Can you live a normal life after bariatric surgery?
Yes, you can live a normal life after weight loss surgery. Not only can you live a normal life, but you can also live an even better life than you did before surgery. Most patients agree that weight loss surgery changed their life for the better, and they wish they had done it sooner. While lifestyle changes will be required following any type of bariatric surgery, most patients tell us they are worth it, and they are happier than they could have imagined.
How will my life change after bariatric surgery?
After surgery, some lifestyle changes will be needed for you to successfully lose weight. Many patients will be on vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of their life to avoid having any vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
In the early days after surgery, you will eat soft foods, but eventually, you will transition back to a normal diet eating solid foods and lean protein while being careful to eat much smaller portions. Your bariatric surgeon team will recommend you shift to eating lean protein before surgery to prepare. Some bariatric patients lose so much excess weight that they start to have excess skin. While this can seem like a negative thing, it is really a sign of the amazing progress you’ve made in your weight loss journey. There are options to remove excess skin.
Can you live a long life after bariatric surgery?
It is absolutely possible to live a long life after bariatric surgery. Many patients reduce or eliminate many medical conditions, such as sleep apnea after weight loss, increasing their estimated life expectancy drastically. Patients with Type 2 diabetes increased their median estimated life expectancy after bariatric surgery by 9.3 years. Similar results were seen for gastric bypass surgery, sleeve gastrectomy, and other less common options. Bariatric surgery is linked to a higher life expectancy in individuals with obesity than standard obesity treatments.
Will I have loose skin after bariatric surgery?
Excess skin is a frequent, almost inevitable component of the lifestyle after bariatric surgery. Sagging or loose skin can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, the amount of weight lost, age, and the procedure used. Stretched skin, however, does not have to hinder in your life.
Some patients regard their excess skin as a trophy for the incredible progress they’ve made during the weight-loss surgery procedure. Contrary to popular belief, weight reduction surgery is not a quick fix. Quite the reverse, in fact. Patients must continue to work hard to improve their food and exercise habits, as well as their entire lifestyle. Furthermore, excellent results are not guaranteed, and they are dependent in large part on the patient’s willingness and ability to maintain this new lifestyle on a daily basis.
What can be done to manage or prevent excess skin after bariatric surgery?
While loose skin is likely unavoidable, there is a lot we can do to reduce its occurrence or effectively manage it.
The first step is to strictly adhere to your post-operative diet and lifestyle plan. Not only does this imply calorie restriction, but it also implies avoiding overdoing it. It may be tempting to try to lose more weight than the recommended 1 to 2 pounds per week, particularly in the early post-operative period. It’s fantastic if this occurs naturally as a result of the post-operative lifestyle. However, forcing yourself to lose more weight is a bad idea. Furthermore, you will raise your chances of having extra skin.
Second, emphasize foods and beverages that adhere to your diet while also improving skin suppleness. To begin, you must maintain a healthy level of hydration. Your skin will be more elastic and able to handle variations in your body weight if you keep it hydrated. Then eat plenty of healthy fatty foods like avocado and salmon, which have skin-elasticity-promoting properties and can aid in natural skin healing.
After your treatment, various over-the-counter and prescription lotions can aid with aesthetics. Body butters, for example, are excellent for moisturizing the skin, while other products claim to reduce visible stretch marks. Whatever you choose, speak with your surgeon to ensure that a) it will be safe for you after surgery and b) it will not be a waste of money.
Strengthen your muscles! Building muscle not only helps you maintain your weight loss, but it also helps fill up any sagging skin. You don’t have to become a bodybuilder to see results, but regular strength training can improve the shape of your body and the appearance of your extra skin.
Surgical intervention is the last but not least option. This is especially beneficial for those experiencing discomfort due to their excess skin, usually in the form of pain or irritation. The removal of extra skin, known as a panniculectomy, is most commonly done in the abdomen area. Despite the fact that it is a significant operation, it is performed on a regular basis and with outstanding success. When a panniculectomy is medically necessary, it is usually reimbursed by insurance.
Finally, whether you want to keep your excess skin as a trophy or have it removed and never seen again, you have options. Most importantly, we want you to be safe and healthy, so please consult with your doctor before making any decisions about your excess skin.
Do you have to take vitamin and mineral supplements forever after bariatric surgery?
You must take vitamins for the rest of your life after bariatric surgery. Noncompliance with your vitamin and mineral guidelines might lead to serious illness. After weight loss surgery, a lack of adequate vitamins can affect mood, energy, and focus. For the first year following surgery, blood tests are performed every three months and then annually to check vitamin and mineral levels.
Weight loss surgery is all about improving your health, and proper nutrition is a key part of that. Water, macronutrients, and micronutrients are the three items you must consider. You’re probably already keeping track of your water consumption as well as your macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Your micronutrients will also be monitored by you and your medical team after surgery.
Vitamins and minerals are referred to as micronutrients. Micronutrients are so named because, in comparison to carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which you require in large quantities, the amount you require each day is exponentially less. They are, however, no less vital, which can be a challenge for those of us who are living the bariatric lifestyle. Getting all you need with a functioning digestive system is difficult enough. It’s much more difficult after surgery.
Micronutrient absorption changes after gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or biliopancreatic diversion (or its cousins like the single anastomosis duodenal-ileal bypass with sleeve (SADI-S)) surgery, and every person is different. Your dedicated team will use your post-operative labs to guide what supplements are essential for your success and cut out those you don’t need. Most patients, especially immediately after surgery, need to take some form of multivitamin to ensure adequate levels of certain nutrients, B12 and folate in particular. However, some patients, particularly those who eat a healthy diet, rich in protein, healthy fat, fruits, and vegetables, do not need to supplement long term. Minimizing pills and maximizing your health is the goal.
What can’t you do after bariatric surgery?
Dietary restrictions are the most common requirements following weight loss surgery. The surgery is only the beginning of your weight-loss journey; you must also commit to long-term lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and regular exercise. The advantages of making these lifestyle adjustments are significant. In addition, several medications should be avoided after surgery. Your doctor will provide you with a detailed set of instructions as well as answer any questions you may have.