You can usually leave hospital 1 to 3 days after having weight loss surgery. You'll be able to start to return to your normal activities 4 to 6 weeks later.

But you'll need to make long-term lifestyle changes to help make the most of your surgery.

Diet after weight loss surgery

You'll be given a diet plan to follow after surgery.

These vary from person to person, but a typical plan is:

You will also be advised to:

The charity WLS Info has more information about eating after your operation.

Exercise after weight loss surgery

As well as eating healthily, you'll need to exercise regularly to help you lose as much weight as possible after the operation.

You may be given an exercise plan. This will usually involve increasing your activity levels gradually as you recover from surgery.

Once you've fully recovered, you should aim to do regular activities that are intense enough to leave you feeling out of breath and make your heart beat faster, such as:

Choose something you enjoy as you'll be more likely to stick with it.

Follow-up appointments

After weight loss surgery, you'll be asked to attend regular follow-up appointments for the rest of your life.

These appointments will usually be in a weight loss surgery clinic for at least the first 2 years, but eventually you may just need a check-up with a GP once a year.

Follow-up appointments may involve:

Pregnancy and contraception after weight loss surgery

Women are usually advised to avoid becoming pregnant during the period of most significant weight loss in the first 12 to 18 months after surgery.

This is because weight loss surgery can affect your vitamin and mineral levels. If your levels are low while you're pregnant, there's a risk it could harm your baby.

It's a good idea to:

Help and support

Having weight loss surgery can be physically and emotionally draining.

Support will be provided as part of your follow-up, but you may also find it useful to talk with people who have also had weight loss surgery.

Ask your specialist about any charities and support groups in your area or check the WLS Info website.

When to get medical advice

In the days or weeks after surgery, call your GP or NHS 111 immediately if you have:

In the months after surgery, make an appointment to see a GP if you:

Page last reviewed: 1 August 2019
Next review due: 1 August 2019