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Life After Bariatric Surgery

For a person who has undergone bariatric surgery, life will be very different when it comes to how much food they eat and how they must balance their nutrition and exercise.

Understanding how life will change before making a bariatric surgery commitment can help you determine which surgery type is right for you and whether you’re ready to adhere to the lifelong changes you’ll need to make once the surgery has been performed.

There are three areas you’ll need to consider: your diet, your exercise, and the time you’ll be in the hospital, off work, or unable to perform daily life activities.

Your Diet After Bariatric Surgery

Most bariatric surgery patients are already well aware that they have to eat much less food once they have surgery, but there is more to the bariatric diet that just how much food you consume. There will also be strict requirements on what you can eat in order to get enough nutrition.

High-protein diets are common for bariatric surgery patients, because they provide a lot of the nutrition needed and don’t let patients fill up on empty calories. You’ll also need to avoid many vegetables for a while, and stay away from carbs, sweets, and sodas.

Your diet will change some as you lose weight, but it’s very important that you always follow your doctor’s advice and eat only the foods and portion sizes you’re supposed to have.

Exercising After a Surgical Weight-Loss Procedure

Patients who are very obese may have a hard time exercising, but that will become easier as they lose weight. If you’ve just had your surgery, you also want to make sure you don’t exercise until your doctor tells you it’s all right.

You’ll need time to recover, and you don’t want to risk injury because you’ve pushed yourself too hard. Only do the exercises your doctor has approved for you, and ask if you want to try something new or more strenuous.

You’ll be provided with a lot of information, but it’s very important to question anything you’re not sure about; that way, you won’t be putting your health and your surgical site at risk by choosing an exercise that could be harmful to your healing body.

What to Expect From Your Hospital Stay and Recovery Period

How long you’ll be in the hospital depends on the kind of bariatric surgery you have, if there are complications, and how well you recover, based on your overall health. You could go home the same day if you have an intragastric balloon placed, but you’ll need to stay several days at least with the other procedures.

Some patients spend weeks in the hospital after their weight loss surgery, but that’s not as common. Once you go home there will still be recovery time, as well. By following your doctor’s instructions carefully and making sure you have a plan in place for people to help you after surgery, you have a much better chance of recovering as quickly and easily as possible.