Life after Weight Loss Surgery
The effort does not end when the procedure is complete. Patients will have to dedicate themselves to a lifestyle change that includes modifying their diet and exercise routines to lose weight and get healthier. These lifestyle changes will begin even before surgery however the degree of weight loss and the long-term effectiveness of the procedure are influenced largely by the patient’s willingness to follow aftercare guidelines as prescribed by their surgeon and dietitian.
For instructions on recovery immediately after surgery, please click this link: Surgical Instructions
Diet and Exercise
Dietary changes are very important to the success of any bariatric procedure. Patients who are unwilling to modify their diet will not be able to lose weight as rapidly and safely as they should. You will have multiple consultations with our dietitian. It is highly important that you see her regularly as scheduled as a part of our behavioral change program. She will create a diet plan starting immediately after surgery. It is of utmost importance to follow this plan as it has been tailored to your specific nutritional needs. Some tips to remember include:
- Chewing your food thoroughly
- Avoiding high sugar and high fat foods
- Staying away from alcohol
- Eliminating grazing and snacking between meals
- Avoiding tobacco products and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
You will also want to avoid drinking water or any fluids with meals as it may cause dumping syndrome in gastric bypass patients or make you feel full before you have eaten enough to satisfy your daily nutritional needs.
Exercise is crucial to short-term recovery as well as long-term weight-loss. Start with plenty of walking after your procedure and continue to increase your exercise regimen in the medium and long term. A solid exercise regimen can enhance weight loss results as it helps burn fat and build muscle. Since maintaining muscle mass requires more calories than fat, as you build muscle you will be able to burn off additional calories.
Support groups have been proven to aid in weight loss over the long-term. We offer 4 to 5 support groups per month for all of our patients to attend, as part of our Back on Track program. These support groups will help answer any questions you may have about your weight loss journey and will introduce you to helpful tips and advice from those who have been there before. We strongly recommend that weight loss surgery patients attend as many support groups as they need to stay motivated and on track with their weight loss.
Pregnancy after Surgery
Although we have had many patients who have become pregnant after a weight loss surgery procedure, it is very important that patients do not get pregnant for a period of at least 18 months after surgery. Please speak to us as you are deciding whether to become pregnant. We will be able to advise you as to when it is safe to do so.
Some weight loss surgery patients may opt to get cosmetic surgery to eliminate extra skin after surgery. Peachtree Surgical and Bariatrics has a full service cosmetic surgery offering.