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What to expect after surgery

How long will I be in the hospital? How long does it take to recuperate?
Most patients are admitted to the hospital on the morning of surgery, remain in the hospital for two or three days and require between two and six weeks to recuperate before returning to work, depending upon the type of job they have.

I really like to eat. What’s going to stop me from overeating after surgery?
Because your stomach will be smaller, it will fill up with food sooner. When the food touches the wall of stomach, it sends a message to the brain that you don’t want to eat any more. The brain will receive this signal after eating much less food and consequently you will eat less. Most people just don’t feel as hungry. If you eat too much or too fast you might vomit out and soon you come to know how much is enough for you.

A year after the surgery, are most people generally happier with their lives?
Yes, much happier. Most patients say they would do it again and suggest to other person with similar condition. Studies show that this kind of patient satisfaction is a true test of the surgery.

When it’s over, will there be things I need to do after surgery?
Regular long-term follow-up is needed to monitor weight loss, provide dietary counselling and monitor for the occurrence of nutritional deficiencies or complications.

Will I need vitamins after surgery? What kind should I take and when?
After Roux-en-Y surgery, most surgeons recommend vitamins. Some routinely prescribe iron and vitamin B12 as well. I prescribe prenatal vitamins post-operatively and then follow the patients post-operatively for iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies, the most common deficiencies that they experience. You should also make sure to take supplemental calcium, since osteoporosis is a potential long-term complication.

What will I be able to eat after surgery?
After the Sleeve Gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, most surgeons recommend liquids and blenderized or soft foods for the first four weeks or so after surgery. Emphasis should be on consuming foods high in protein (such as dairy products) and maintaining good hydration by drinking two to three litres of liquid per day.

How long after surgery will I be able to walk around?
The nurses will get you up and around as soon as possible, possibly right after you get back to your room from the recovery room. This will reduce the chances of you accumulating fluid in your lungs, contracting pneumonia and developing blood clots.

I really like to eat out with my friends. Will I be able to go to restaurants after this surgery?
Yes, after few months when your diet has normalized, you should be able to enjoy eating in restaurants-but you’ll be eating smaller portions.

Should I take protein supplements?
Most patients do not require protein supplements. After a restrictive operation, since you eat less, what you eat is important. Therefore, you should pay attention to eating healthy, emphasizing on foods with high protein content. However, if you find yourself snacking on junk food, you would be better off having a protein shake or bar. Look for products with low sugar and fat content.

What kind of exercise should I do after surgery, and when can I begin?
It is good to begin exercising as early as you can post-operatively. Pace yourself and don’t overdo it, especially if you have not been exercising regularly before surgery. Start with light aerobic exercise like walking, water aerobics or an exercise bike and gradually increase to more-strenuous activities. Try to find an activity you enjoy so that you can stick to it.

Will I get to my ideal weight with weight loss surgery?
Less than 5 percent of patients reach their ideal weight. Most lose 50 to 75 percent of their excess weight and keep it off for five years or more. This statistic, though disappointing to many, is much better than the 95 percent who regain almost all of their lost weight after dieting.

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