March 3, 2021

Obesity is a dangerous disease. Affecting more than 40 percent of Americans, it can cause type 2 diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, chronic pain, depression, and even some cancers. If your body mass index is equal to or higher than 35, losing weight is not just about cosmetics, comfort or self-confidence. It is often a matter of life and death.

When diet and exercise fail, surgery can help.

If you are thinking about surgical weight loss, however, you should know that surgery will not mark the end of your weight loss journey. In many ways, this is really just the beginning. This is because bariatric procedures require not only short-term recovery but also long-term lifestyle changes that can permanently change your relationship with food, fitness and your body.

Although the days, months, and years after surgery look different for everyone, patients report similar high and low rates. Here are 7 things you need to know about recovery after weight loss surgery.

  1. It is normal to worry

Nerves are completely normal before surgery. “Anxiety is the norm,” says Southern Onathan Reich, a physician and bariatric surgeon at the South Ocean Medical Center. “I do not know a person who walks through the door completely comfortably. Surgery is a big step. Fortunately, we can alleviate many fears. “We are sensitive to patients’ concerns, we are with them throughout the process so they know what to expect.”

This applies not only to the operation (ie, what the procedure looks like – how it will go), but also to what follows (ie, what the patient will feel physically, even after recovering emotionally).

  1. Recovery is fast և (mostly) painless

Because gastric bypass surgery is laparoscopic, recovery is quick. “We can usually get people out of the hospital within 24 hours. “After that, they continue the recovery process at home for the next two to four weeks,” said Dr. Dena Arumugam, a bariatric surgeon at Shore University Medical Center. return within a week.

Pain is minimal. “The stomach itself does not feel any pain, but the incisions cause muscle pain for the first five days after surgery,” says Dr. Arumugam. “I tell people that they will feel that you have done 100 compressions, where your muscles are kind of aching and compressing.”

  1. Complications arise

Although the vast majority of surgeries go smoothly, complications can occur after that. The most common type of gastric bypass surgery is leakage from the sutures.

“Leakage usually occurs when the patient does not follow a postoperative diet,” says Dr. Reich. Patients who eat too much are at risk for stomach cramps, which can move their new, small stomachs together. As a result, the contents of the stomach can penetrate into the abdomen. “More than 90 percent of the leak is managed non-surgically, meaning you do not need any other surgery to correct the leak. Most leaks heal on their own, which takes an average of two weeks. You will not be able to eat or drink during this time. Therefore, you will have to be in the hospital to receive IV nutrition. ”

  1. Be prepared for an advanced diet

To avoid leakage, patients recovering from weight loss surgery should gradually return to solid foods. Eat a liquid diet for about two weeks, after which you can gradually switch to mashed foods, soft foods, and finally regular foods.

“The function of the stomach is to turn food from a solid consistency to a fuzzy consistency, so we put our patients on an advanced diet to give them time to heal their injured stomach during surgery,” says Dr. Arumugam. , who initially recommends a diet rich in protein, low fat, carbohydrates. “Once the stomach is completely healed, it can tolerate the whole spectrum of food.”

  1. Expect changes in your appetite, նույնիսկ maybe even your palate

Some patients report a change in their preferred և flavors, և all report that the ability to eat decreases, which affects the portion size. “Patients often say before surgery that they have never felt full. “After the operation, they report for the first time that they have a feeling of fullness, they can not take another bite,” says Dr. Reich. “You can eat a much smaller portion and feel satisfied.”

Changes in appetite are as much chemical as physical. “Weight loss surgery reduces appetite hormones,” says Dr. Reich, who says that the hunger hormone ghrelin is secreted by stomach cells. When you remove part of the stomach, you also reduce the ability to release grill into it, which makes you feel hungry.

  1. You will still be digesting as usual

Although your appetite may change after surgery, your digestion will not change. For example, neither your bowel movements nor your food intake will change, although you should take a daily multivitamin to make sure you get the nutrition you need, says Dr. Reich. Patients should expect an annual check of their vitamin levels to make sure they are eating despite their reduced appetite.

  1. The results are real, but tempting

Weight loss after surgery is “fast” and significant. During the first month alone, Dr. Arumugam says you can expect to lose 20 to 30 pounds. After that, Dr. Reich adds, you can expect to lose about 10 pounds a month until you reach 100 pounds of weight loss, which usually happens in eight months.

That’s when the real work begins, as a newly constricted stomach can stretch over time, making it easier to regain weight if you also haven’t made permanent lifestyle changes.

“Surgery is not a magical procedure that melts fat,” says Dr. Arumugam. “We need work. If you are committed to major surgery, we hope you will be committed to a healthy lifestyle throughout your life. “If you do not do that, you will not be able to reach your full potential for weight loss. You can even gain weight back.”

Next steps և resources.

Material provided by HealthU is for general information only and should not be construed as advice to your doctor. Always consult your doctor for personal care.