How much time did you take off (or wish you did) to recover from sleeve surgery?

Robin628 Posts: 103 Member
I had the Lap Band back in 2007 (removed in 2011) and it was a relatively easy recovery for me. I took two weeks off but honestly felt I could have gone back to work in just a few days. I know this procedure (VSG) is more invasive and a lot of folks have reported they were very tired and weak due to the lack of calories and liquids the first two weeks. How much time did you take off and was it enough? What do you think is the ideal amount of time to take off for recovery? I am self-pay and not telling anyone at work so I am taking vacation time. I do work from home most days (field sales rep) so I won't need to drive to and from an office or anything. But I have the time saved up if I need more than a week. I am just curious how most people felt immediately afterwards. I am trying to avoid creating any suspicion at work, I am not telling any of my coworkers at this point.

Thanks! Robin


  • garber6th
    garber6th Posts: 1,894 Member
    I took off two weeks. I felt better after a few days really, but I decided I should take the time to adjust and rest, and I am very glad I did! I recovered very well but that time off was good for me. I am one of those people who had no trouble at all though. I didn't even take pain medicine after I got home. Even without the pain, I did feel a little funky, but that's to be expected!! I drove myself to the store after a few days, and did some work from home too. Most people I know took two weeks and that worked for them.
  • sinderstorm
    sinderstorm Posts: 225 Member
    I'm a SAHM with 2 small kids. I truly took the first week off- I stayed at my parent's house for that week. Then I went home, but my Mother in law stayed with us for the second week, for which I was very grateful. That second week I still tired very easily, and needed a nap most days. My MIL was able to help with meal cooking, and keep the kids and house moving and relatively clean. I was ok to be home with them that second week, but we were all much happier and my house was much tidier because she was here. So I'd recommend at least a week, and take 2 weeks if you can swing it. Take the time to take care of yourself and adjust to your new stomach.
  • GalgoMomAnita
    GalgoMomAnita Posts: 84 Member
    Hi Robin! -- With working from home I was able to ease back into things. Surgery was Thursday and I did about four hours of work while down in Mexico through Sunday, and about two hours on the airplane. The next few days were tough because I would just suddenly feel so tired and need to take a nap. My friend and I both found it we'd get up at 7am, have our shake while we did morning emails, and then all of a sudden that was it - you hit a wall. Walking the dogs around the block (about 20minutes) pretty much drained me for the first week. The second week was better, and by day 10 I felt like I was could work at about 80% speed. So long story short, if you take the first week of vacation time and can work a little lighter that second week you may be good. If you can take two weeks totally off that would be all the better.
  • Robin628
    Robin628 Posts: 103 Member
    Thank you, everyone! I'll probably just take the 2 weeks and if I feel better sooner, bonus!

    I booked my surgery for 12/7, so it will be pretty slow as everyone gears up for the holiday. I am starting to get excited. :smile:
  • pawoodhull
    pawoodhull Posts: 1,759 Member
    I work at a desk job and I took the full two weeks. A friend who had the band told me he rushed back to work after the first week and felt it hurt him because he didn't really get the food requirements set in his mind before adding back the job. He told me to take the whole 2 weeks and be sure I was comfortable with my new normal. I took his advice and didn't regret a thing.
  • ssbeadlady
    ssbeadlady Posts: 126 Member
    I will be having my gallbladder and a possible hernia along with the sleeve. I am wondering how much more time I will need as I am physically disabled and can't walk off the gas and pain like everyone else says they do.
  • sinderstorm
    sinderstorm Posts: 225 Member
    @ssbeadlady If you can take 3 weeks, I'd do it, or talk to your HR dept and see what their policy is if you reach the end of 2 weeks and aren't ready to come back. I'd also talk to your surgeon about your concerns with the gas and your disability and see if there is something that can be done to help you move that gas, either through medication or physical therapy with your restrictions.
  • BringingSherriBack
    BringingSherriBack Posts: 607 Member
    I took 10 days off. I had my surgery on a Wednesday and returned to work 1-1/2 weeks later. I was tired and worn out after working 8 hours and would go home to nap.
    I really wish I had taken another week off.
  • phippsfit
    phippsfit Posts: 3 Member
    I have a desk job so it was a little easier for me. I had my surgery on a Wednesday and was back at work the next Monday. I was a little tired the first few days back at work, but otherwise felt absolutely fine.
  • loriloftness
    loriloftness Posts: 476 Member
    I took 2 weeks. I would have been able to do my office job the 2nd week, but by taking that week off I was able to do my liquid-only 2 weeks (post surgery) at home rather than trying to do it at work. When I went back to work on week 3 I was on puréed food which I found easier to do at work.
  • dcc56
    dcc56 Posts: 172 Member
    I took three weeks off. I had short term disability benefits so that helped. I think having time after surgery to get into the "groove" of my new life was important. With the special dietary plans to follow and the rest I needed I think having three weeks off was just right for me.
  • gldngrl7
    gldngrl7 Posts: 13 Member
    I took the third week off for several reasons:
    1) a friend in my office had the same surgery and said he wished he had taken 3 weeks. He was so tired he ended up using vacation days to take half days off on week 3.

