Life After Bariatric Surgery (Obesity Surgery) - Dallas/Ft. Worth
To maximize the results of bariatric surgery, it is necessary to embrace a new, healthier lifestyle. Following any type of obesity surgery, our patients will have to make a significant adjustment to their daily routine, including their diet. This page features post-bariatric surgery diet guidelines, as well as general information about recovery and expected weight loss. For a further discussion of what to expect after obesity surgery, please contact our bariatric surgery center in Dallas/Ft. Worth.
Post Bariatric Surgery Hospital Stay
Following gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgery, patients will remain in a private hospital in Dallas County where their surgery was performed for one to two days. LAP-BAND and REALIZE Band surgeries are day surgeries and an overnight stay is generally not required. Back to top
Returning to Work
The amount of recovery time you will need before returning to work depends on a number of factors, including the type of bariatric surgery you had, your physical condition, and the nature of your work. Fifty to sixty percent of patients are back to work in one week and almost all patients are back to work within two weeks. Patients can expect to experience soreness for one week and some fatigue for two to three weeks after surgery. Most patients are able to resume pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks, though some can return to activities within just a few weeks of bariatric surgery. During a follow-up visit at our Texas practice, we can discuss the timing for your eventual return to work. Back to top
Patients who have undergone obesity surgery must be extremely careful about their diet, eat slowly, and chew their food thoroughly. Please read below for detailed post-bariatric surgery diet guidelines. Back to top
Immediately Following Bariatric Surgery
Soon after obesity surgery, we allow our Dallas/Ft. Worth, Amarillo, and Lubbock area patients to drink low-sugar, non-carbonated clear liquids and then low-sugar non-carbonated full liquids. Your first meals will consist of only pureed foods that are the consistency of baby food. Your nutritionist will tell you when you can eat solid food. It is important that you follow your specified meal plan to avoid possible problems associated with bariatric surgery, including blockages. Back to top
Expected Weight Loss Following Bariatric Surgery
Loss of excess weight has proven successful for patients who put in the effort. Gastric Bypass patients typically experience a 70% to 75% loss of excess weight over one year. Gastric Sleeve patients can expect to lose 60% to 65% of their excess weight in one year, while LAP-BAND and REALIZE Band patients lose 40% to 50% excess weight over the course of three years. Duodenal Switch patients experience the greatest long-term weight loss, typically losing 80-85% of their excess weight.
Weekly Weight Loss - It is possible for some patients to lose two to three pounds a week in the first year after bariatric surgery, though one pound a week is more likely. Twelve to 18 months after bariatric surgery, weight loss is usually less.
Long Term Weight Loss Pattern - Once again, long-term weight loss varies from person to person. However, there is a general pattern it often follows. Usually, patients experience the most rapid weight loss during the six months immediately following any type of obesity surgery. Weight loss often reaches a maximum at 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery. At this point, many of our Texas patients go through a slight rebound period where they regain some of the weight they had previously lost. This typically occurs because the body learns to retain more calories from smaller amounts of food. At about 24 to 36 months after bariatric surgery, the body tends to stabilize, and patients are often able to maintain their weight.
Lifelong Post Bariatric Surgery Diet Guidelines
The following are dietary guidelines you must follow for life. Failing to do so can be detrimental to your weight loss and your overall health. Your specific post-obesity surgery dietary plan will be discussed during your consultation at our bariatric surgery center in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Amarillo, and Lubbock.
Eat Slowly - You should try to eat food very slowly (take 30 to 40 minutes to finish a meal).
Chew Food Thoroughly - Food should be chewed until it is the consistency of baby food. When you eat meat, you should cut it into very small pieces and chew it very well. Failure to chew food thoroughly can lead to stomach blockage.
Avoid Drinking Liquid with Meals - Do not drink liquid with your meals. This allows overeating by washing out the pouch. Between meals, drink water or low calorie beverages to prevent dehydration.
Take Nutritional Supplements - Since you may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals naturally, it is important that you take iron, calcium, B12 and a mulit-vitamin supplement to stay healthy.
Eat Three Meals a Day - Try to eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals. You also need to drink two protein drinks per day.
Avoid Overeating - Overeating can slow weight loss, promote stretching of your stomach pouch, and make you sick.
Avoid High Calorie & High Fat Food and Drink - High fat foods (such as fried food and ice cream) and high sugar foods (such as cake and candy) should be avoided. LAP-BAND surgery patients should be careful to avoid high-calorie and high-fat drinks because they will go through the small stomach opening and stall weight loss. Eating or drinking high calorie and/or high fat foods can cause dumping in gastric bypass patients.
Exercise – Patients who routinely exercise typically lose 20 percent more weight than those who do not.
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To find out more about what to expect following obesity surgery, contact our bariatric surgery center in Dallas/Ft. Worth.