Life After Weight Loss Surgery
We're committed to help you lose weight for good. For life.
Motivation of the patient and the cooperation of family, friends, and associates is important to success. In general, weight loss surgery success is defined as losing 50 percent or more of the patient's excess body weight and maintaining that level for at least five years. Clinical data will vary for each of the different procedures mentioned on this site. Results may also vary by surgeon. Ask your doctor about his or her results for the procedure being recommended for you.
Clinical studies show that, following surgery, most patients lose weight rapidly and continue to do so until two years after the procedure. Patients may lose thirty to fifty percent of their excess weight in the first six months and up to 77 percent of excess weight as early as one year after surgery. Another study showed that patients can maintain fifty to sixty percent loss of excess weight ten to fourteen years after surgery.
Patients with a higher initial body mass index (BMI) tend to lose more total weight. Patients with lower initial BMI's will lose a greater percentage of their excess weight and will more likely come closer to their ideal body weight. Patients with Type 2 diabetes tend to show less overall excess weight loss than patients without Type 2 diabetes. The surgery has been found to be effective in improving and controlling many obesity-related health conditions. A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96 percent of certain associated health conditions studied, such as back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression, were improved or resolved. For example, many patients with Type 2 diabetes, while showing less overall excess weight loss, have demonstrated excellent resolution of their diabetic condition, to the point of having little or no need for continuing medication.
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 had. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. Post-surgery dietary guidelines will vary by surgeon. You may hear of other patients who are given different guidelines following their weight loss surgery. It is important to remember that every surgeon does not perform the exact same weight loss surgery procedure and that the dietary guidelines will be different for each surgeon and each type of procedure. What is most important is that you adhere strictly to your surgeon's recommended guidelines.
The following are some of the general guidelines:
- Eat slowly. Take 30 minutes to finish a meal.
- Stop drinking fluids thirty minutes before a meal and wait thirty minutes after eating to start drinking fluids again. Don't drink fluids while eating because they can make you feel full before you have consumed enough food.
- Stay on your liquid diet for the full two weeks.
- When you start eating solid food, be sure you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunks of meat if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
- Limit serving sizes.
- Don't eat desserts or other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
- Don't drink carbonated liquids, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, or high-fat foods.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Limit snacking between meals.
- Keep a food diary.
- Participate in postoperative nutritional classes
Long Term Post Surgery Follow-up
Long- Term Post Surgery Follow-up
Over time, patients need periodic checks for anemia, Vitamin B-12, folate and iron levels. Your surgeon will coordinate follow-up tests every three to six months or as needed, and then every year.Your surgeon will coordinate follow-up tests every three to six months or as needed, and then every year.
Weight Loss Education and Support
Weight Loss Education and Support
Through group meetings, we offer all our patients the opportunity to share experiences with other who have had weight loss surgery. The encouragement and support you receive from your peers can play an integral role in helping you reach your goals and adjusting to the changes you will experience after surgery. These group meetings are free of charge. The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients an excellent opportunity to discuss their various personal and professional issues. Most 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.
We offer post-operative support groups. The groups will assist you with short term and long term questions and needs. Our surgeons recommend ongoing post-surgical support to help produce the greatest level of success for their patients.
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age consult with their physician to discuss family planning during the first 16 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands that pregnancy places on your body after weight loss surgery and the potential for fetal damage make this an important requirement.