How to get through pain after weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery is a wonderful tool for people who are struggling with their weight. It is a huge decision on whether or not it is right for you, so it is important that you do your research to determine if surgery is your best option. Although bariatric surgery has been shown to be extremely safe, it is important that you ensure it is the safest option for you and your health as there are risks with any surgery. Once you make the decision to have surgery, you must also be prepared for life after the procedure, especially what you will experience those first few days after surgery. As with any surgery, weight loss surgery comes with some discomfort. You will be in the hospital for 1-3 days while you are healing. During this process, it might be painful for you. There are multiple things that cause the pain. The first is from your incisions. They will be sensitive and your abdomen will more than likely be sore. You also might experience pain when you are drinking for the first time. Make sure you talk to your surgeon about this so you can ensure you are healing correctly. The last reason you might experience pain is from gas pains in your chest. This can be a little scary when it first happens, but it is a common side effect that patients have right after surgery. Again, it is critical that you discuss this with your surgeon.
The best advice I can give you after surgery is to rest, but keep your mind busy. Bring a book or your laptop to stay busy. This helped me tremendously when I was experiencing pain after the procedure. By keeping your mind busy, you will not think about the pain as much. You will more than likely be on pain medication, but finding these other things to do will help you as well. Your abdomen will be sore from the surgery, but it does go away relatively quickly. It is important that your medical team takes care of your incisions as you need to make sure they do not get infected. When it comes to the pain while drinking, take baby steps. Work with your medical team to ensure you are staying safe as you introduce liquids back into your diet. You do not want to go too fast. This pain will go away as long as you follow the guidelines from your surgeon. I will say the biggest pain after surgery is the gas pain. Your chest will feel very uncomfortable as it is pushing the gas out of your body. One of the most helpful things to do to get the gas out is to get up and walk. You have to be careful, but walking is so important after the procedure. It also decreases your chances of getting blood clots.
Pain is unfortunately something all surgeries usually come with. However, do not let this scare you. You will have a medical team that will take care of you and you will be guided on how to get through the discomfort. If you are experiencing any pain, it is important that you talk to your medical team to ensure you are still healing correctly. Trust in them and do your part to stay safe and healthy after the procedure. Hang in there! You will get through this and on to stronger days!
- Kimberly H.