You may be sore and have some pain in your belly for several weeks after surgery. If you had laparoscopic surgery, you also may have pain near your shoulder for a day or two after surgery.
It may be hard for you to swallow for up to 6 weeks after the surgery. You may also have cramping in your belly, feel bloated, or pass more gas than before. When you burp, you may not get as much relief as you did before the surgery. The cramping and bloating usually go away in 2 to 3 months, but you may continue to pass more gas for a long time.
Because the surgery makes your stomach a little smaller, you may get full more quickly when you eat. In 2 to 3 months, the stomach adjusts and you will be able to eat your usual amounts of food.
How quickly you recover depends on whether you had a laparoscopic or open surgery. After laparoscopic surgery, most people can go back to work or their normal routine in about 2 to 3 weeks, depending on their work. After open surgery, you may need 4 to 6 weeks to get back to your normal routine.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kenneth Bark, MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery
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