Recovery From Weight Loss Surgery – What To Expect From Day 1

Recovery From Weight Loss Surgery – What To Expect From Day 1

Weight Loss Surgery DAY

After your Weight Loss Surgery you will wake up in the hospital, a bit groggy and without a lot of pain. You may actually feel happy. This is usually due to the excellent pain medication your doctor has already administered but it’s also due, in part, to the sense of relief that comes from knowing that you’re done and safe.


Pain is typically moderate on the first day. You still have your IV in your arm and it’s easy to administer pain medication as needed. Be sure to communicate to your nurse or your surgeon what you need.  Individuals respond to pain differently.You will have 5 or 6 small incisions on your abdomen which will be sutured and covered to heal. The incision that typically causes the most pain is the site that the surgeon removed a large portion of your stomach. This is typically located in the lower left quadrant of your abdomen. It could also be on the right side.  Look for the largest incision.At this point, you will be laying in a hospital bed so you may just feel a general sense of soreness across your abdomen. You may experience residual nausea from the anesthesia but this should improve quickly.


Nothing by mouth at this point. Some surgeons allow their patients to have mouth swabs.  Others, allow a cup of ice every few hours. You’ll probably feel dehydrated and want to drink something, but you likely won’t be able to do this until the following day.Your throat is going to be sore and swollen from the ET tube (breathing tube during Weight Loss Surgery) so its not pleasant to eat or drink at this point anyways. You will be exhausted and while you might worry that you’ll be hungry, its likely that you will not be hungry. Part of your stomach has been removed and your hunger causing hormone (ghrelin) levels are likely low.


Your surgeon may actually want you up and walking. This is often to help reduce pain that can result from the CO2 used during laparoscopic Weight Loss Surgery. When you aren’t walking, you’ll mostly be on your back with a slight incline on the hospital bed.Getting out of bed the first day is difficult.  Its almost like exercising a sore muscle.  It will hurt.  The more you are out of bed and walking, the better you will feel the following day.

Mental Stage

The first day is full of a variety of emotions.  You’ve undergone a complete change of life, forever.  Food has been a lifelong friend, a companion, and a stress reliever.  Many patients will ask themselves, “Did I do the right thing?” or, “What did I do to myself?”