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Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

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Going Home

Discharge Instructions

Written discharge instructions will be provided. The instructions outline what you can and cannot do when you go home, diet restrictions, medications, when to call the doctor, etc. A dietitian will also review the dietary guidelines with you before discharge from the Medical Center. You will also receive prescriptions for medications that you may need. A nurse will review these instructions with you to make sure you understand.

Accessing help, and how to do so, will be discussed with you prior to discharge. We recommend the following:

  • Call 911 or go to the ER for issues that require urgent medical attention, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or excessive abdominal pain.

  • Call the office at 410-550-0409 for non-emergent issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or redness, swelling, drainage or bleeding from the incision.


Once you are home, be very careful to follow the instructions given for diet progression. The benefits of surgery can be undone by not following the guidelines. Our dietitian is readily available to answer questions and help you adjust.


It is key that you begin an exercise program as soon as possible. Not only does exercise prevent complications after surgery, it improves weight loss. Start by walking short distances. Increase your pace and distance each day.

Do not attempt any abdominal exercises, weight lifting or swimming. Ask your doctor when you can return to these activities.


Light housework, short shopping trips and climbing stairs are okay. You can shower with your back to the spray. Do not soak in a tub. Do not drive or lift heavier than five pounds until your first follow-up with your physician.

Resume normal activities gradually. Use common sense! If you have pain, stop what you are doing.


Typically, individuals with a sedentary job return to work within two to three weeks. Do not return to work until after your first follow-up visit with your physician.


Having bariatric surgery requires support from friends and family. You can expect to experience a variety of emotions as you recover and maintain your weight loss. Support groups are an ideal way to share experiences, learn coping tips and praise successes. You are invited to attend our free, monthly support meeting at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Members of our team also are available to talk with you and your family about the adjustment process. Simply call our office at 410-550-0409.

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