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Bariatric Post-Surgery Recovery

Your relationship with Banner Health doesn’t end after bariatric surgery. Surgery is one step in your weight loss journey. We are committed to your long-term health and weight loss success.

Depending on the type of bariatric surgery, your post-op process and recovery time will vary. You and your bariatric surgeon will discuss what to expect with your procedure and determine your work and life schedule following surgery. Your bariatric team will also provide information on an eating plan, post-bariatric surgery diet and how to implement lifestyle changes to ensure you live your best life.

The following is what you can generally expect during your recovery.

What to Expect Post Surgery

In the early days and weeks after surgery, it is normal to experience some symptoms, such as mild bruising and swelling, exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, difficulty sleeping, postsurgical pain, gas and bloating, loose stools and emotional ups and downs. Everyone experiences these to varying degrees, so discuss them with your Banner Health bariatric team.

Some rare complications or side effects such as constipation, gallstones and wound infections may also occur. If you experience any of the symptoms below, contact your Banner Health bariatric team immediately:

  • Fever of 101.5 or higher
  • Redness, swelling or pus-like drainage from your wound
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting that lasts more than 12 hours
  • Pain, redness or swelling in your legs
  • Pain after taking pain medication

Pain management

You may feel pain as a result of your surgery. Let your bariatric team know if your pain prevents you from moving. In addition, follow your pain medications as directed and maintain a steady level to keep pain manageable.

Diet and nutrition

Following surgery, you must be committed to maintaining health and nutrition guidelines. You will attend regular follow-up appointments with your dietitian to monitor your progress and help you maintain your new lifestyle.

Following surgery, you will begin a clear liquid diet and will gradually add thicker liquids high in protein and low in fat and sugar. This allows your new stomach and digestive system to heal. Over the coming weeks, your dietitian will slowly shift you to a high-protein, low-carb diet over the coming weeks.

Once your body recovers, you will start following the new eating plan that you have worked on with your dietitian. You will eat smaller portions and fewer calories.

Stay well hydrated. Drink at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water daily unless your bariatric team indicates otherwise.


Activity is an integral part of your recovery and weight loss. Strenuous or heavy activity is not recommended until about six weeks post-surgery, but you should begin walking short distances each day as soon as you return home from the hospital.

A lifelong exercise program is critical to the surgery’s success and to prevent the weight from returning. Your bariatric team will work with you to develop an exercise program to start about a month after your surgery. It may include low-intensity aerobic exercise like walking or swimming until you exercise for about 45 to 60 minutes several days a week.

Additional support

Our bariatric team provides lifelong support to help you lose weight and keep it off. We encourage you to participate in our free support groups after surgery.

Discussions in our support groups include:

  • Nutrition tips
  • Healthy living advice
  • Exercise support
  • Emotional support
  • Q&A opportunities

In your first year after surgery, it’s important to attend support groups as well as regular meetings with your surgeon and team. We’re here to help keep you on track with your weight loss journey and goals.

Learn more about long-term education and support we offer through your journey.

What to Expect 1-5 Years After Surgery

You will continue your healthy habits and routine meetings with your Banner Health bariatric team to check in on goals and weight loss.

If you need additional support, we offer our Back on Track program to help you in the event of gaining back weight.

Ready to begin your weight loss journey?

Watch our free informational video to learn about the different weight loss surgery options we offer as well as eligibility requirements and what you can expect as a patient in the program.

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