Weight loss surgery is a great option when you're significantly overweight, and other methods haven't worked. Getting ready for your procedure is important, but knowing what to expect after surgery is essential to a successful recovery.
Dr. Robert Snow and our team at Snow Bariatric Center in Flower Mound and Fort Worth, Texas, offer various bariatric surgeries to help you reach your health goals.
Dr. Snow is an experienced bariatric surgeon who helps you through every step of the surgical process, including the weeks to months after your procedure.
When can I eat after surgery?
Right after bariatric surgery, you can expect to eat a liquid diet for several weeks to allow your gut to adjust to the procedure. Getting plenty of fluid during this time is crucial, although it may seem difficult.
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid high-sugar foods
- Limit carbs and starches
- Eat a lot of protein
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, you should consume at least 60 to 100 grams of protein daily and drink at least 64 ounces of water daily.
Dr. Snow advises you on when you can change from a liquid diet to a soft one that lasts several weeks.
As recovery progresses, you can introduce solid foods into your diet to slowly ease your new, smaller stomach into everyday foods. You must chew the food completely and eat slowly to accommodate your smaller stomach.
However, you'll need to stick to specific portion sizes, especially during recovery, as your stomach and body are healing from surgery.
Weight loss: What to expect
Dr. Snow talks to you about how much weight you can expect to lose after surgery. Weight loss varies from person to person based on your beginning weight, the type of procedure you had, and how well you follow the post-op eating restrictions.
You can expect dramatic weight loss in the first six months to a year after bariatric surgery. However, everyone has periods where you may stop losing weight for a period as your body adjusts.
Some people continue to lose weight after the first year, but it's usually not as dramatic as the weight loss in the first year post-surgery.
How long does recovery take?
The recovery time is different for each type of bariatric procedure. Dr. Snow explains what to expect from the recovery period before you have bariatric surgery so you're prepared.
If your surgery is laparoscopic, your recovery time will be shorter than those with open bariatric surgery. You can expect to be in the hospital for a few days post-surgery to monitor your health and eating.
After a few days, you can go home to continue your liquid diet and healing. Most people can return to normal activities within a month or so of surgery unless complications arise.
Your weight loss journey has just begun after surgery, and recovery lasts for several months as you adjust to your new lifestyle. During recovery, stick to the diet plan Dr. Snow provides, as it will help you heal faster and lose weight more efficiently.
Lifestyle changes after surgery
After bariatric surgery, you must make specific lifestyle changes during your recovery and for the rest of your life. These lifestyle changes help you keep the weight off for the long haul.
Some of the lifestyle changes you can expect during and after recovery include the following:
Eat small meals
Your stomach is significantly smaller after bariatric surgery, meaning you can't eat as much as you once did.
During your recovery, eat small meals several times daily. Dr. Snow provides you with the correct portion sizes in your post-operative instructions.
Avoid eating large meals, as it could damage your stomach, especially while recovering from surgery.
Keep tabs on nutrition
You may meet with a registered dietician before and after bariatric surgery to customize a meal plan full of nutrient-dense foods.
Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals can be challenging after weight loss surgery, so have a plan to ensure you're giving your body what it needs to recover and lose weight successfully.
During recovery, Dr. Snow suggests adding a small amount of exercise to your daily routine. Not only does exercise help you lose weight, but it also keeps your joints mobile and healthy after significant weight loss.
Ask Dr. Snow before you begin any exercise program after surgery. He advises you on safe exercises as your body heals from the procedure.
To learn more about recovery after bariatric surgery, call us at one of our conveniently located offices in Flower Mound and Fort Worth, Texas, or request an appointment on our website.