Life After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a lifelong commitment, given how it involves making changes to your stomach pouch and/or intestines that promote long-term weight loss. Life after bariatric surgery can be incredibly exciting, as it gives you the perfect opportunity to make permanent healthy lifestyle changes that will set you up for success.
Here’s more about the lifelong expectations after bariatric surgery and how to request an appointment with Advanced Laparoscopic Associates when you’re ready to learn more about weight loss surgery.
Immediately after bariatric surgery, it is important to follow the diet provided to you by your physician. Once you are approved to move forward with a long-term maintenance diet, you should focus on eating healthy foods that have high nutritional value. Your diet after bariatric surgery should include 60 to 100 grams of protein per day, along with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and low-fat dairy. Complimentary dietitian support is included with your weight-loss program at ALA to help you adjust to healthier eating.
Some bariatric procedures—such as gastric bypass surgery—will reduce the amount of calories, vitamins and minerals being absorbed by your small intestine. Taking vitamins and nutritional supplements is key to reducing your risk for malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies after bariatric surgery. Vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iron and a multivitamin are generally recommended for life after your procedure.
In addition to helping you lose excess weight, exercise can increase your energy, improve your mood and strengthen your immune system to reduce your risk for illness and disease. Make exercise part of your everyday lifestyle and stick to your favorite activities so it becomes a lifelong habit.
Your medication regimen may change after bariatric surgery depending on the type of surgery you have and on the type of conditions you had prior to surgery. For instance, your bariatric surgeon may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of gallstones that may occur with rapid weight loss. Or, if you have diabetes, your doctor may discontinue your medications if your symptoms greatly improve after losing excess weight.
Have a conversation with your provider to learn more about changes to your medications during the months and years following bariatric surgery.
Smoking and Alcohol
Your bariatric surgeon will talk to you about the importance of not smoking and abstaining from alcohol after having surgery. Nicotine can delay your healing and increase the risk of complications, while alcohol use can lead to greater intoxication. Alcohol use also increases your risk of nutritional deficiencies due to the way it can deplete your body’s stores of essential vitamins and minerals.
Bariatric surgery may increase your chances of becoming pregnant—especially if excess weight and comorbid conditions were affecting your fertility, hormones and libido. If you plan on becoming pregnant, your doctor may recommend waiting at least one year after having bariatric surgery before trying to conceive. Your surgeon can talk to you in more detail about pregnancy after bariatric surgery.
At Advanced Laparoscopic Associates, our bariatric weight-loss programs include monthly bariatric support group meetings so you can stay motivated and encouraged throughout your weight-loss journey. Contact us today to request an appointment and to learn more about our many medical weight-loss services.