5 Lifestyle Changes You Must Make After Weight Loss Surgery
A weight loss surgery with moderate lifestyle changes and good aftercare guarantees healthy living with long-term results. Some of the common side effects of this type of surgery include constipation, wound infections, gallstones, or dumping syndrome. However, most patients never experience serious problems after surgery. This is usually attributed to the lifestyle changes recommended by your surgeon to help you adjust to certain foods and daily routines. In this article, we will be discussing five lifestyle changes you must make after weight loss surgery to help you lose weight safely.
- Commit to Good Nutrition
If you are not certain of the foods you should eat after your surgery, you can always ask a dietitian to help you come up with a plan that provides you the required nutritional content. It is important that you avoid sugary foods, carbonated drinks, alcohol, and processed foods with a huge amount of calories. Drinking a lot of water prevents you from mistaking hunger for thirst, and also makes you feel more energetic. Your diet should be majorly comprised of minimally processed foods such as vegetables, proteins, and fresh fruits. You can always avoid boxed or canned items if a fresh alternative is available. A surgeon may recommend for you supplements such as calcium, potassium, and iron, which are dietary essentials for weight-loss surgery patients.
- Change Your Eating Habits
It is important that you change your eating habits after a weight loss surgery since your body will be adjusting to the changes that may occur after the procedure. The small stomach that results after the surgery can only hold enough of what it is supposed to. Therefore, you need to adapt to eating smaller frequent meals to allow enough time for digestion since your intestines need to conform to the new changes. Eat and drink slowly to avoid the dumping syndrome that is characterized by a feeling of nausea, vomiting, and general body weakness. You also need to chew food thoroughly since the new opening that links the stomach with small intestine can be blocked by larger pieces of food. These blockages make it difficult for food to leave the stomach and may lead to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
- Healthy Exercises to Speed Up Recovery
Many exercises that are recommended after weight loss surgery are aimed at increasing blood flow and maintaining a certain amount of calorie limit. Small lifestyle changes such as changing positions and walking help promote blood circulation. A good blood circulation guarantees quick recovery and discourages health complications that may arise from the formation of blood clots. Post-operative exercises may help minimize complications and enhance your healing process. It is important to have a supervising assistant to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly.
- Personal Hygiene and Wound Care
Having an assistant at home for a few days after surgery provides weight loss patients with moral and physical support. You may need some help when using the toilet depending on the nature of your abdominal surgery. There is no need to remove any stitches especially if sutures were used during surgery since they tend to dissolve with time. Steri-strips is a type of tape used on your wound that falls off on its own. However, surgical staples need to be removed if they were used after the surgery. It is important to keep your wound clean and well cared for regardless of how it was closed during the operation.
- Keep Your Follow-Up Visits
Your progress needs to be monitored closely after surgery to ensure you go through a successful recovery. If you skip your appointments, it means that any surgical complication or nutritional deficiency may not be discovered in time and the side effects can be detrimental. You can expect a few changes in your body shape and contour after losing so much weight. Your surgeon is in a better position to determine any surgical complications after your surgery. Checking in with your surgeon helps you recover gracefully both physically and mentally.
It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully after a weight loss surgery to avoid developing any health complications. People who choose to undergo this procedure need both mental and physical support, as it helps speed up recovery. Incorporating some lifestyle changes in your daily routine allows you to get the right nutrition and after-surgery care for a better living. Lastly, you will need to go for regular checkups to determine your progress and make sure everything is in good condition.
Dr. Saniea F. Majid, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is our founder, director, and award-winning surgeon with more than 10 years of experience treating patients. She is the President of the New Jersey state chapter of ASMBS, a member of the Board of Directors at New Jersey Doctor-Patient Alliance, and Chair of the Post Operative Weight Recurrence Task Force (POWER). Dr. Majid has devoted her life to helping people like you lose weight and transform their lives and not only started and directed the Metabolic and Bariatric Center at Saint Michaels Medical Center but also achieved the National Center of Excellence. Dr. Majid is one of only three bariatric doctors and surgeons featured in the 2023 Healthy Living magazine published by NJ Top Docs. She is also a regular guest speaker for the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) where she trains bariatric surgeons on the latest methods and techniques.