Important information and instructions 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. Post-surgery dietary guidelines will vary. 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.
These 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, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fiber content.
Limit snacking between meals.
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. 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 those 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 every one to two years thereafter.
The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients with 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. Most surgeons have support groups in place to assist you with short-term and long-term questions and needs. Most bariatric surgeons who frequently perform weight loss surgery will tell you that ongoing post-surgical support helps produce the greatest level of success for their patients.
Weight loss is often a long, emotional journey. We created the SlimmerU newsletter so you don't have to take that journey alone. You'll find the latest weight loss news, insider tips and best practices to help you succeed. You can download the latest SlimmerU newsletter and read previous issues here.
Slimmer You App
Slimmer You, a free app is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can use this app to document your journey, access our dietician, access the program director, register for support groups, track your nutrition and more!