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Bariatric Surgery

Day of Surgery

What do I need to bring to the hospital?

Bring the following with you to the hospital:

  • identification
  • Alberta Personal Health Card
  • regular medicines
  • a small bag with your personal items including toiletries, pajamas, slippers, books, and other items to help pass the time and make you comfortable
  • your eyeglasses, hearing aids, or dentures (if you use them)
  • insurance paperwork for the surgeon to sign (if needed)
  • your machine to treat sleep apnea (if you use one)

Please label your personal items with your first and last name. The healthcare team at the clinic will let you know if you need to bring anything else with you to the hospital. Leave your valuables and money at home.

How long will I need to stay in the hospital?

How long you need to stay in the hospital will depend on:

  • the type of surgery you’re having
  • any other health conditions you have
  • if you have complications after surgery

Most people who have bariatric surgery in Alberta are in the hospital for 1 to 2 days after surgery. Before you go home, it’s important that your pain is under control, that you’re drinking enough fluids, and that you will be able to manage at home without medical care.

Your surgeon and healthcare team will let you know how long they think you will need to stay in the hospital after surgery.

How long will I be off work?

You will need to be off of work for about 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. This will depend on:

  • the type of surgery you had
  • if you have other health conditions that may affect your recovery
  • if you have any complications after surgery
  • the kind of work that you do

To help you heal, don’t lift more than 3.7kg (10 lb) for the first 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery. Even though you have small incisions outside of your body, you have more incisions inside of your body. Your surgeon and healthcare team will help you decide how long you will need to be off work if heavy lifting is part of your job.

What can I expect right after surgery?

When you wake up after bariatric surgery, your body may feel different. You will have 5 or more small incisions (surgical cuts) on your abdomen (belly). You will have staples, small and thin bandages (called steri-strips), or dissolvable stitches (sutures). You may also have:

  • a drain in your abdomen
  • some bloating and discomfort from the air used during surgery, which will get better with time
  • pain in your shoulder from the air used during surgery (tell your healthcare team if you have shoulder pain after your surgery​)

Your surgeon and healthcare team will help you understand what to expect after your surgery.​

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