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Frequenty Asked Questions

How long does it take to have surgery from my initial appointment?

This varies and is dependent on many factors, including, but not limited to, current medical condition(s), medical clearance, and insurance requirements. Our team understands the importance of surgery for your health and will work as diligently as possible to get you ti surgery as quickly and safely as possible.

What is the down time for surgery?

We generally recommend 1-2 weeks off of work after bariatric surgery. This can vary depending on occupation, work demands, etc.

Why do I need to quit smoking before surgery?

Smoking GREATLY increases the risk pneumonia and other complications including bleed or leak. Smoking slows down healing process that is why it is extremely important to quit smoking prior to surgery to ensure your stomach heals properly.

How long is the pre-op/post-op diet?

Pre-op diet: Approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery.

Post-op diet: Two phases up to 6 weeks after surgery.

Will I be in pain after surgery?

This varies for each patient, but most patients experience moderate pain that is alleviated with the prescribed pain medication.

How soon can I resume normal activities after weight loss surgery?

You will be up and walking (5 minutes every 1 hour) on the same day of surgery. No strenuous activity or lifting 20 lbs. for 2 weeks. Return to work in 1-2 weeks.

Will I need special medications after weight loss surgery?

Dr. Carlton requires you to take an acid blocker for 3 months. This medication helps reduce acid production to keep your staple line healthy. Additional medications are ordered for nausea, cramping, and/or pain.

Will I need to take vitamins forever?

Dr. Carlton recommends long-term supplements to ensure you are getting all of the recommended vitamins and minerals.

When do I start vitamins?

Our Dietitian will review vitamin needs and provide vitamin recommendations at your 2 week post-op appointment.

When can I have alcohol after surgery?

You can have alcohol in moderation approx. 3 months after surgery. No carbonated drinks.

When can I have sex after surgery?

You can resume sexual activity 2 weeks after surgery.

When can I exercise after surgery?

You can start low impact exercise approx. 2 weeks after your surgery.

When can I take a shower after surgery?

You can take a shower 48 hours after surgery

When can I take a bath after surgery?

This is dependent on how quickly your incisions heal – but for the majority it is about 4 weeks.

When can I remove my steri strips?

It is preferred that you let you steri-strips come off naturally – it caires but they usually fall off in approx. 2 weeks.

How long do I need to wear the SCDs?

Dr. Carlton requires you wear 3-4 weeks after surgery.

When can I start my birth control again or hormones?

4 weeks after Surgery

Why can’t I drink carbonated beverages after surgery?

Carbonation can cause extra pressure on the pouch creating increased hunger, discomfort or possibly a leak, and weight gain.

Why is it recommended that I drink decaffeinated liquids?

You are at an increased risk for dehydration directly after surgery so you will be asked to limit your caffeinated beverages. Caffeine acts as a natural diuretic and can further dehydrate you.

Why does my right incision hurt worse than the others?

Depending on the surgery, the right incision is where Dr Carlton pulls out the portion of the stomach. Usually, the pain subsides in 3-5 days.

Do I need an abdominal binder?

It is not mandatory, but many patients like to wear a binder for the extra support.

How will I know when to be at the hospital?

The hospital will call you the day before to provide you with the surgery time and arrival details.

Why am I having irregular menses?

You should expect some short-term menstrual irregularities. It is not unusual for patients to have their cycle start early, even as soon as two weeks after the last cycle. Remember, this is only short term and is caused by hormonal changes after surgery. You should be back to a regular cycle after the first month or so. Any long term abnormal “female” bleeding should be reported to your gynecologist.

Why does it feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster?

These feelings are completely normal and usually disappear after several weeks to months. If you are on antidepressants, you should resume taking them as soon as you go home. Things you can do to improve your mental well-being, such as:

  • Eating adequate amounts of protein.
  • Getting out of the house (this is a MUST!)
  • Getting exercise
Any medications I should avoid after surgery?

NSAID and Steroids

Will I have Hair Loss after surgery?

Hair loss is not uncommon but does not happen to all patients. Hair loss after bariatric surgery is usually a direct result of not eating enough calories and protein. Hair loss usually occurs at about 3-4 months after the surgery and is more profound with faster rates of weight loss. Don’t worry, the hair will grow back, but it will take some time. Be sure to get your daily dose of protein.

Is constipation normal after surgery?

Constipation after bariatric surgery is not uncommon. After Anesthesia is can take up to 7 days for bowels to normalize. If you experience constipation after being discharged from the hospital, you should take a dose of Milk of Magnesia. If Milk of Magnesia does not solve the problem, you can take a capful of Miralax a day until you have a Bowel Movement