Weight loss surgery is a very important decision. When a person decides to have bariatric surgery, they need to realize what they can expect after surgery. Most people focus on the weight loss and diet aspect of the recovery, but it’s also important for people to realize what is going on with their body, and what may or may not be normal after weight loss surgery.
Here are the physical symptoms that people can expect to have after weight loss surgery.
Bruising and Swelling
Patients can expect to have bruising and swelling on their abdomen around their incision. Moderate swelling and bruising after surgery is completely normal. If at any time the swelling gets worse or the patient experiences increased tenderness that may be a sign of infection and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.
Pain and Discomfort
When a person has weight loss surgery, there will be pain and plenty of discomfort after the surgery. This pain is usually helped with pain medications that are prescribed by the bariatric surgeon.
Pain is measured on a scale from 0-10 with 0 being no pain and a 10 being unbearable, severe pain. After bariatric surgery, whether gastric bypass or lap band surgery, moderate to mild pain is normal for patients in the first few days after the surgery. If at any time pain gets to be more than a 6 on the scale or is getting more severe as the days go on, the patient should consult the doctor as soon as possible.
As the incision starts to heal, it’s not uncommon for it to become quite itchy. The itching is caused by the skin healing and getting dried out. The incision should not be itched but once the steri-strips have been removed, vitamin E or an antibiotic ointment can be applied to help with the itching.
Numbness around the Incision
During weight loss surgery the doctor has to cut through the skin and layers of fat to get to the stomach. In the process nerves can also be cut, which can cause temporary numbness around the incision area. Most of the time, the numbness goes away and the feeling in the area comes back in about 3-4 months after the surgery. For some people, they never regain completely feeling back around the incision.
Nausea and Vomiting
Since anesthesia is used in bariatric surgery, it’s not uncommon for people to experience nausea and vomiting right after the surgery. Nausea and vomiting may also continue in the days and even weeks after surgery due to eating too much and not properly following the diet prescribed by the surgeon.
These are the most common symptoms that people deal with the first few days after weight loss surgery. If at any time a person feels these symptoms getting worse, they should consult their physician and get checked as soon as possible.