FAQ


WHAT TYPE OF BARIATRIC SURGERY IS BEST FOR ME?

WHAT IS THE RECOVERY TIME FOR WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?

  • Recovery time varies but most people can return to normal activities within six weeks of surgery.

HOW WILL MY HEALTH IMPROVE AFTER SURGERY?

HOW MUCH WEIGHT CAN I EXPECT TO LOSE AS A RESULT OF SURGERY?

  • Gastric Bypass patients typically experience a 7-%-75% loss of excess weight over one year. Gastric Sleeve patients can expect to lose 60%-65% of their excess weight in one year. Lap Band and REALIZE Band patients lose 40%-50% excess weight over the course of three years. Duodenal switch patients experience the greatest long-term weight loss, typically losing 80-85% of their excess weight.

WILL I NEED TO HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY? WHICH PROCEDURES?

  • Most people who lose considerable weight are left with loose or excess skin. To remove this skin and improve body contour, some people undergo cosmetic procedures. For example, a body lift removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, hips, thighs, and buttocks. Abdominoplasty tightens muscle and removes excess abdominal skin. Panniculectomy removes excess fat and skin from the abdomen, but does not tighten muscles like abdominoplasty.

HOW IS WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY PERFORMED?

  • Weight loss surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can take one to four hours for gastric bypass surgery, 30 minutes to one hour for lap-band surgery and up to four hours for gastric sleeve resection. A hospital stay may be required.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY?

  • After weight loss surgery, resuming your normal life can be a challenge. The most significant change is the amount of food youll be able to eat. Most weight loss surgeries reduce stomach capacity to a few ounces or less of food or liquid. At first, you may have less energy for daily activities.

HOW CAN I PREPARE PSYCHOLOGICALLY FOLLOWING BARIATRIC SURGERY?

CAN I STILL BECOME PREGNANT FOLLOWING BARIATRIC SURGERY?

  • The latest reports suggest that pregnancy after bariatric surgery is safe. In fact, it is safer to be pregnant after bariatric surgery than it is to be pregnant while still obese. Morbidly obese women are often infertile, but if they are able to become pregnant, they are considered high risk. Women of childbearing age who wish to become pregnant after gastric bypass surgery or other malabsorptive surgeries such as the duodenal switch procedure should wait 18 months, because this is when the rapid weight loss occurs.

WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO RETURN TO WORK FOLLOWING BARIATRIC SURGERY?

WHAT TYPE OF DIET GUIDELINES DO I NEED TO FOLLOW POST BARIATRIC SURGERY?

  • Eat slowly- take about 30-40 minutes to finish a meal

  • Chew food thoroughly – Food should be chewed until it is the consistency of baby food. When you eat meat, you should cut it into very small pieces and chew it very well. Failure to chew food thoroughly can lead to stomach blockage.

  • Avoid Drinking Liquid with Meals – Do not drink liquid with meals. This allows overeating by washing out the pouch. Between meals, drink water or low calorie beverages to prevent dehydration.

  • Take nutritional supplements – Since you may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals naturally, it is important that you take iron, calcium, B12, and a multi-vitamin to stay healthy.

  • Eat three meals a day – Try to eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals. You also need to drink two protein drinks per day.

  • Avoid Overeating – Overeating can slow weight loss, promote stretching of your stomach pouch, and make you feel sick.

  • Avoid high calorie and high fat food and drink – High fat foods such as fried food and ice cream, and high sugar foods (cake and candy) should be avoided. Lap Band surgery patients should be careful to avoid high calorie and high fat drinks because they will go through the small stomach opening and stall weight loss. Eating or drinking high calorie and/or high fat foods can cause dumping in gastric bypass patients.

DO I HAVE TO EXERCISE FOLLOWING SURGERY?

  • Patients who exercise routinely, typically lose 20% more weight than those who do not.

WHAT IS THE YOUNGEST AGE RECOMMENDED FOR WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?

  • Generally accepted guidelines from the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Institutes of Health indicate surgery only for those 18 years of age and older. There is a concern that young patients may not have reached full developmental or emotional maturity to make this type of decision. It is important that young weight loss surgery patients have a full understanding of the lifelong commitment to the altered eating and lifestyle changes necessary for success.

WHAT IS THE OLDEST PATIENT RECOMMENDED FOR WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY?

  • Patients over 65 require very strong indications for surgery and must also meet stringent Medicare criteria. The risk of surgery in this age group is increased, and the benefits, in terms of reduced risk of mortality, are reduced.

CAN WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY PROLONG MY LIFE?

  • There is good evidence from scientific research that if you have Type 2 diabetes (or other obesity-related conditions), are at least 100 pounds over ideal body weight, and are able to comply with lifestyle changes (daily exercise and low fat diet), then weight loss surgery may significantly prolong your life.

WILL I HAVE A LOT OF PAIN?

  • Every attempt is made to control pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about quickly and become active. This helps avoid problems and speeds recovery. Often several drugs are used together to help manage your post-surgery pain. While you are still in the hospital, a patient controlled analgesia (PCA), which allows you to give yourself a dose of pain medicine on demand, may be used by your physician. Various methods of pain control, depending on your type of surgical procedure, are available. Ask your surgeon about other pain management options.

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO STAY IN THE HOSPITAL?

  • This varies by procedure. The laparoscopic adjustable gastric band is done on an outpatient basis with a possible overnight stay, 2-3 days for a laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, and 5-7 days for an open gastric bypass.

WHAT IS THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EXERCISE AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY?

  • The type and amount of exercise is dictated by the patients overall condition. Many patients begin with low stress forms of exercise and are encouraged to progress to more vigorous activity when they are able.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE LOWER PART OF THE STOMACH THAT IS BYPASSED?

  • The lower stomach still contributes to the function of the intestines even though it does not receive or process food. It makes intrinsic factor, necessary to absorb vitamin B12 and contributes to hormone balance and motility of the intestines. In the BPD procedures, some portion of the stomach is completely removed.

IS SEXUAL ACTIVITY RESTRICTED?

  • Patients can return to normal sexual intimacy when wound healing and discomfort permit. Many patients experience a drop in desire for about 6 weeks.

WILL MY SLEEP APNEA IMPROVE AFTER SURGERY?

  • Sleep apnea often shows rapid improvement after surgery. In most patients, there is a complete resolution of symptoms by six months following surgery.

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