Travelling after weight loss surgery is safe and it’s all about how you take it. If you’re positive in your behavior your recovery will be fast and if you are planning to travel you can go forward for it as it doesn’t affect your post-surgery goals. Recovery after weight loss surgery depends upon your co-morbidities, post-op care, mobilization, liquid intake, and your behavior. Patients spend usually 2 to 3 days in the hospital following bariatric surgery, or longer depending on their co-morbidities.
Mobilization is the key after surgery that makes recovery fast. Activities such as walking after every 2 hours and even changing positions in bed help promote circulation. Standing up, walking and doing your post-operative exercises may help speed up your recovery. The second most important thing is your post diet which is either started in the evening or next day post surgery, it is mandatory that you take almost 1 litre of oral clear liquids sip by sip. Patients who undergo laparoscopic Sleeve/RYGB/Mini gastric bypass surgery usually have a shorter hospital stay.
After you are discharged from the hospital it takes almost 3-4 weeks to recover and to get back to normal routine. Follow-up with your surgeon and nutritional team is also an important part of speedy recovery as its helps you to stay motivated and keeps a check on you. As the day progresses the nutritional team helps you and guides you in making dietary modifications.
Your first hospital visit with your surgeon and the nutritional team will be scheduled for 15 days. Your discharge instructions will tell you when to return to the hospital for follow-up.
You will continue to see your surgeon periodically after the initial follow-up visit — usually after 4 weeks, 2 months, 6 months and 9months after surgery. It is also important to keep your doctor informed of your progress. Be sure to contact him or her with any medical concerns as well.
International travelling after surgery-When can patients travel back to their countries after surgeries: –The bottom line in many cases, it’s perfectly safe to fly after surgery, but it’s not advisable for everyone. It comes down to a case-by-case recommendation your doctor will make based on your personal risk factors. Usually it is recommended to travel after 3-4 weeks of surgery depending on your recovery and your co-morbidities. But if you have a particular time frame of returning back you can take your flight after 1 week of surgery.
Domestic travelling –When can a patient take a short flight or a road trip after surgery: Patients can take a short trip or a short flight 48 hrs post surgery. If you are travelling for long hours especially by road then make sure to stop your vehicle after every 2 hrs and walk around. Carry your medications and liquids along so that you are pain relief and hydrated .Go slow and drive safely. If you are boarding a flight then again remember to mobilize and take liquids and medications.
Things to remember while travelling after surgery:
After your weight loss surgery, you’ll need to take a few precautions while travelling. This will keep you safe and comfortable during your journey.
- Book a seat which has lot of extra leg space as this will allow you carry out some leg exercise in order to avoid DVT. This is particularly important on medium and long haul flights. Sitting still for too long on a flight can be dangerous for anyone but especially for anyone who has had any form of surgery.
- Wear your compression stocking as this keeps your blood circulating
- Walk around in the cabin after every 2 hrs and so.
- If your are travelling by a car it’s important to stop after every 2 hrs and walk
- Carry your medication and supplementation along with your prescription
- Keeping sipping your liquids after an hour
- Do not miss your blood thinners while travelling.
- Keep yourself positive and motivated.
- Keep in touch with your team for any kind of access.
Is it possible to travel immediately after surgery?
If you have a positive attitude and you’re motivated there is no harm in travelling immediately after surgery. Based on your vitals /fluid intake /mobilization and change in your co- morbidities the surgeon gives you the green signal for the discharge.
What are the common mistakes patients do during travelling?
Common mistakes that usually by the patients make are they gulp liquids very fast due to which they feel uneasy very fast, they forget to mobilize and walk around due to which they feel more fatigue, they tend to miss their medications and then complain of pain.
What type of food should I choose while travelling post surgery?
One of the most important things when travelling after weight loss surgery is to carry on adhering to your recommended nutrition plan. If you are travelling immediately after surgery, make sure you carry clear liquids with you like coconut water /clear soups/water etc. Avoid aerated drinks and use of straw as this can cause discomfort. Avoid thick shakes and too much sugary stuff.
These days, many airlines don’t give you food as standard. This makes it a little easier when travelling after weight loss surgery by flight. You will be able to take your own food on board, and this will allow you to travel while under a restrictive diet of water and liquids in the immediate months of your surgery. If you flying after a month then you can also carry yogurts/protein shakes /fruits along. Diet high in proteins and low in carbohydrates will help and keeps you comfortable during your travel. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure following your recovery from weight loss surgery, it will have an impact on your daily routine. Any kind of changes can have a negative effect on your diet, so it’s important to adhere to your regime.
Will I be able to drive just after my surgery?
It is recommended to have someone accompany you in order to avoid any physical accidents. Based on your good recovery rate and your positive approach you can drive post surgery. Stop after every two hours and mobilize. Hydration and mobilization is the key. Drive carefully and safe .Go slow