    2) if hospitalized my company allows up to 6 weeks paid leave for a procedure like this. So I took 3.

    3). I wanted to be at home when I started puréed foods, because I knew it was going to be some experimenting and I didn't have any idea how my body would react. I wanted to be close to my toilet in case of diarrhea/vomiting.
  • rpyle111
    rpyle111 Posts: 1,066 Member
    I took four weeks off (with Short Term Disability coverage). I could have gone back in two weeks and been tired, but I used the extra time to get a lot more walking in before the weather turned (I was Sleeved in late September), including on a golf course!

    All in all, I was glad to take the extra time to get the eating/drinking routine ingrained and I took a lot more naps the first few weeks. Plus, if I had had any complications, i am sure I would have needed the extra time.

  • bikrchk
    bikrchk Posts: 516 Member
    I planned for 2 but ended up going back after 1 and 1/2. It's a desk job, I felt good, (never needed the narcotic pain meds they gave me), was getting all my protein and fluids and was bored at home. Preserved a few vacay days. It helped that I lived 5 minutes from work and took lunch at home anyway.
  • crepes_
    crepes_ Posts: 583 Member
    I took off 2 weeks, initially, but had to get it extended to 3 weeks because I had a rough recovery. I went back after 3 weeks but still not well. I could still hardly move and I was tired and nauseated at all times. I should have taken 4 weeks.
  • seaghdha1072
    seaghdha1072 Posts: 89 Member
    I took two weeks and it suited me fine. I have an active job and on my feet most of the day. The hardest part in the beginning for me was the drinking. Because I don't have a desk job I had to set timers on my cell phone to remind me to drink.
  • Ultima_Morpha
    Ultima_Morpha Posts: 895 Member
    I am fortunate to have short term disability and was approved for six weeks. I took the whole six weeks.

    I had a slightly more involved surgery and also was re-hospitalized due to some complications so I was very happy to have the extra recovery time.

    Barring the complications, I could have gone back to the office part of my job after a week but I would have struggled and I think it would have protracted my total recovery.

    The complications were a rougher recovery than the actual surgery. But, by the time I went back to work, I had a well established exercise and eating routine which made it a lot easier to go back to my job 100%...including a significant amount of travel.

    If you're fortunate enough to have the time, use it!
  • mareacuda
    mareacuda Posts: 26 Member
    I have never had a job where I could take any time off (let alone paid!) I pissed a lot of people off by having my surgery on a Thursday and coming back to work Monday. It was really, really dumb- but I didn't have another choice unfortunately (aside from skipping or postponing the surgery)
  • weeziebeth
    weeziebeth Posts: 168 Member
    I planned for 2 weeks off but went back after 1 week and a day, worked 2 days, and then had 3 day weekend. then back to full time. I would have gone stir-crazy if I'd stayed home any longer.