Hospitalisation After Weight Loss Surgery

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Why is it advised to arrange a few days off?

A risk associated with surgery depends upon the procedure itself, the type of anaesthesia and the characteristics of the patient.  The latter indicates stress, fatigue, unhealthy lifestyle habits and intentional refusal to take medications. All these factors may cause adverse effects. Since a patient requires rest and tranquillity to recover, a couple days off are essential after a bariatric surgery.

Weight loss surgeries are performed under general anaesthesia. It means that you will be asleep through the entire procedure. Several hours in a recovery room and close monitoring later is highly recommended. It helps to ensure early detection of pathologies. The decision to take the patient to his/her ward is taken after the evaluation of the respiratory and circulatory functions, activity, consciousness and colour. The time spent at the hospital from this moment on depends on each individual case and the policy of a particular hospital

How long should you stay at the hospital?

It is estimated that hospital stay after bariatric surgery ranges from 2 to 7 days. However, it depends individually on how each patient adapts to the changes brought by weight loss surgery, how the wounds are healing, the function of visceral organs which is reflected in the blood count test or urine sample, symptoms of inflammation and high fever, etc.  Although the main decision is made by surgeon the patient should pursue a hospital stay of 2-3 days.

According to a survey performed by Dr. Morton and others, 1 day hospital stay after bariatric surgery increases the risk twice for 30 days mortality compared with patients who were discharged after 2 days. In contrast to the survey results sometimes surgeons are under pressure to discharge the patient as the insurance companies or health insurance services cover their hospitalization only for 1 day. It should be emphasized that the results cannot be negligible as the survey was performed after analysing the data from more than 50,000 cases of bariatric surgery.

The patient who pursues bariatric surgery should consider this and before assigning for a particular procedure get more information on the recovery period in hospital. It is his/her right to get an optimal treatment plan. Moreover, the procedures performed for obese patients, especially for those who have medical history of obesity comorbidities, carry a higher risk of complications than usual.

When person is discharged from hospital?

Usually, bariatric patients have problems adapting to diet changes. On the first day they are allowed to take only sips of water and on the second – clear liquids such as water and light decaffeinated tea. In some cases it can provoke dehydration and medical problems associated with it. The main factors that show that the patient is ready to go home are adequate oral hydration, pain control and no signs of inflammation in blood or other body substances.

Why is it not allowed to go home right after the surgery?

Some patients seek early discharge. At this point it should be explained that there will be no medical equipment if something goes wrong and there is always a possibility of such a thing. Moreover, a patient might not feel a complication appearing in the early stage so it is more difficult to treat it going forward.