You’ve made the decision to have weight loss surgery. You’ve gone through the insurance process and you’ve made all of your appointments. The big day is coming and its time to pack for your hospital stay.
How Long Will I Stay In The Hospital?
Most procedures require a single overnight stay in the hospital.
Gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery almost always require an overnight stay. Occasionally, gastric banding procedures (Lap Band and Realize Band) do not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Even though you will likely only spend one night in the hospital, you should prepare for two nights. Something as simple as slightly off lab numbers or elevated sugar levels can add an extra night to your stay. Be a girl scout or boyscout and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
6 Must Have Items For Your Hospital Stay
Whether you have gastric bypass, lap band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, or duodenal switch surgery the items below are highly recommended.
- Chapstick and Lotion
- After weight loss surgery you are typically not allowed to eat or drink anything for a period of time. On top of that, your body reacts to surgery like its being attacked and when the body is attacked it shunts most of its fluids to vital organs. This leaves your skin and lips especially dry.
- Comfy Clothes
- You doctor will most likely want you on your feet shortly after surgery and you may even be able to shower the following morning. But the bending required to get into normal clothes will be painful. Get yourself some comfortable clothes that are easy to slip on or off as needed. You won’t care about fashion, trust me!
- Cell phone and iPad or Kindle Fire
- Even though you’ll most likely be groggy and in and out of sleep, you will want to stay connected. Bring your cell phone so you can let your friends and family know that you are doing great. An iPad or a Kindle Fire is a great way to watch movies or surf the internet. Download a trashy novel or a good book from your favorite author.
- Slippers Or Socks with Tread
- Get yourself some comfy slippers or socks with tread on them. You may be a little unstable on your feet and hospital floors are dirty. While every hospital will provide them, its nice to have warm toasty feet in your own comfortable slippers or socks.
- Mouthwash or Breath Spray
- Your breath will be stinky. You won’t want to get up and brush your teeth and you’ll probably have visitors. Bring a small breath spray so you aren’t worried about offending anyone with bad breath. Remember, you’ve just changed your digestive system (some procedures more than others) and even if you’re not prone to get bad breath, you will probably have bad breath and want a quick fix.
- Your Favorite Pillow
- You will be uncomfortable and you’ll be in and out of sleep. Its great to have your preferred pillow with you. And you can use it for the ride home in the car (especially if its a long ride). If you’re someone that can sleep on any pillow, then bring a pillow case. The pillow cases at hospitals tend to get washed in lots of bleach and they become scratchy and hard. But don’t forget to bring your pillowcase home with you.
- Room Fragrance
- You might find that you are a little ‘gassy’ after surgery and the smell may surprise you! If you’re someone that doesn’t want everyone that walks in the room to share the aroma, bring a bottle of air freshener.
I know that I added an extra item. This item was requested by a reader. And after some thought (about 2 seconds of thought) I decided room fragrance deserves to be on the list! Now that you’ve got everything you need for the hospital, what do you need to have ready at your house?