Bariatric surgeries are serious procedures for resolving obesity issues. They can help patients lose weight, keep the weight off, and regain their health in many ways. As with many types of surgeries, these procedures come with a recovery period and best practices for regaining full health.
Recovery from bariatric surgery can take a few weeks or up to a month depending on the patient. The process can be slow as patients regain strength and their surgical wounds heal. It’s important to take time to heal fully during the weeks after surgery.
In this article, we’ll discuss bariatric surgery, the healing process, and how to perform proper wound care in the days and weeks after the procedure.
What is Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgeries are any surgery that relates to the stomach. These surgeries tend to be performed on patients who struggle with obesity issues and all other weight loss treatments have failed or are not working quickly. These surgeries can be performed to remove or repair part of the stomach or GI tract, reduce the weight of the patient, or resolve other dietary issues.
Bariatric surgery tends to be minimally invasive but still requires a few weeks of recovery time. During this period, patients will struggle with mobility and may experience pain, fatigue, nausea, and other symptoms. In addition, patients will need to take care of their surgical wounds to ensure they heal correctly and fully.
The Healing Process After Bariatric Surgery
The healing process after bariatric surgery will be different for each person. Typically, a patient will stay in the hospital for a day or two after the procedure so doctors can monitor their blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs. After that, patients will spend two to four weeks recovering at home and slowly returning to their daily routines. The entire healing process tends to take about one month but can be faster if the surgery was minimally invasive.
Patients who have bariatric surgery will be encouraged to exercise lightly. Walking short distances and performing basic stretches will help their body return to normal. It’s important that exercises be performed carefully and lightly so as to not irritate the sutures (stitches) at the wounds.
Wound Care After Bariatric Surgery
Proper wound care is essential for patients who have bariatric surgery. Like any other wound, it’s important to take care of the opening with proper gauze bandages, held in place by high-quality tape such as Hy-Tape. When patients regularly change their wound dressings and apply the right treatments, their wounds can heal fully and the skin can repair.
Stitches, or sutures, from bariatric surgery will dissolve over the course of one to two weeks. The glue surrounding the sutures will peel off over time as well. It’s important for patients to be very careful with the glue so as to avoid tearing the skin and opening the wound before it’s healed.
Getting sutures wet while bathing is not a major issue, but patients shouldn’t submerge their wounds in water at any time. As the glue peels away, applying petroleum jelly to the wound can help moisturize and protect the skin.
Wound Care Tips and Tricks
Taking good care of bariatric surgery wounds is simple and similar to any other wound care routine. Patients will benefit from following a few basic rules:
- Wash hands before changing dressings – When removing and replacing a wound dressing, patients should thoroughly wash their hands. This can help prevent infection and speed up the healing process. Securing the new bandage with Hy-Tape will also ensure that the wound stays covered.
- Regularly change gauze bandages – Replacing a wound dressing should be done daily or sometimes more often. Patients should remove wet or damaged dressings immediately and replace them with fresh ones to keep the healing process going. Even if a patient lifts the bandage to see the wound’s progress, a new bandage should be applied to avoid infection.
- Don’t apply skin creams to the wound – Adding a skin cream or other skin treatment during the healing process is a bad idea. The chemicals in these products could negatively affect the healing process or even lead to an infection. It’s best to only apply doctor-recommended medicines to a healing wound.
- Always follow additional doctor orders – As with any post-surgery experience, patients should follow orders from their doctor. The doctor will know how often dressings should be replaced and what types of treatments should be applied to the wounds.
Secure The Wound Dressings With Hy-Tape
Securing a wound dressing is one of the most important aspects of wound care. The bandage needs to hold tightly but not be irritating to the skin, plus it must be easy to remove and replace.
Hy-Tape is a great option for securing a bandage after bariatric surgery. This tape holds the dressing tightly in place to ensure that water and foreign elements cannot enter. It’s also very flexible and makes it easy for patients to move without the worry of the tape loosening.
When it’s time to change dressings, Hy-Tape easily peels away without damaging skin due to its zinc-oxide ingredients. Patients can carefully remove the tape and replace their bandages without worry.
For bariatric surgery wound care, consider Hy-Tape as your go-to bandage-taping product. Contact us today to learn more about how Hy-Tape can make patient recovery easier.