- Limit yourself to light housework for the first few weeks
- Walk as much as you can without feeling pain or significant discomfort
- Light resistance bands after 2 weeks is encouraged
- Do not lift more than 15 pounds for about 4 weeks
Some patients will begin to feel better very quickly after bariatric surgery and if you are one of those lucky patients, you may find yourself looking to become active right away. However, the week or two after surgery is a good time to take care of yourself, rest and recover. We want you to take frequent walks. You can walk as much as you’d like, but stop if you begin to feel lightheaded, overly tired or begin to develop any new pain.
Activity beyond walking and light housework can easily lead to a complication that puts you back in the hospital. Therefore, we suggest that a friend or loved one handle all of the housework within the first two weeks after surgery – In other words until your follow up consultation with Dr. Henke. At your two-week consultation, Dr. Henke will give you guidance on what activities you can perform based on how you are recovering.
Strenuous activity and lifting more than 15lbs should be avoided until Dr. Henke gives the all-clear. If you must use the stairs, be very careful, especially if you are still taking narcotic pain medication. Walk up and down stairs slowly and holding onto the banister. You will be safe to use stairs.
Many patients will want to start driving as soon as possible after surgery. Driving can be complicated by two realities of surgery. First, if you have been are taking narcotic pain medication, your abilities drive will be impaired, and driving is unsafe. Even if you are not taking narcotic pain medication however, you should not drive for at least a week after surgery. This is due to the abdominal muscles required when emergency braking, for example. Your ability to perform emergency maneuvers may be compromise during the early recovery stages. In no circumstances should a bariatric patient be driving within 7 to 10 days after surgery.
After 4 to 6 weeks, you should be fully healed and begin to perform normal activities including going back to work. Dr. Henke will talk to you about appropriate activity milestones.