A Look at Life After Bariatric Surgery

For individuals with a long history of severe obesity, it’s often difficult to lose weight through traditional diet and exercise methods. Bariatric surgery is a viable long-term weight loss option for qualifying individuals, but it is not a quick fix. Various post-surgery lifestyle adjustments are necessary to reinforce positive outcomes and to prevent potential complications. To that end, the team at Riverside Community Hospital offers this general guide to living healthfully after bariatric surgery:

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Diet and Recovery
Though your dietary needs will depend on your individual health history and the type of bariatric procedure you undergo, you must follow your doctor’s guidelines. General post-surgery dietary guidelines recommend that you chew thoroughly and eat slowly to aid digestion. It is also discouraged to avoid fluids while eating so you don’t feel full before you have eaten enough. Recovery times also vary depending on your physical condition and the type of procedure, but most patients return to work within one to three weeks after a laparoscopic gastric bypass. Patients who have an open procedure generally require about six weeks of recovery.

Birth Control and Pregnancy
Pregnancy has significant demands on the body, and the metabolic changes immediately after bariatric surgery can increase the risk of fetal damage until recovery is complete. Healthcare guidelines strongly recommend the most effective forms of birth control during the 16 to 24 months after surgery.

Long-Term Follow-Up
The short-term effects of bariatric surgery have been extensively researched, but periodic check-ups are still necessary to monitor any long-term effects on nutritional deficiencies. These check-ups generally involve checks for red blood cell, vitamin B12, folate, and iron levels and may be scheduled yearly or more often as necessary.

The Riverside Community Hospital Center for Surgical Weight Loss can help you understand the health consequences of being overweight and explore your options for effective and long-term weight loss. We have access to the advanced equipment and resources necessary to provide optimal outcomes, faster recovery times, and ongoing support to all of our patients. To schedule a consultation with a specialist in your area, contact us at (951) 788-3000 today.

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