Gastric bypass surgery FAQs

Here is a list of some of the most common questions asked by patients about gastric bypass surgery.

How much time will I have to take off work?

This all depends on the type of job that you do. If you have a desk job then it will be a couple of weeks before you can return to work. If you do a heavy manual type of job which involves a lot of lifting and carrying then you will have to allow a bit longer.

Bear in mind that your stomach will take around 6 to 8 weeks to heal so you must be careful in that time.

Try to avoid putting any unnecessary strain on your operation wound/s.

How long will it be before I can drive?

We would advise you to wait for two to three days before attempting to drive. You will find that when you are back at home for the first couple of days following surgery that you will feel the effects of the surgery and the anaesthetic. This means chronic tiredness and pain and soreness from the operation wound.

You will be taking painkillers and/or any other form of medication which may cause you to feel ‘woozy’ or drowsy and so driving is not recommended.

Plus, wearing a seat belt will be very uncomfortable as your stomach will still be tender for up to 10 days following surgery.

Will the scar/scars disappear afterwards?

If you have had laparoscopic surgery then the incisions will have been quite small which means minimal scarring. In time they will probably fade away. If you have had open surgery then you will be left with one long scar although this will fade over time.

There are some people who are prone to what is known as ‘keloids’: this is the medical name for the formation of thick, irregular shaped scars.

Will I lose a lot of weight?

You can expect to lose around 70-80% of your excess weight which will mainly happen in the first twelve months. All patients are different so bear in mind that this is an average figure.

Following a sensible diet and exercise plan will also help with future weight loss as well as improving your overall health.

Can I have other surgery following the gastric bypass?

We would usually advise you to wait for a period of a year to eighteen months before deciding upon further surgery such as cosmetic surgery.

Surgery which involves the stomach or digestive system is not recommended.

Can gastric bypass fail?

In the majority of cases it is a safe and very successful procedure, but, like any form of surgery there are a few failures.

These can be for a variety of reasons such as failure to stick to the aftercare plan, not taking the recommended daily nutritional supplements, not taking any exercise or not turning up to any of the aftercare appointments.

At the end of the day the success of this surgery is down to you and your willingness to change your lifestyle on a permanent basis.

Do I have to eat certain foods?

As long as you are sensible and remember that you have to eat small amounts of food then you can eat most things although sugary foods are not advisable due to the risk of dumping syndrome.

We would advise you to follow a healthy diet which contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, low fat products such as yoghurt and cottage cheese, wholegrains, chicken and fish.

If you have a sweet tooth then this will be difficult but avoid the temptation to treat yourself to a cake or some other type of dessert. Have a fresh fruit salad instead.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Guide sections

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