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After Surgery

Your Hospital Stay

As a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, Ohio State’s Bariatric Surgery Program is recognized for our high quality and excellent patient safety. To help ensure your stay in our hospital is as comfortable as possible, we designed rooms specifically for bariatric surgery patients. The patient room and adjoining bathroom are more spacious and better equipped to meet your needs with such features as comfortable recliners and guest chairs, which fold out for sleeping. If a bariatric room is not available for your hospital stay, we will try to provide you with a private room.

Instructions for care after the traditional weight loss surgery procedure are similar to those for the minimally invasive (laparoscopic) procedure. Most patients are released from the hospital within two to five days after surgery.


  • One of our dietitians will provide dietary counseling. You will be on a liquid and pureed food diet of up to 1,000 calories a day for at least two weeks after surgery. This gives your stomach time to heal before solid foods are introduced. A dietitian will review the diet in great detail and will give you recipes. After your two-week checkup, you will advance to soft foods and will eventually be able to eat solid foods.
  • Nausea after this surgery is very common. If vomiting occurs, stop drinking or eating until the feeling of nausea passes. After the nausea is gone, you may take in fluids only before trying to eat solid foods. If you have continuous vomiting and cannot keep fluids down, call your surgeon right away. This could be dangerous.


  • It is common to feel weak and tired after being released from the hospital. Your body is recovering from the stress of a major operation. Because weight loss is occurring during this time, the feeling of weakness may be prolonged.
  • You should not drive for at least two weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid any strenuous activity, especially heavy lifting, for at least four weeks.
  • You may walk as much as you wish and climb stairs as needed.
  • Bathing and showering are permitted. 
  • Patients with jobs that require little physical activity can return to work as early as two to three weeks after surgery. A physically demanding job may require four to six weeks of recovery before returning to work.

Pain Medicine

Your doctor will discuss pain medicine options with you and will prescribe medicine for you upon leaving the hospital.


Wound Care

  • Stitches are placed just beneath the surface of the incision. They are absorbed by your body in approximately six weeks and do not need to be removed. If you see a small white string at your incision site, you may cut the string at the surface of the skin using a clean pair of scissors. Wipe the scissors off with alcohol before cutting the string.
  • Steri-strip tapes may be removed when they begin to lift off the wound. Moisten the strips with peroxide if they are stuck to the skin. If you are not able to remove these tapes, they will be removed after 10 days.

Follow-up Care After Surgery

  • Follow-up care after surgery is extremely important and must be complied with for best results after surgery. Most of the weight loss will occur for the next 12 to 18 months after the surgery. Attending your follow-up appointments, as well as the support groups is vital for long-term maintenance of your weight loss.
  • It is important to follow up with Ohio State's Bariatric Surgery Program once a year for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or problems, or have any of the following symptoms, call our office immediately – 614-366-6675.

  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • A fever greater than 101 degrees
  • Increased abdominal pain
  • Pus or increased redness around the incisions
  • Severe shoulder pain lasting more than three days