Lifestyle Changes after Bariatric Surgery - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Published on July 03, 2019

Lifestyle Changes after Bariatric Surgery

Graphic of Healthy LifeGraphic of Healthy LifeBariatric (weight loss) surgery helps individuals lose weight and lower their risk of medical conditions related to obesity. When deciding if bariatric surgery is the right step for you, it is important to understand the lifestyle changes that follow. “Many patients come in not knowing what to expect after their operation,” says Justin D. Braverman MD, PIH Health bariatric surgeon. “What they should know is that life after bariatric surgery is a journey and there are many lifestyle changes to keep in mind.”

Helen, bariatric patient, shared her experience on how she is managing life after surgery. “I have made many lifestyle changes since having bariatric surgery. Understanding portion control and drinking less liquids while eating are two challenges I am learning to overcome,” she says. “Before surgery, I was eating large portions and I am now finding myself satisfied with less than half a serving size. I am grateful for this life-changing surgery—I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner.”

In addition to all the great things bariatric surgery can do for you, we want you to understand the lifestyle style changes that follow:

  • Dietary changes are necessary for patients who undergo bariatric surgery. Weight-loss patients will initiate a low sugar, low fat diet that will carry on for the rest of their lives. Right after surgery, all calories will be consumed as liquids so the stomach can adjust to the alterations that have been made. After the stomach adjusts, soft proteins can be added to your diet as they are tolerated. Your diet will gradually change as the weeks go by after surgery. Once a few months have passed, you may resume eating some regular foods. For at least six months after surgery, it is imperative to avoid pasta, potatoes, bread and other starchy carbs.
  • Exercise should begin after receiving clearance form your bariatric surgeon. Patients should be supervised by a professional and can participate in low impact exercise routines. Consistency is important when starting an exercise routine. As your body adapts to a routine—you can gradually increase the intensity. Maintaining a regular exercise routine will stimulate the metabolism and aid in additional weight loss.
  • Vitamins and supplements must be taken on a daily basis to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Some of these vitamins/supplements include multivitamins, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Before beginning a regimen, consult with your surgeon for an accurate dose as well as the brands that would work best for you.

“If you have struggled with obesity, bariatric surgery can be a jumpstart in your weight loss journey,” says Dr. Braverman. “I have witnessed many positive outcomes such as improving health related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol levels and sleep apnea to name a few. Not to mention, surgery and accompanying weight loss can lead to improved physical function, mood and quality of life.” For more information on bariatric surgery, visit PIHHealth.org/Weightloss.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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