Returning to Work After Weight Loss Surgery

-- Marc A. Neff, MD, FACS, FASMBS

One of the most common questions I'm asked during a patient's first visit after weight loss surgery is "when can I go back to work?"

I give two answers.

Physically, a person can typically go back to work around two weeks after band surgery and three weeks after sleeve or bypass surgery.

However, my second answer is the more critical one. I tell my patients that mentally, you should be ready to return to work around 4-6 weeks.

There are many reasons behind this answer. Weight loss surgery is a chance to reboot life. To re-examine eating and drinking habits, shopping habits, meal prep habits, lifestyle and exercise habits and stress management techniques.

Those that rush back to the same destructive lifestyle that created their problem in the first place will only make recovery harder on themselves. It's critical to take the time to recover properly and learn how to use their new tool in a positive way.