What can I expect after weight loss surgery?
After gastric bypass, most patients can expect to lose 60 percent to 70 percent of their excess weight within the first year. Sixty percent to 70 percent of patients can expect to maintain their weight loss long term.
After the gastric sleeve, approximately two-thirds of patients can expect to lose 30 percent to 50 percent of their excess weight within the first year.
After gastric banding, approximately two-thirds of patients can expect to lose 50 percent to 60 percent of their excess weight in the first two years.
Most obese people have medium-to-large body frames (bone and muscle). Reaching a so-called "ideal" body weight is unrealistic, and may even be dangerous. Fortunately, most people look and feel terrific at a 60 percent loss of excess weight. More importantly, they are much healthier.
Most patients experience significant improvement or completely resolved obesity-related medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea. All of these factors help to increase self-esteem and improve quality of life.
Remember, though, that obesity is a complex problem, one that is not cured solely by an operation. Keeping the weight off requires ongoing dietary, exercise and behavioral changes, as well as long-term participation in the program.
Some of the program recommendations include:
Making the main source of nutrition protein-containing foods, fruits, and vegetables.
Eating and drinking very slowly (small bites and sips).
Separating liquids from meals (do not drink for at least 30 to 45 minutes after each meal).
Drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day.
In addition to the water, sugar-free, caffeine-free, non-carbonated beverages may be used.
Avoiding concentrated sweets and high fat foods.
Taking daily supplements of multivitamins, calcium citrate, vitamin B12, protein and iron (generally for menstruating women ).
Slowly increasing physical activity, beginning with walking immediately following surgery.
Maintaining regular follow-up with your surgeon and dietitian.
Attending support group meetings.
Eat frequent smaller meals instead of fewer larger meals
It cannot be overemphasized that, in order to avoid stretching the pouch, it is better to consume frequent small meals (4-5 times per day) than to consume fewer large meals. If patients consume more food than their pouches were meant to hold, the pouch can stretch, which will result in weight gain.
In gastric bypass patients, the staple line can pop open under pressure from excess food with serious or even deadly consequences.
Healthy snacks, such as cheese sticks, carrots or celery can be consumed between meals when hungry. Patients can maintain their small pouch size indefinitely by consuming frequent smaller meals.
Read more about:
Benefits of weight loss surgery
Achieving weight loss goals
Diet changes after weight loss surgery