Most of us understand the need of taking our time to recuperate from weight-loss surgery, but the terrible reality is that we also need to know how long it takes to recover so that we may advise family, friends, and employers.
work after bariatric surgery

Returning to Work After Bariatric Surgery?

Most of us understand the need of taking our time to recuperate from weight-loss surgery, but the terrible reality is that we also need to know how long it takes to recover so that we may advise family, friends, and employers. Many of us will need to arrange childcare or help at home and possibly stage it in some way, and others will also need to provide employers with an estimate of when they might be able to return to work.

Depending on the surgery, most patients can return to work in 1-4 weeks. However, recuperation times vary greatly depending on the operation and the individual. It is critical to remember that there is no predetermined recuperation time because everyone is unique. There is also a significant difference between normal activity and full recuperation.

Patients undergoing both open and laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve surgery can expect a 2-3 week recovery period (but some may require up to 6 weeks) before returning to work. Patients undergoing open surgery typically take longer. This is explained by the variation in how these two procedures are performed. An open operation is conducted by making a single big incision in your abdomen. To complete the process, laparoscopic surgery makes five or six very small incisions. As a result, laparoscopic surgery patients have significantly less scarring than open-surgery patients and, in certain situations, a faster recovery period.

How to Returning Work After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a big procedure that involves a considerable life adjustment. As a result, we advise patients to take their time returning to their previous activities, including returning to work. If at all possible, we recommend that patients discuss openly with their employers how bariatric surgery will alter their lives and how such issues would require time and patience.

We also recognize that patients wish to return to work after bariatric surgery as soon as possible, going back into a familiar pattern, restarting their income, or possibly having demands or expectations from their employment. We often advise patients to wait 1-2 weeks (for Lap-Band surgeries) to 2-4 weeks (for stapled procedures such as a gastric sleeve or bypass) before returning to work. This is based on the assumption that the job does not demand intense effort. For tasks requiring more than 25 pounds of lifting, a 6-week waiting period is necessary. Returning to work should be done only with our approval.

Oftentimes, patients who are most successful at returning to work are those who prepare themselves and those around them for life after bariatric surgery. Speaking to supervisors as well as coworkers can go a long way in helping them realize how life will change professionally and personally after surgery. With luck, they will not only be supportive but also actively involved in the patient’s progress.

How to Speed Up Recovery for Returning Work After Bariatric Surgery?

Healing is substantially faster across all surgeries due to the progress of minimally invasive operations rather than open incisions. Having said that, bariatric surgery is still a substantial procedure. There are no short cuts to recovery, and it is always preferable to follow the advice of your surgeon and primary care physician.

Walk around throughout the day

Drink water (60+ ounces per day)

Get rest properly

No driving, no sex, no climbing, and no swimming until the recovery

Follow the post-operative diet plan

No work for 2-3 weeks post-op

No lifting more than 15 lbs (6-7 kgs) until at least 2-4 weeks post-op

No lifting more than 30 lbs (10-15 kgs) until at least 4-8 weeks post-op

You will need to attend regular follow-up appointments for the rest of your life following weight loss surgery. These appointments are often held in a weight loss surgery facility for at least the first two years, but you may eventually just require a GP check-up once a year. Weight loss surgery can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Support will be provided as part of your follow-up, but you may also find it useful to talk to Healthy Türkiye.

Quick Overview of Returning Work After Bariatric Surgery

Making the decision to undergo weight loss surgery requires a lot of planning, especially for returning work after bariatric surgery. Asking the correct questions about how to prepare for your treatment and what to expect when you leave the operating room is part of that process.

Gastric sleeve recovery time: a two- to three-day hospital stay, followed by a four- to six-week rehabilitation period. Most patients are able to return to work within two weeks.

Gastric banding recovery time: A one-day hospital stay is possible, followed by a four- to six-week recuperation period. The majority of patients can return to work in less than two weeks.

Even after returning to work after bariatric surgery, you may experience fatigue. As a result, you may need a few days to adjust to working a full day again. Your weight loss surgeon will give you specific advice on when you can return to work and resume routine duties. Remember that your safety is paramount, so follow your doctor’s advice regarding employment and returning to exercise.

When it comes to exercise after bariatric surgery, your weight reduction surgeon will advise you to take gentle, brief walks right after surgery, even if you are still in the hospital. Walking, in fact, can help alleviate some of the discomfort and pain associated with gastric surgery. You should stick to low-impact activities and avoid competitive sports for the first month after surgery, gradually increasing your activity level and exercise tolerance over the next few weeks.

Do you have any further questions regarding what to expect following weight reduction surgery? Schedule a consultation with Healthy Türkiye to find the best weight loss surgeons in Turkey now to get your questions regarding bariatric surgery answered.

Give Yourself Time to Adjust to Work After Bariatric Surgery

As a bariatric patient, you will be on a clear liquid diet for the first 48 hours after surgery. Following the initial post-operative time, you should begin a pureed diet. During this time, patients must meet both hydration and protein objectives while only consuming tiny amounts at a time.

Consider how and if your work schedule can be changed to accommodate your new eating and drinking habits. This phase lasts two weeks, followed by two weeks of a soft diet. Some patients struggle to adapt as you reintroduce foods with increasing texture. It is critical to proceed cautiously and to inform your care team if you are having difficulty. Some patients prefer to stay at work and acclimate to a new diet, while others prefer to leave work and go home.

No One Recovers in the Same Way

Recovery from bariatric surgery is becoming easier and faster as surgical techniques progress. However, there will never come a moment where you may leave the hospital following your treatment and head right to work.

If you are considering bariatric surgery, you will need to take some time off from work for the procedure and rehabilitation. But exactly how long will that be?

If you’ve had previous surgical procedures, the way you recovered should be more or less indicative of how you recover from bariatric surgery now, especially if the operation required abdominal incisions and digestive tract modifications. However, keep in mind that changes to your health and even typical aging can influence how you heal.

The Study of Work After Bariatric Surgery

A recent study published in the Journal of Bariatric Surgery followed a large cohort of patients who underwent various types of bariatric surgery procedures. The study found that the average recovery time for patients returning to work after bariatric surgery was 2-3 weeks, with some variation depending on the specific surgery performed. This study highlights the importance of considering individual factors and the type of surgery when estimating the time needed for post-operative recovery and returning to work.

Contact Us Today

Healthy Türkiye provides a free consultation if you want to learn more about this process or have concerns about other operations. In Turkey, Healthy Türkiye provides high-quality, low-cost medical treatment.