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Center for Weight Loss

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Life After Surgery

  • What will my life be like after surgery?

    Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix. It’s an ongoing journey toward transforming your health through lifestyle changes. After surgery, you will feel satisfied with less food. Positive changes in your body, your weight and your health will occur—if you maintain the diet and exercise routines recommended by your bariatric team.

  • Will I receive support in adjusting to new daily habits after surgery?

    You will continue to receive personalized support as you adjust to your new habits and lifestyle after surgery, which will help ensure long-term success. Monthly support groups and scheduled individualized appointments with our behavioral health practitioner, dietitian, physician assistant and surgeon will be a major part of your long-term success.

  • How much exercise is needed after bariatric surgery?

    Exercise is an important part of success after surgery. You may be encouraged to begin exercising, limited only by discomfort, about two weeks after surgery and after discussion with your physician. The type of exercise depends on your overall condition, but the long-term goal is to do 30 minutes of exercise three or more days every week.

  • Will I always have to take vitamins?

    Because the gastric bypass works through some level of malabsorption, we recommend that patients who undergo a bypass take a multivitamin every day for the rest of their lives. We will help you manage your vitamins, and on occasion some patients will need to take more than a daily multivitamin. For those who undergo gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy, we will follow your lab results and make specific recommendations for taking vitamins as needed.

  • Will I experience any difficulty taking my medications?

    For the first few weeks following surgery, your doctor will suggest that all medications be taken in crushed or liquid form. Once your body has healed, most patients can return to taking whole pills or cut pills that are no bigger than the top of a thumbtack or the bed of your pinkie nail. You will be asked to avoid certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). These include Motrin, ibuprofen, Advil, naproxen and Aleve. These medications can be harmful to your new anatomy and may cause ulcers. Time-release medications are generally to be avoided after a gastric bypass, and you may need to change the dosing or form of the medication if you are taking them. As a general rule, ask your surgeon before taking any new medication.

  • Can I get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

    We recommend women wait at least 18 months after any of these procedures before getting pregnant. Your body should be fairly stable from a weight and nutrition standpoint approximately 18–24 months after surgery, and you should be able to carry a normal pregnancy. Consult your surgeon as you plan for pregnancy.

  • Can I drink alcohol after these procedures?

    We generally recommend that you do not drink alcohol for the first two months after surgery. After that, limited amounts of alcohol are acceptable as tolerated. Many patients have a difficult time with the sugar or carbonation in some alcoholic drinks, so you will have to see what you can tolerate over time. The calories in alcohol are also something to monitor to avoid lessening your weight loss.