The doctors have done their job, now it’s time for you to take control! You’ll want to know what to expect in the days and weeks after surgery, learn a new way to eat and get guidance on the types of exercise that can help you succeed.
What to Expect After Bariatric Surgery
Like any major surgery, you need to carefully ease back into normal activities. In the case of bariatric surgery, there are some special considerations.
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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. After surgery, you will need to think differently about how you eat.
Going Back to Work
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.
Birth Control & Pregnancy
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.
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. Nutritional deficiencies that occur over the course of many years will need to be studied. Over time, you will need periodic checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. Follow-up tests will initially be conducted every three to six months or as needed, and then every one to two years.
The widespread use of gastric bypass and bariatric support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients an excellent opportunity to discuss their various personal and professional issues. Most learn 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. Most surgeons have support groups in place to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs.
For More Information
Talk to your doctor for more information about Danbury Hospital. Call us at 1-800-516-3657 or attend a free event. Learn more about how to lose weight and if bariatric surgery is for you.