Undergoing bariatric surgery is a life-altering event for many people. After struggling unsuccessfully to lose weight, many overweight individuals feel defeated and hopeless about losing the excess pounds. However, health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and more loom on the horizon for overweight individuals. As a result, many people struggling with obesity or weight-related health problems turn to bariatric procedures when traditional weight loss methods fail to produce measurable results.
Is Bariatric Surgery Safe?
Like all surgeries, there are risks associated with undergoing bariatric procedures. However, individuals can take several steps to reduce these risks including smoking cessation if they smoke, exercising regularly, and decreasing their BMI by adhering to the post-operative diet instructions surgeons provide. Surgeons will discuss all the potential risks involved with bariatric surgery with individuals prior to their procedure. However, for most individuals, the long-term health benefits outweigh the risks. Most bariatric surgeries will include follow-up appointments at the three, six, and one-year mark. However, there may be additional visits if the surgeon or the individual raises any concerns.
How Much Weight Will You Lose?
Ask your doctor exactly what you can expect. It usually depends, in part, on what you weigh now and the type of surgery you get. For example, Patients weighing as little as 15-20 pounds over their ideal body weight have raved about the WRAP procedure. View some testimonials.
Sleeve gastrectomy is becoming a more popular weight loss surgery. People who get sleeve gastrectomy lose about 40% of their extra weight.
On average, people lose 60% of their extra weight after gastric bypass surgery.
First Month After Weight Loss Surgery
Most individuals will begin a liquid, protein-centric diet immediately after surgery. At the two-week mark, many individuals begin eating soft or pureed foods like cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and oatmeal. Individuals should also begin walking at this point. The duration depends on the pre-existing fitness of the individual. Individuals should build up their strength until they can walk half an hour a day without issue. For individuals with joint pain, water aerobics is a good alternative.
There may be a few complications during the first thirty days after surgery. Constipation is common from a combination of prescription painkillers and dehydration. Some individuals may experience vomiting, which is often because they’re eating too much. Investing in a food scale can help individuals learn the proper portion sizes. Infection can occur at any incision site as well so proper wound care and hygiene are vital.
One to Three Months After Weight Loss Surgery
This post-operative phase is when many individuals begin to reintroduce regular foods to their diet. Certain procedures require a longer period before beginning regular food back into rotation than others do. However, the end goal is the same—to see which foods the person can tolerate. Some foods won’t sit well after bariatric surgery; individuals can retry those foods every month or so. This period is often difficult for many people as it’s challenging to retrain the brain to accept a smaller amount of food. Investing in smaller plates can help as they visually trick the mind.
Six Months After Weight Loss Surgery
At this point, individuals who adhered to the plan laid out by their surgeon will have lost a significant amount of weight. Most individuals lose 1-2 pounds per week following bariatric surgery, which equates to a 25-50 pound weight loss at the half-year mark. For many, this represents 30-40% of their excess weight. If surgeons note any issues like vitamin deficiencies or insufficient weight loss at this point, they will want to see the individual again at nine months post-surgery.
12 to 18 Months After Weight Loss Surgery
By this stage, many people are close to their weight loss goals. Depending on the type of bariatric procedure, individuals may have lost 100+ pounds by the one-year mark. If weight loss stagnates, surgeons will discuss diet and lifestyle with the individual to determine the reason such as excessive snacking or insufficient exercise.
Strict adherence to diet guidelines and proper exercise are pivotal to the ongoing success of bariatric surgery. The results can dramatically transform the individual’s health for the better, but it’s not a quick solution or an effortless one. Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about weight loss surgery.