Some of the challenges facing a person in a weight loss program after their surgery can be unexpected. Lifestyle changes can strain relationships within families and between married couples.
Below are some important considerations for you to be aware of. Click below to learn more about what you can expect after surgery.
Please note that most bariatric surgeons offer follow-up care that includes support groups, dietitians, and other forms of continuing education to help patients achieve their goals and deal with the changes surgery and weight loss can bring.
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. Post-surgery dietary guidelines will vary by surgeon.
You may hear of other patients who are given different guidelines following their weight loss surgery. 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 surgeon and each type of procedure.
What is most important is that you adhere strictly to your surgeon's recommended guidelines. The following are some of the generally accepted dietary guidelines a weight loss surgery patient may encounter:
- When you start eating solid food it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunks of meat if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
- Don't drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have consumed enough food.
- Omit desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
- Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milkshakes, 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. Many 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 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a most important requirement.
It is strongly advised that you join a support group to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs because ongoing post-surgical support helps produce the greatest level of success for their patients.
The support groups provide 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.