Types of Bariatric Surgery with Fast Recovery Times

Posted by Jason Radecke on Wed, Apr 15, 2015

There are various types of bariatric surgery to consider when trying to find the best option that suits your lifestyle and needs. Most candidates need to think about recovery time in order to avoid missing work, school, or other important life happenings. There are a few bariatric surgeries that only require about one to three weeks of a recovery period, so the patient can be back on his or her feet in no time, feeling and looking as good as ever. As long as the risks of the procedure don’t outweigh the rapid recovery time, surgeries with fast post-op rehabilitation are ideal for any bariatric surgery candidate. Here are a few of the most efficient types of bariatric surgeries to consider.

Lap Band Bariatric Surgery

The quickest procedure for weight loss is Lap Band bariatric surgery. By sewing a silicone band around the top part of the stomach, saline solution can fill and unfill the abdominal muscles via an inner balloon that lines the surface of the band. The band works to shrink your stomach, and therefore is known as a restrictive procedure. 

Generally, the process takes about an hour to complete and patients are sometimes allowed to return home the day of the surgery. Some individuals may require one night in the hospital to recover. All patients should plan roughly two weeks to take off from work and arduous activities.


The amount of visits with a doctor following the procedures is much higher than other weight loss surgeries, ranging from every week for the first month, and continuing to every quarter for the next few years. The doctor will be able to adjust the band to get the right fill amount, and this may take up to 10 adjustment appointments.

Lap band removal is also common due to inadequate weight loss, which is a much smaller percentage than weight loss associated with gastric sleeve or bypass procedures. There may also be band leaks, severe blood clotting, esophageal enlargement, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), stomach pouch dilation, and many more. Although the recovery time is ideal, these and other serious complications may arise which sometimes make the risks outweigh the benefits.

Laparoscopic/Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve Surgery)

A popular type of bariatric surgery is the vertical sleeve gastrectomy. With only five small incisions less than an inch wide, 85% of the stomach is removed and transformed into a long tube that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. After the surgery, patients generally eat a much smaller amount of food to satisfy their hunger, and weight loss is maintained long term after the procedure.

Immediately afterward, recovery is fairly quick. The surgery itself is a simple laparoscopic procedure and only takes roughly 1-2 hours to complete. Most hospital stays only require 2 to 3 days before the patient is allowed home to finish recovery. A liquid diet is implemented for a few weeks thereafter while the patient avoids strenuous movements and activity. Generally, he or she may return to work after 2 to 4 weeks depending on the individual. Although malabsorption is unlikely with gastric sleeve surgery, an important thing to keep in mind during the post-op period is the proper intake of bariatric vitamins, such as B12.


Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass

The leading weight loss surgery in the United States, laparoscopic gastric bypass or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is another minimally invasive procedure. Surgeons use a stapling device to create a smaller stomach pouch, while leaving the larger stomach present. The part of the small intestine that is connected to the larger pouch is rerouted to the “Roux limb” to allow digestive juices to flow normally. The length of this segment is determined by the level of malabsorption the surgeon deems appropriate for the patient.

On average, the surgery takes about 90 minutes to complete, with a recovery period of 2 to 4 weeks. Patients who undergo Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass generally returned more quickly to presurgical levels of activity quicker than those who undergo different weight loss procedures. As soon as possible following the procedure, patients are asked to walk around to reduce the risk of developing blood clots, or may be asked to wear compression stockings to keep the blood flowing throughout his or her legs. While remaining in the hospital for a few days, two catheters inserted during surgery will remain in place to keep stomach fluids drained. Once the patient’s digestive system appears to be functioning normally, he or she will be allowed to returned home.

Upon hospital release, the patient should continue with a liquid diet for 1 to 2 weeks, slowly easing back into solid foods. Due to high levels of malabsorption as a result of this procedure, vitamins are extremely important to consume throughout the rest of the patient’s life. Maintaining a healthy diet and routine exercise is also a must in order to prevent further weight gain. A post-op patient may return to work anywhere between 1 to 6 weeks, but must see his or her doctor after 2 weeks for a follow-up visit. To get back to daily life quicker, all patients should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for the week following the procedure.

Riverside Surgical and Weight Loss Center offers laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and laparoscopic gastric bypass as options for weight loss procedures. To inquire more about the risks and recovery of any of these surgeries, don’t hesitate to contact our office to set up a consultation. We want you to get back on your feet and enjoy the life you’ve always imagined as soon as possible, so contact us today!

Tags: Before and After Weight Loss Surgery

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