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Bariatric Surgery

Going Home After Surgery

Can I drive myself home after surgery?

No, you shouldn’t drive yourself home after surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home as you may be taking medicine that makes it unsafe for you to drive. You may find it helps to put a small pillow underneath the seatbelt against your belly to make the drive home more comfortable.

What symptoms do I need to watch for after surgery?

See your doctor or visit the nearest emergency department if you have any of the following signs or symptoms after surgery:

  • a fever of 39 °C (102 °F) or higher
  • have trouble drinking or eating
  • nausea or vomiting for more than 24 to 48 hours
  • diarrhea for more than 3 days
  • no bowel movement for more than 3 days
  • chest pain or shortness of breath
  • pain or swelling in the legs or arms
  • fainting (passing out)
  • pain, bloating or swelling of your stomach
  • an incision that is open, red, swollen, painful or looks infected (for example, has oozing, discharge, or an odour)
  • blood in your stool or black tarry stool
  • pain in your rectum

How will I know if I’m not getting enough fluids after surgery?

If you’re not getting enough fluid, you may get dehydrated or constipated.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • feeling thirsty
  • urinating (peeing) less often
  • dark urine (dark pee)
  • dry skin
  • feeling tired
  • feeling light-headed (dizzy)

Signs of constipation include:

  • hard and dry stool
  • having difficult or painful bowel movements
  • having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week

Talk to your health care provider if you aren’t able to eat or drink well or have signs or symptoms of dehydration or constipation.

What can I do to help my recovery?

Before surgery, make sure to plan and have things ready at home to help you rest and recover. Arrange for someone to help you get settled at home after you leave the hospital.

Your healthcare team will tell you what activities you can do after bariatric surgery. Don’t lift anything more than 3.7 kg (10 lb) for the first 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Walking after surgery may help you heal and lessen complications.

What can I do to help manage my pain?

It’s important that your pain is managed so you can start moving as soon as possible after surgery. Your surgeon and healthcare team will give you a prescription for pain medicine or tell you what you can take for pain.

Don’t take any type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) after bariatric surgery. NSAIDs​ increase the risk of ulcers and bleeding in the stomach and intestines. If you have questions about how to manage your pain, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.​

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