—home, sweet home after your bariatric operation

Make the house ready for your convalescence before you have weight loss surgery. Here are a few items that will make life easier:

  • Have grab bars installed in the shower
  • Have grab bars installed by the toilet
  • Get a hand held shower head
  • Get a shower chair
  • Stairs are generally not a problem if they were not before weight loss surgery, but make them safe
  • Shop for some Medical Supplies for home
  • Shop for at least two weeks of food or drink
  • Modify your bed, or a recliner
  • The J-hook
  • Baby wipes

Most people don’t think about grab bars until they reach out for something to hold onto and there is nothing there. If you ever slip in the shower and grab for something, you will be glad you had them installed.

Two years ago, I decided to enclose the carport and turn it into a bedroom. The idea was for the bedroom to have its own shower, a separate entrance, and maybe a kitchenette. It really was designed with my folks, who are getting older, in mind. The shower was made extra wide to accommodate a wheelchair. However, the grab bars were the key ingredient. Somehow, someone talked me out of installing grab bars by the toilet. Then one day when mom was getting up, she grabbed the wall installed sink. Yup, you guessed it. The sink came down. So, now we have a reinforced sink and grab bars.

A shower chair and hand-held showerhead are great. A shower feels great after weight loss surgery,it won’t hurt your wound, and keeping yourself clean reduces wound infections. A shower chair will allow you to sit down while you shower, especially those first few days. The hand-held shower is also good for getting to those hard to reach spots (the backside). Speaking of the backside, it is sometimes difficult to clean yourself back there, especially if you have an open weight loss surgery. A J-hook is a device made for that purpose. The name pretty much describes how it looks. Some use salad tongs—and that might be the last use for those tongs, but there are some things your weight loss doctor doesn’t want to know. Patients tell me that Martha Steward salad tongs work the best for this—honest, even I couldn’t make this up.A shower feels great after weight loss surgery, it won’t hurt your wound and keeping yourself clean reduces wound infections.

Baby wipes are cooling, flushable, and clean you up quite well, but sometimes you just have to get into the shower and use the hand held device to clean yourself up properly. I remember a great line from “Tuesday’s with Morrie,” where Morrie was slowly losing function because of a progressive neurological disease. Early on, he feared what would happenhospital bed inclined for weight loss surgery patientswhen his wife had to clean him. Later he said he learned that a true friend is someone who will clean your backside.

You will need to make modifications to your bed. It can be difficult getting in and out of bed following weight loss surgery. Some bariatric patients simply rent an electric recliner for a few weeks following weight loss surgery, other bariatric operation patients are fortunate enough to have a hospital bed. Most find recliners work well, especially an easy-glide or electric one. These things will make your trip home easier.