Life After Surgery
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. Post-surgery dietary guidelines will vary by surgeon. You may hear of other patients who are given different guidelines following their weight loss surgery. It is important to remember that every surgeon does not perform the exact same weight loss surgery procedure, and that the dietary guidelines will be different for each surgeon and each type of procedure.
What is most important is that you adhere strictly to the doctor's recommended guidelines.
GENERALLY ACCEPTED DIETARY GUIDELINES Bariatric PATIENTs MAY ENCOUNTER
- When you start eating solid food, it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunks of meat, if they are not ground or chewed thoroughly.
- Don't drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have consumed enough food or cause you to experience dumping syndrome
- Omit desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients or contain more than 12 grams of sugar.
- Omit carbonated drinks or caloric drinks (soda, sports drinks, sweetened coffee beverages, sweet tea, and juice) as these will lead to ineffective weight loss.
- Avoid high fat foods
- Avoid alcohol which is a liquid calorie and can irritate the stomach
- No snacking between meals
Birth Control & Pregnancy
It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 18 to 24 months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this an important requirement.
Although the short-term effects of weight loss surgery are well understood, there are still questions to be answered about the long-term effects on nutrition and body systems. Nutritional deficiencies that occur over the course of many years will need to be studied. Over time, you will need periodic checks for anemia, Vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, and iron levels. Follow-up tests will initially be conducted every three to six months or as needed, and then every one to two years.
The widespread use of support groups has provided weight loss surgery patients an excellent opportunity to discuss their various personal and professional issues. Ongoing post-surgical support helps produce the greatest level of success for patients. Our support group, New Life, meets the first Monday of each month at 6pm at 420 E. Second Ave. Rome, GA 30161.You will be required to attend at least five support group meetings in the first year, however we do recommend that you continue to be involved with a support group long-term. If you would like to attend pre-operatively, contact them at 706.509.6822 for more information.