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Life After Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a highly effective way to lose weight, but it still comes with its ups and downs. Undergoing a surgical procedure designed to change the look and feel of your body is significant. There are many changes that may affect you as you recover. Here's what you need to know about life after bariatric surgery.


The recovery process begins immediately and can last for up to six weeks after your procedure is complete. Recovery is often surgery-dependent; gastric band procedures will require a shorter recovery than a gastric bypass, for example.

Most patients stay in the hospital one to three days after a procedure and remain home for three days to three weeks before returning to work or other regular activities. Many patients are not cleared to participate in a full exercise program for four to six weeks. Pain levels differ, but most patients are able to stay comfortable with prescription and over-the-counter pain medications.

Weight Loss

Weight loss varies greatly, but most patients begin to start losing weight immediately following surgery. Progression is often surgery-dependent; for example, a gastric bypass leads to faster weight loss than a gastric band procedure.

In the first three months, patients will lose approximately 20 to 30 percent of excess weight, and 60 percent in the first six months to two years. In order to maintain weight loss, a proper diet and regular exercise are strongly suggested.


After bariatric surgery, dietary habits must be changed permanently. Patients are urged to maintain high protein, low carb diets with restricted access to sugar or alcohol. Some procedures, especially those that affect nutrient absorption, may require extensive use of vitamins and supplements.
Patients are encouraged to eat slowly, take small bites, and chew food thoroughly. Beverages should not be consumed with food.


Bariatric surgery affects more than just your physical appearance. Losing extreme amounts of weight can be both emotionally and physically overwhelming. This may extend to personal relationships. Patients are encouraged to seek counseling and help from support groups in order to ensure the physical changes of weight loss do not interfere with your interpersonal connections.

Returning to Daily Life

Recovery is an individual process, so resuming normal activity likely won't happen on the same timeline for everyone. Most patients are able to return to work or school within three to six weeks without prolonged discomfort. Those who had minimally invasive procedures may recover faster, returning to regular life within two to three weeks.

Birth Control and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is possible after bariatric surgery. Due to the hormonal changes following surgery, patients are encouraged to use an effective form of birth control for the first 12 to 18 months, even if conception was not possible before a bariatric procedure. Patients are encouraged to wait at least two years before trying to conceive.

Support Groups

Support groups can be an excellent way to help patients recover emotionally after bariatric surgery. By creating an environment that encourages sharing and peer support, our patients are able to move forward with confidence. With active support groups in place to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs, we are able to offer the ongoing post-surgical support you deserve.

Want to learn more about what bariatric surgery means for you? Register and attend our free informational seminar to explore the weight loss resources we have available or call us at 1-877-DMC-W8W8.Fill out our contact form or call us at 1-877-DMC-W8W8 to explore what our facility has in store.

About your new self at Detroit Center in Michigan

Detroit Medical Center is the premier provider of weight loss surgery in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. DMC operates offices in the Madison Heights and Southfield areas of Detroit, Michigan, and serves other areas including Ypsilanti, Saginaw, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Livonia, Monroe, Lansing, Dearborn, Novi and Troy. Your New Self also serves Canadian bariatric patients as a preferred provider for the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Your New Self at Detroit Medical Center boasts four expert bariatric surgeons who specialize in LAP-BAND®, REALIZE® Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass bariatric surgeries.

Patients interested in weight loss surgery should sign up for a free informational seminar to learn more about their surgical options and get started today.