How does a weight loss surgery work, and how can it help you? Here you can find answers to common questions about your life after a weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery is an essential operation, not only as an intervention but also as a step in changing your lifestyle. Weight loss surgery can be a safe and effective choice for those whose obesity has resisted all other treatments. However, it is important to understand that this operation will help life immediately and in the long run. The surgery is done when diet or exercise are not helping, and the person is having severe health issues due to weight.
Bariatric surgery helps with weight loss by restricting the food intake into the stomach, causing less absorption of nutrients. Bariatric interventions often cause hormonal changes. Most weight-loss operations today are performed using minimally invasive techniques (laparoscopic surgery). The most common bariatric surgical procedures are:
- Gastric bypass
- Sleeve gastrectomy
- Adjustable gastric band
- Biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch.
Bariatric surgery is an important event in the patient’s weight-loss pathway, but it is a new beginning. Obesity is a lifelong problem, and no diet or medication can provide permanent treatment. Surgery with proper care and moderate lifestyle changes can bring amazing results for health and weight in the long run.
Dr Venu Gopal Pareek and his team realized that patients like you might have questions about life post-bariatric surgery. So, this article will provide you with some answers to frequently asked questions about life after weight loss surgery. Before that, let us see life after weight loss surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Life Post Weight Loss Surgery
Can I eat regular food again?
You can eat regularly after the transition period post-surgery. The most significant difference is only in portion size. After eating a few ounces or less, you will feel full. You need to avoid foods high in sugar and limit fat in your diet. If not, you can eat a variety of foods, but some foods such as dried meat, pasta, rice, bread, asparagus, or other hard fruits and vegetables can be difficult.
Can weight loss surgery prolong my life?
Yes, there is good scientific evidence that weight loss surgery and associated lifestyle changes can significantly extend your life. If you have serious health problems related to obesity, they also get resolved slowly. Your ideal body weight and your ability to deal with lifestyle changes (daily exercise and a low-fat diet) significantly increase your chances of extending your life.
For example, a Man who smokes with a BMI of more than 40 can extend her life expectancy by more than 15 years if he loses weight and stops smoking.
How much exercise is needed after surgery?
Many patients are reluctant to exercise after surgery, but exercise is an integral part of success after surgery. The exercise starts on the day of the operation – the patient must get up and start walking. The goal is to continue and gradually increase each day, including the first few weeks at home. Patients are often released from medical restrictions and asked to start exercise about two weeks after surgery, which is only limited by the extent of the wound discomfort. The general condition of the patient determines the type of exercise. Some patients with severe knee problems may not walk well but may swim or ride a bicycle. Many patients begin with a form of low-stress exercise and are encouraged to move on to more activities when they can do.
What is so important in exercise after bariatric surgery?
If you undergo weight loss surgery, you will lose weight because the amount of food energy (calories) you can eat is far less than what your body needs before surgery. That should make a difference by burning a backup or unused tissue. Your body tends to burn unused muscles before it begins to burn accumulated fat. If you don’t exercise every day, your body will use unused muscles, and you will lose muscle mass and strength. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise every day tells your body that you want to use muscle and force it to burn fat.
Can I get pregnant after weight-loss surgery?
The recommendation is that women should wait for at least 1.5 to 2 years after surgery before becoming pregnant. About 1.5 years after surgery, your body is relatively stable (in terms of weight and nutrition) and you should be able to carry a normally fed fetus. You should consult with your surgeon when planning a pregnancy and also an obstetrician who is familiar with the needs of patients who have had weight-loss surgery. They should also be treated by obstetricians who are familiar with the needs of patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery.
How often should I go to the doctor after surgery?
You will be monitored regularly during treatment, usually every two weeks and again six weeks after surgery. After three, six, nine, and twelve months, you will return to the follow-up exam to ensure that you adapted well, and then once a year afterwards. We need to monitor your vitamin and mineral content (especially after gastric bypass and gastrectomy) and your protein intake.
What can I do to avoid excessive sagging of the skin?
Some patients choose plastic surgery to remove sagging or excess skin after losing weight. Ask your surgeon about the procedure that you need to remove the skin. It is usually not recommended to undergo skin removal surgery at least two years after surgery. During this time, weight loss begins to stabilize.
Do I have to change the medicine?
Your doctor will determine whether to take medications for blood pressure, diabetes, etc. depending on the outcome of the weight-loss surgery. Weight loss surgeries also help with blood pressure and diabetes. Usually, no dose adjustment is needed. Diuretics (liquid pills) and NSAIDs (mostly painkillers) should only be used after consulting your surgeon.
What is adhesion, and do they form after this surgery?
Adhesions are scars that form in the abdomen after surgery or injury. Adhesions can form during each abdominal operation. For most patients, they are not big enough to cause problems.
Is sexual activity limited?
Patients can return to normal sexual intimacy if wound healing and discomfort permits. Many patients experience a decrease in desire for about 2-4 weeks.
What happens if I continue to smoke?
Smoking increases the risk of lung problems after surgery, can slow recovery, increase infection rates, and affect the blood supply to healing tissues. Also, the use of nicotine is the leading cause of ulcers after weight loss surgery.
Things to do after surgery to continue enjoying the benefits?
The basic rules are simple and easy to follow:
- Immediately after surgery, your doctor will give you special nutrition instructions. You must follow these instructions carefully. You should follow a liquid diet for one to two weeks, a pureed diet for two to three weeks, and then switch to solid food. It is necessary and important to take the time to heal your new stomach bag properly.
- If you can eat solid food, eat three times a day no more. First, you need to consume protein in the form of lean meat (chicken, turkey, fish) and other low-fat sources. They must contain at least half of the food you consume. Food must be cooked free of fat and seasoned sufficiently. Avoid sauces, grapes, butter, margarine, mayonnaise, and junk food.
- Never eat between meals.
- Drink 2 litres or more of water every day. Water must be consumed slowly due to the restrictive effect of the surgery.
- Exercise aerobically every day at least 20 minutes (1-mile brisk walking, biking, climbing stairs, etc.). Weight/resistance Exercise can be added three to four days a week, according to your doctor’s instructions.
After surgery, continue working with your doctor and team. Most bariatric surgeons will tell you that ongoing postoperative support helps achieve the highest success for their patients. Patients help to motivate each other, celebrate small wins together and provide an overview of the successes and daily challenges that are usually experienced by patients. For a successful surgery, follow all the plans after weight loss surgery provided by a surgeon.