FAQ – Weight Loss Surgery

Why do I have to take proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid®, Nexium® or Prilosec® after surgery?

To prevent ulcer formation in the new stomach pouch, as well as prevent gastric reflux. It is recommended that you take one of these medications for 2 to 3 months after surgery even if you are not experiencing gastric reflux. If you ever have to take antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications, it is recommended that you take one of these medications. If you should have any questions or concerns about prescribed or over-the-counter medications, always consult with your physician or pharmacist.

When can I start to exercise?

You can begin to walk as soon as you can tolerate it. This generally occurs soon after surgery. Clearance for heavy lifting, weight training and other exercises may be discussed at your first preoperative visit.

When can I go swimming?

You may resume swimming 6 weeks after surgery. Until that time, no pools, no spas, no Jacuzzis, no baths.

When can I drive?

There is typically no restriction to driving unless you are on pain medication. If you have questions about medications, please consult your physician or pharmacist.

When do I see my Primary Care Physician after surgery?

You should see your Primary Care Physician within the first 2 weeks after surgery. Any of your current medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc., may need to be changed or adjusted.

Will I go home with drains?

Drains will normally be removed before hospital discharge. However, if there is a large amount of fluid which still needs to be drained, they may remain until your first postoperative visit. This will be at the discretion of your surgeon. If you require drains at home you will be taught the appropriate drain care and if needed home health assistance will be arranged.

Can all or any of my prescription medications be crushed?

It is recommended that before you crush any prescription medication that you consult with the prescribing physician or pharmacist. Perhaps there is an alternative form such as liquid.

How long do I have to crush prescriptions or over-the-counter medications? When can I swallow my pills, vitamin and mineral supplements?

We recommend that you do not swallow any whole pills, capsules or other forms of medications, vitamins or minerals for 2 to 3 months after surgery.

When can I go back to work?

Typically, you can go back to work in 2 weeks. This will be assessed at your two week postoperative visit.

What is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)?

This is a bacteria found in the stomach and intestines that can cause ulcers. If you are positive for this bacteria, you will be prescribed antibiotics which you will have to take for 10-14 days.
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