The first thing you must realize about life after bariatric surgery is this: It's not a quick fix.
You're on a new and ongoing journey toward weight loss management, and you'll get there after making significant lifestyle changes. After surgery, your body will experience changes that will make it physically easier to adjust to your eating and lifestyle habits. The good news is that you won't have to go through the process alone. A team of professionals at our Atlanta weight loss center will be there every step of the way to support your bariatric weight loss management efforts. You'll see positive changes in your body, your weight and your health, but you'll need to be patient throughout the recovery process.
Emory Decatur Hospital’s team of professionals at our weight loss center are asked this question frequently, as many patients want to know what eating will be like after bariatric surgery. Well, the changes that were made to your gastrointestinal tract are going to require some permanent changes in your eating habits. Successful weight loss management means that you will have to permanently alter your eating habits if you want to be successful in your new life after bariatric surgery.
Post-surgery dietary guidelines vary from one bariatric surgeon to another. You may hear about post-surgery guidelines that are different from the ones you receive; however, it's important to remember that these guidelines will be different depending on the surgeon and the type of procedure. The key to bariatric weight loss management is to follow your surgeon's guidelines, and our Atlanta-based weight loss center can help you determine specific guidelines for your own situation. For your convenience, we have listed some of the generally-accepted dietary guidelines below to help you maintain a healthy diet after bariatric surgery:
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 you experienced. Many of the patients we have treated at our Atlanta weight loss center return to work and are able to exercise within one to three weeks after their laparoscopic gastric bypass procedures. Patients who have had an open procedure typically return to work and are able to exercise approximately six weeks after surgery.
In order to maintain effective weight loss management efforts, and more importantly, preserve patient safety, experts at our weight loss center strongly advise 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 that pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this one of the most important requirements.
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, and may depend on your diet after bariatric surgery. At our weight loss center, we conduct periodic check-ups for anemia (low red blood cell count) and Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. Emory Decatur Hospital’s weight loss center conducts weight loss management follow-up tests for patients at least yearly or more often as indicated.
The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients with an excellent opportunity to discuss various personal and professional issues with weight loss management. Many 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. Our surgeons have weight loss management support groups in place at our weight loss center to assist you with short- and long-term questions and needs, including the most effective exercise and diets after bariatric surgery. Most bariatric surgeons who frequently perform weight loss surgery will tell you that ongoing post-surgical bariatric weight loss management support helps produce the greatest level of success for patients in their lives after undergoing surgery.
In some cases, successful weight loss management may require plastic surgery to achieve the look and feel you desire after weight loss surgery. Contact the Emory Decatur Hospital Comprehensive Weight Loss Center for more information about bariatric weight loss management.