After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Post-Operation – Weightloss Surgery Solutions
Candidates for gastric bypass surgery must make many ongoing lifestyle changes both before the procedure and after it in order to ensure the best possible results. The Barnes Bariatric team of experienced Nutritionists, Behavioral Health specialists, as well as a friendly and compassionate staff help patients adjust to their new, healthier lifestyle. Barnes Bariatric is commitment to high-quality patient care and attention.
Gastric Bypass Recovery
After your gastric bypass surgery, you will be prescribed medications for pain or other conditions, as necessary, and instructions that will help ensure a swift recovery. Once you return home, it is important that you engage in light physical activity such as walking or climbing stairs. These simple activities may seem hard at first because of low energy levels, but as time passes, tolerance for activities will return to normal and improve dramatically as you lose weight. Patients are able to return to work and their normal routine approximately two to three weeks after the operation. Dr. Barnes and his staff remain dedicated to making sure you lose weight and keep it off. Dr. Barnes will give you post-operative instructions to help ensure a safe and successful recovery after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
You are asked to return for routine follow-up exams periodically during the first year after your surgery and then annually. These visits are required so that our medical team can monitor your post-operative health and detect any complications that could result in serious health problems. Our practice also has a team of specially trained staff that helps you adjust to their new, healthy lifestyle after weight loss surgery. We offer a variety of nutritional and behavioral counseling services to make sure you stay on track to achieve your weight loss goal. Dr. Gregory Barnes and his staff help you develop healthy and permanent diet and exercise plans so that you can attain the slimmer, healthier body you desire.
Expected Weight Loss
After Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, most patients can expect to lose 75-80% percent of their excess body weight within 18 months after surgery. Studies show that most patients are able to maintain an average of 60 percent of their weight loss ten years after surgery. You can do better or worse depending on how closely you continue to follow recommended lifestyle changes as many patients maintain all of their weight loss.
Although weight loss is the primary benefit of gastric bypass surgery, patients also benefit from a reduced risk for developing severe medical conditions related to morbid obesity, including type 2 Diabetes, Sleep Apnea, Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Heart Disease, and Stroke. If you already suffer from obesity-related health problems, weight loss surgery may help reduce or eliminate these conditions. Studies have shown approximately 96 percent of obesity-related diseases can be improved or eliminated through bariatric surgery.
Additional Benefits Include:
- Less stress to the lower back and joints
- Increased self-esteem
- Ability to find and wear better-fitting clothes
- Overall healthier lifestyle
Lifelong Diet Guidelines After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is a state-of-the-art procedure that has the potential to give you a new lease on life. Treatment does not stop after the procedure; instead, it continues for the rest of your life. You must be committed to making the diet and exercise changes necessary to maintain weight loss results. You will meet with a Nutritionist before and after surgery to help you make healthy and educated food choices and adopt new eating habits.
Since the stomach is much smaller in size, the amount of food you can consume after bariatric surgery is very limited. Certain types of foods that were tolerated easily before surgery may now cause discomfort. Therefore, it is important for you to carefully follow the recommended diet guidelines and continue to follow them after gastric bypass surgery. The following dietary changes are recommended after gastric bypass surgery:
Eat Small Amounts of Food
The stomach can only hold an ounce or two of food immediately after surgery. Overeating can cause pain, and discomfort as well as nausea and vomiting. Most patients experience a sense of “full” and have close to NO hunger all the time after gastric bypass, making it easier to eat only small amounts. Tightness or pain means over-eating!
Chew All Food Thoroughly
Large pieces of food can block the very small opening to the intestine. If the food cannot leave the stomach, patients can experience abdominal pain and vomiting. You should take small bites (size of a fingertip) and chew your food completely before swallowing.
Consume Foods and Liquids Slowly and Carefully
Gastric bypass surgery patients should avoid eating too fast, or eating foods high in refined sugar, or fats, because doing so can cause nausea, diarrhea, sweating, and dizziness, otherwise known as dumping syndrome. This occurs when food and liquids enter the small intestine too quickly. Patients should take at least 30 minutes to eat their meals.
Drink Liquids Only Between Meals
Having liquids with your meals can flush food through the pouch, allowing a person to eat more than is recommended. Additionally, fluids can push food into the intestines too quickly. You should not eat and drink at the same time. Wait at least 30 minutes before and after eating to consume any liquids. Sip water between meals; aim to drink between 48 to 64 ounces of water each day.
Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
Gastric bypass surgery can cause nutrient deficiencies if supplements are not taken as directed. Deficiencies can occur because food bypasses parts of the lower stomach and small intestine where certain nutrients are absorbed. It is important that patients take vitamin and mineral supplements (designed specifically for gastric bypass) daily to promote optimal health.
These are just some of the diet changes that are recommended. Please visit our frequently asked questions section for more information about dietary changes, including specific food limitations, following gastric bypass surgery.
Nutrition education is provided by our in house Dietitian before and after surgery. Metabolic testing is also available for nutrition evaluation to tailor a diet just for you.
Because gastric bypass is such a serious and life-changing surgery that includes making significant lifestyle changes, extra moral support is needed from friends, family, and sometimes from other professionals to help patients recover optimally. All gastric bypass surgery patients at Barnes Bariatric have the opportunity and are encouraged to use post-operative psychological counseling as part of their treatment plan. Our Mental Health professionals address important issues regarding pre-surgical and post-surgical concerns and can help you cope with lifestyle changes after surgery.