Bariatric surgery is a procedure that alters your digestive system to help you lose weight. There are many types of bariatric surgeries, such as a gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric balloon etc. Regardless of which procedure you may have done, your body will go through major changes. It's important to be aware of life after bariatric surgery, and what adjustments you may have to make to your daily life to ensure the best possible long-term results. Bariatric surgery can help patients lose sometimes upwards of 100 pounds. The challenge often can be stepping into the new lifestyle after surgery. Here are a few ways life will be different after bariatric surgery
1. Changes in Diet
Since your gastrointestinal system has changed drastically, it will have different needs when it comes to your diet. After your surgery, your nutritionist/coach will sit down with you and discuss the best possible diet for you. For some, this may initially be a liquid to allow your stomach to adjust. The liquid diet would be followed with a pureed food and then eventually a solid food diet. It’s important to know that as your progress through life after surgery, your dietary needs will change. Your body will also find it more difficult to get the hydration it needs, meaning it will be important for you to drink at least 64 oz of fluids a day. Getting a sufficient amount of fluids can help you avoid complications such as kidney stones, constipation, and dehydration. Your body will also need daily supplements such as physician approved Multivitamins, Vitamin D, Calcium, Iron, and Vitamin B12 among others. For the actual content of your food, items rich in protein are ideal. It’s also vital that you avoid foods high in sugar and fats, because these can seriously hinder your good health.
2. Changes in Medication
Those dealing with the disease of obesity usually have other health related issues such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, or even coronary heart disease. These conditions often require medications. However, as weight is lost post bariatric surgery, these conditions can improve. These improvements may allow you to slowly come off of some or even all of your medications (with your doctors approval of course).
3. Changes in Mental Health
Whenever someone goes through a major change in their life, they may have a change in the way they think. Many times, patients gain a newfound confidence as they continue to progress through their health journey. Others may struggle emotionally after surgery. However you may feel, it's important to realize that good communication is key to handling and understanding your new emotions. Talk to your doctor about ways to help manage your emotions and join a local support group. Also, try to keep a good line of communication between you and those important to you.
4. Changes in Activity Levels
Proper physical activity plays a big role in your post surgery weight management. How much you may work out will depend on what your doctors think is best However be prepared to create a habit of staying active. As you lose weight, the number of calories you burn will change. This means that your exercise plan will also be subject to change overtime.
*It’s important to know that bariatric surgery is not the “easy way out.” For many it is the most challenging thing they have ever had to encounter. Because the real journey starts after the surgery and that is when mindful living is more important than ever. So be sure to regularly engage with your post bariatric surgery care team. Use their advice, connect with community, and live mindful.*
Anon., n.d. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [Online]
Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/bariatric-surgery/definition-facts
[Accessed 5 August 2019].
Anon., n.d. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. [Online]
Available at: https://asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery
[Accessed 5 August 2019].