Post Bariatric Surgery
Post Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is weight loss surgery. It is usually performed on morbidly obese people (BMI>40) or with seriously obese people (BMI>35) with co-morbid conditions like hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea and diabetes. This type of surgery is not a quick fix to a weight loss problem but rather a long term journey to weight loss. With post bariatric surgery, an individual must make certain lifestyle changes that will help with the aim of weight loss.
The good news is that with post bariatric surgery, it is easier to lose weight as surgery changes your body such that eating habits change. For instance, the stomach pouch is made smaller and therefore can only contain a small amount of food at a time.
Immediately after bariatric surgery, a patient will spend a few days in the hospital to recover as well as to give doctors the opportunity to monitor the patient for complications. Post bariatric surgery complications include infection, internal bleeding, anastomotic leaks, and venous thrombosis.
The significant weight loss experienced with post bariatric surgery may lead to inflammatory hepatitis and gall stones.
The complications of post bariatric surgery will also depend on the type of bariatric surgery performed. For instance, the Roux en-Y gastric bypass has been shown to sometimes lead to metabolic bone disease as the procedure causes malabsorption of calcium. Nutritional deficiencies (of folate, iron, vitamin B12, thiamine) are commonly experienced if a malabsorptive procedure was performed.
Other complications include constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, gastroesphageal reflux disease (GERD), dumping syndrome, arrhythmias, hair loss, ulcer, stomal stenosis, abdominal pain and lactose intolerance.
The chance of complications is reduced if you strictly follow your post bariatric surgery guidelines. These guidelines will be given to you by your doctor and will focus a great deal on dietary and lifestyle changes. Guidelines will vary from surgeon to surgeon and also will depend on the type of surgery performed.
Generally however, an individual will be expected to eat small regular meals. Food should be chewed very thoroughly before swallowing. Water or other fluids should not be drunk alongside a meal as they will make a person feel full before they have had enough to eat and may also lead to vomiting. Foods that have very low nutritional value, fatty foods, carbonated drinks and alcohol should be avoided.
It is very important to have the necessary support during post bariatric surgery. You will get professional support from your doctor and nutritionist but family support is also as important. It may also help to join a support group.
It is not uncommon for people who have underlying medical problems before bariatric surgery to find that these problems resolve on their own post bariatric surgery. Cosmetic surgery may also be necessary to get rid of excessive skin after rapid weight loss. Patients should learn the risks of gastric bypass surgery before-hand so they can more easily cope with any problems that may arise.