After surgery, you will spend a short time in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). When you are awake, you will be transferred to a nursing unit where nurses and aides have been specially trained to care for your needs.
In the nursing unit, your vital signs will be closely monitored. You will be required to wear special compression sleeves on your legs to keep blood clots from forming while you are in bed or the chair. You will receive fluids and medication for pain through a catheter in your vein at first, but you could start on a clear liquid diet the evening of your surgery. You will be able to take medication by mouth once you start on this diet. You will be asked to get out of bed the evening of your surgery and encouraged to walk around the unit.
Possible Complications from Bariatric Surgery
After surgery, some patients may experience minor complications such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or wound infections. Serious, but rare, complications may include blood clots to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), pneumonia, leaks in the new stomach pouch-intestine connection, ulcers, bleeding, band erosion/slippage and heart attacks.
Some other common concerns, which could occur later, include vitamin deficiencies or malnutrition, anemia, hypoglycemia, intolerance to alcoholic beverages and excess skin that may require surgical removal.
Complications could require dietary changes, medication or in extreme cases, surgery.
Leaving the Hospital
Your surgeon will determine when you should be discharged. Most patients go home the day after surgery, but you must have someone drive you as you will not be able to drive yourself. You will get specific discharge instructions from your nurse and surgeon describing what medications to take, if any, and what activities you may perform.