Weight Loss Surgery (Bariatric Surgery)
Life After Surgery
The following identifies areas that will be important for patients to follow after weight loss surgery.
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. Your BMC surgeon will provide you with post-surgery dietary guidelines. It is important to remember that every surgeon does not perform the exact same weight loss surgery procedure and that the dietary guidelines will be different for each type of procedure. What is most important is that you adhere strictly to your recommended guidelines provided by the dietician.
When you leave the hospital, you will be on a Stage Three diet.
Some general guidelines are as follows:
- Don't drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have consumed enough food and may trigger the dumping syndrome.
- Omit foods containing simple sugars.
- Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fiber content.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Limit snacking between meals.
Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight loss surgery you had. Most patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 12 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body makes this a most important requirement.
Although the short-term effects of weight loss surgery are well understood, there are still questions to be answered about the long-term effects on nutrition and body systems. You will receive a written schedule listing your appointments with your surgeon and dietitian. During the first year, your appointments will be fairly frequent. After the first year you will be seen at 18 months and then 2 years. After that you will be seen yearly. It is critical to continue to see your surgeon on a yearly basis to check for nutritional deficiencies and follow your weight.
The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients an excellent opportunity to discuss their various personal and professional issues. Most learn, for example, that weight loss surgery will not immediately resolve existing emotional issues or heal the years of damage that morbid obesity might have inflicted on their emotional well-being. BMC has support groups in place to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs and you should never hesitate to ask for assistance. Ongoing post-surgical support helps produce the greatest level of success for patients. More at Patient Information.