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What Is the Recovery Time after Gastric Sleeve Surgery?


One of the most commonly asked questions we get from our patients is about the expected recovery time after gastric sleeve surgery. We have tried to answer this question for you as accurately as possible, plus a few other questions often asked about what to expect after gastric sleeve surgery. 

The Recovery Timeline after Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Day One to Four

You can begin walking within a few hours of surgery and can normally take a shower 24 hours following your procedure. Your post-surgery bariatric diet typically consists of clear fluids such as broth and sugar-free liquids during this stage. It’s important to stay hydrated to prevent dehydration after gastric sleeve surgery. 

You will feel tired for the first few days and should rest between activities. You will also experience some discomfort and feel sore from the procedure and should not try to push yourself. However, you are encouraged to walk. This can actually help to relieve the pain, believe it or not. You will be guided to walk just after recovery. We recommend you start by taking several shorter walks during the day and gradually build up to longer walks. 

Day Five to Seven 

Patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery can typically return to daily activities requiring little physical exertion within one week. However, if you have had open gastric sleeve surgery, you will likely need two to four weeks (some patients may require up to six weeks) before you can resume normal activities. 

Week Two to Four

By week two, you should feel much more normal and less tired. You will also start to notice weight loss. You will still need to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise but should try to be as active as possible during the day. You can gradually increase the amount of walking you do and build up to 10,000 steps a day.

Week Four to Twelve

This is when you should start losing more weight and feel more energetic. Obesity-related health issues such as type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea should improve, and the effects of gastric sleeve surgery will become clearer.

Please bear in mind that everyone recovers from surgery at a different rate. Recovery time will also depend on your general health and commitment to daily activity. Generally, the more active you are, the faster you will start to feel normal again, although you need to listen to your body and rest when necessary. 

For more information about recovery time after gastric sleeve surgery, read,  What to Expect in the First Year After a Gastric Sleeve  

If you still have any questions after reading this, please feel free to call us at 833-3BE-SLIM (833-323-7546). You can begin your transformative journey without charge or commitment. Simply complete our health questionnaire to find out in less than 24 hours what type of weight loss surgery is most suitable for you. 

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How long do I need off work after gastric sleeve surgery?

Patients who have undergone laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery usually feel able to return to work within one week. Open gastric sleeve surgery patients typically return to work in two to four weeks; some patients may require up to six weeks off work.

If your job is physically demanding and requires you to lift heavy objects, you should be on light duty for up to six weeks. This is why it can take longer to get back to work than it would for someone with a “desk” job.

When can I drive after gastric sleeve surgery?

After your gastric sleeve procedure, we suggest waiting to drive for two to three days. This will give the anesthesia and any postoperative analgesics (painkillers) time to fully stop affecting your reaction time.

When can I swim after having gastric sleeve surgery?

You should wait six weeks before swimming or going into a hot tub or jacuzzi to ensure your wounds are completely healed. 

When can I have sexual intercourse after gastric sleeve surgery?

You can normally begin having sex again after four weeks, but it might take you longer to feel ready. The general rule for sex and other recreational activities is that if you are not in pain or discomfort, there is no need to hold off.

Based on your general health, our friendly team at Be Slim Bariatrics (BSB) can help you arrange surgery under a board-certified surgeon in as little as 14 days. Make your first move towards improving your physical and mental well-being by answering our free-of-charge health questionnaire to determine if gastric sleeve surgery is the best option for you.

We also offer financing options for all types of bariatric surgery to enable you to take the first step towards a better way of life right away.


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