Laparoscopic Surgery for Severe (Morbid) Obesity Patient Information from SAGES

Avoiding high sugar foods can prevent these symptoms. After the malabsorbtive operations, the same nutritional deficiencies that occur after gastric bypass may occur, as well as protein deficiencies. Diarrhea or loose “stools” are also common after malabsorbtion operations depending on fat intake.

Women who become pregnant after any of these surgical procedures need special attention from their doctors and clinical care team. In general, complication rates of the laparoscopic approach are equal to or less than the conventional, open operations. As with any operation, there is a risk of a complication. However, the risk of one of these complications occurring is no higher than if the operation was done with the open technique.

What to Expect after Surgery

You will usually be in the hospital 1 to 3 days after a laparoscopic procedure. You may have a tube through your nose and not be permitted to eat or drink anything until it is removed. You should be out of bed, sitting in a chair the night of surgery and walking by the following day. You will need to participate in breathing exercises. You will receive pain medication when you need it.

On the first of second day after surgery you may have an X-ray of your stomach. The X-ray is a way for the surgeon to know if the stapling of the stomach is okay before beginning to allow you to eat. If no leakage or blockage is seen (the usual case) then you will be permitted to have one ounce of liquids every hour. The volume of liquid you drink will be gradually increased. Some surgeons allow you to eat baby food or a “puree” type of food. You will remain on a liquid or puree diet until your doctor evaluates you approximately 1-2 weeks after you return home.
Patients are encouraged to walk and engage in light activity. It is important to continue the breathing exercises while at home after surgery. Pain after laparoscopic surgery is generally mild although some patients may require pain medication. At the first follow-up visit the surgeon will discuss with you any dietary changes.

After the operation, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. Although many people feel better in just a few days, remember that your body needs time to heal. You will probably be able to get back to most of your normal activities in one to two weeks time. These activities include showering, driving, walking up stairs, work and light exercise. You should call and schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks after your operation.

When to Call Your Doctor

Be sure to call your doctor if you develop any of the following:
• Persistent fever over 101F (39 C)
• Bleeding
• Increased abdominal swelling or pain
• Persistent nausea or vomiting
• Chills
• Persistent cough and shortness of breath
• Difficulty swallowing that does not go away within a few weeks
• Drainage from any incision
• Calf swelling or leg tenderness

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information on surgical treatment for morbid obesity, please refer to the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) or the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery (www.asmbs.org).

The American Society for Metabolic Bariatric Surgery provided the illustrations used in this brochure for Bariatric Surgery.

This brochure is not intended to take the place of your discussion with your surgeon about the need for laparoscopic obesity surgery. If you questions about your need for obesity surgery, your alternatives, billing or insurance coverage, or your surgeon’s training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow-up, please discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation.

Color images: Atlas of Minimally Invasive Surgery, Jones DB, et al. Copyright 2006 Cine-Med.

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Brought to you by:

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN GASTROINTESTINAL AND ENDOSCOPIC SURGEONS (SAGES)
11300 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel:
(310) 437-0544
Fax:
(310) 437-0585
E-Mail:
publications@sages.org
Revised:
March 1, 2015
This brochure is intended to provide a general overview of a surgery. It is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical care or a discussion between you and your surgeon about the need for a surgery. Specific recommendations may vary among health care professionals. If you have a question about your need for a surgery, your alternatives, billing or insurance coverage, or your surgeons training and experience, do not hesitate to ask your surgeon or his/her office staff about it. If you have questions about the operation or subsequent follow up, discuss them with your surgeon before or after the operation.