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What does life after bariatric surgery look like? That’s one of the major questions people bring with them to their consultation. Although it is easy to wish for just a few simple weeks of recovery, life after bariatric surgery is much more than that. For starters, the way your body recovers is a case by case circumstance. No two people will look exactly the same during their recovery process and that’s okay. Second, there are a few surgical and non surgical options to consider when examining recovery time and the procedure’s long term effects.

We are going to walk you through several major changes you will experience after having bariatric surgery, and we will lightly touch on a few bariatric procedures and their recovery process.

life after bariatric surgery

Healthy new habits

Diet

Adapt your diet according to your physician or dietitian’s recommendations. This rule will be especially important when you face challenges like going out to eat or attending social gatherings with friends and family. By following your new healthy eating plan, you are more likely to avoid complications. Eating too much sugar can cause symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, cramps, and diarrhea. Having drinks with a ton of carbonation like soda or beer can cause discomfort, diarrhea, and delay in weight loss. Caffeine should be replaced with alternative options due to its dehydrating nature.

Vitamins

Along with changes in your diet, you should take the necessary vitamins and other supplements to avoid any kind of dietary deficiencies. The most common supplements you may be asked to take include multivitamins, calcium nitrate, iron, and a few vitamin B supplements. Each one serves an important purpose and helps you ease your way into an overall healthier lifestyle.

Exercise

Stick to an exercise program to help keep the weight off and maintain good health.At first, this will include low impact exercises while your body is getting used to the big change of having bariatric surgery. Yoga, swimming, and walking with supportive shoes are a few examples of low impact workouts. As you heal and progress, you can try more intense options like running and weight lifting. Overall, you will need to hold yourself accountable and work out at least 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes per session.

Mental Health

Keep your mental health in check by joining support groups, attending therapy, and speaking to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Your body will go through a number of changes in the next few years, and each one could present a new challenge you might not be used to. It helps if you can surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive of your weight lost quest, and can encourage you to stay on track. If you are afraid that you won’t have this kind of backup, support groups can become a great way to connect with others like you.

life after bariatric surgery

Gastric Bypass

When choosing gastric bypass as a method of losing weight, patients can expect to lose about 80% of their excess body weight over the course of 2 years or so. At Advanced Houston Surgical, Dr. Chaudhry conducts this surgery through tiny keyhole incisions and reduces the stomach’s mass as well as lower intestine. By rearranging the flow of food consumption through this surgery, your body will bypass the stomach and follow its new route created by your surgeon. This causes the patient’s future diet to become restrictive and lessens the amount of calories consumed.

It’s a common myth that after having gastric bypass—as well as other weight loss procedures—recipients can gorge themselves all they want on unhealthy foods and not gain any weight. This is not only completely false but it is also a dangerous way of thinking. When recovering from gastric bypass, you will immediately be placed on a liquid diet. This will give your body the nutrition it needs to slow down and heal. Little by little, you will be able to move up the soft food ladder from broths and sauces to cottage cheese and fish. Eventually, you will be able to eat normal foods that are packed with solid vitamins and minerals like veggies, fruits, poultry, and so on, but not immediately. You will also want to focus on your energy and make sure you are doing everything you can to hydrate and stay motivated before beginning an exercise program.

 

Gastric Sleeve

A gastric sleeve procedure works by having about 75% of the stomach removed. This procedure takes about half the time of a gastric bypass and causes the patient to eat less, limiting caloric intake. First, small incisions are made in the abdomen and then the stomach is stapled to the desired size. With the gastric sleeve, the patient then loses most of their weight over the course of a few years.

Even though a gastric sleeve procedure takes less time than having a gastric bypass, it will still require a ton of work and maintenance to stay on the right track. Again, you will be restricted to clear liquids after your surgery is complete. You will be taking in liquids carefully until you can build up to eating regular solid foods. Take movement slowly and make sure you have fully healed before you start a workout routine.

 

Reshape Intragastric Balloon

With the intragastric balloon procedure, this non surgical weight loss method uses two saline filled balloons to take up mass inside the stomach, which causes the patient to eat less. The patient is placed under a light anesthesia before the balloon are place endoscopically. The balloons are filled inside the stomach with saline, and the endoscopic tube is removed. This procedure usually takes about 20 minutes or less, and recovery time is extremely short compared to surgical options. Since the balloons are removed after 6 months, his procedure is in no way a permanent solution. This point of this procedure is to reteach you how to eat and maintain a healthy weight so that when they are removed, you can practice your new healthy habits on your own.  

life after bariatric surgery

Life after bariatric surgery can be rewarding if you stay serious about getting healthy and following the right path. Clean eating and exercise can make a huge impact as well and get you closer to your goal weight. At Advanced Houston Surgical, we invite you to get started on your health journey today. Visit us at our Sugar Land or Webster location today.