs

These answers generally refer to recovery following either gastric sleeve or mini gastric bypass procedures, which are the primary techniques performed by our surgeons. Both procedures are performed laparoscopically, a minimally invasive technique that reduces recovery time. We’ll support your initial recovery and provide resources for you through our exclusive 5-year AfterCare Success Program.

How Long Before Swelling Goes Down After Bariatric Surgery?

Swelling is something you’ll experience after bariatric surgery since it’s a natural part of the body’s healing response to trauma. It typically peaks within about 3 days of the surgery and then gradually resolves. Even though it will reduce significantly by the second week of recovery, residual swelling may persist for several weeks.

How Long Is Recovery From Bariatric Surgery?

Plan to spend a day or two in the hospital following your surgery and then a few weeks recovering at home before returning to a job that doesn’t involve physical labour. You will need to avoid strenuous activity for up to 6 weeks, and it may take up to 12 weeks to resume a normal diet.

Can You Drink Alcohol After Gastric Sleeve?

You should avoid consuming alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery or any other weight loss procedure during the first 6 months after your operation. Once you’ve been cleared to resume drinking alcohol, it’s important to limit your intake and understand that you can become intoxicated much more quickly after gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. And, because alcohol is high in calories and low in nutrients, drinking can impede your weight loss goals.

Can You Drink Pop After Gastric Sleeve?

Pop, or soda, and other carbonated beverages cause gas and may result in the stomach pouch expanding. As with alcohol, pop is also high in calories and has no nutritional value, so we recommend not drinking it at all (but especially during the first several months after surgery).

Can You Have Caffeine After Gastric Bypass?

The dietary restrictions immediately after weight loss surgery include not consuming any caffeinated beverage. That doesn’t mean you can never drink coffee again. You can resume drinking coffee after the initial recovery from your procedure, but you should still avoid adding cream and sugar to your daily cup.

How Much Can You Eat After Gastric Sleeve?

You will need to change your diet after gastric sleeve or gastric bypass surgery. With the support of a nutritionist, it’s important to follow a diet that will help you achieve your weight loss goals and minimize the risk of complications following bariatric surgery. The specific number of calories you should consume varies from patient to patient.

What Can You Never Eat Again After Gastric Bypass?

Foods that someone should avoid eating after bariatric surgery will vary, and you should work with one of our nutritionists to develop a long-term diet that identifies food you shouldn’t eat. These restrictions may change over time, but some common foods you may not tolerate after surgery include white bread, boiled pasta, tougher cuts of meat, celery, dried fruits, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.

Learn More About Recovery After Weight Loss Surgery

If you’re considering bariatric surgery and have more questions about the recovery (or any other weight loss surgery topic), request a consultation with a member of our surgical team using the online form or call us at (888) 278-7952 to schedule an appointment at SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre.