June 15, 2021
What to expect after weight loss surgery
Losing weight can be more difficult for some people than others. According to current estimations, 28% of adults in England are obese. When a healthy diet and exercise don’t cut it no matter how hard you try, weight loss surgery can be effective providing you’re comfortable with what’s involved.
It’s a major operation after all – and one that comes with a significant amount of preparation, risk and recovery work. Yet surgery can also bring a wide range of benefits beyond weight loss, including long-term remission of type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure and improved confidence.
So if weight loss surgery is a route you’re considering, get a better idea of what to expect below
Types of weight loss surgery
There are three main types of weight loss surgery:
• Gastric band, where a band is placed around your stomach to limit how much food you need to feel full
• Gastric bypass, where your stomach is joined to the small intestine to make you feel full quicker and limit calorie intake
• Sleeve gastrectomy, where some of your stomach is removed to reduce how much you can eat
Each option comes with pros and cons. The right type for you will depend on your condition, which a surgeon will be able to advise you on.
Recovery and aftercare
Recovery times vary slightly depending on the type of surgery you opt for. Most people can expect to spend 1-3 days in hospital with 4-6 weeks of recovery before getting back to normal activities.
The recovery period will include strict diet and exercise plans that are designed to slowly get your body back up to speed. You’ll be restricted to small amounts of runny or soft foods for the first few weeks and will also need to take vitamin supplements.
Your exercise could include anything from brisk walking to cycling, swimming or even gardening, depending on your preferences.
While weight loss surgery offers impressive results for most patients, you’ll have to commit to various long-term lifestyle changes to avoid undoing its effects. Key steps include:
• Maintaining a healthy diet: You’ll be advised to maintain a balanced diet for the rest of your life. A dietician may be able to create a plan to help with this initially.
• Exercising regularly: You’re also likely to be advised to start and commit to a regime of regular exercise.
It will help you keep weight off and is likely to feel easier on your joints after losing weight through your operation.
It’s worth bearing in mind that women are usually advised to avoid becoming pregnant for a period of around a year after surgery too.
Weight loss surgery is not something that should be taken lightly. But if you’re fully informed and committed to the adjustments it requires, the results can be life changing.