- About Us
- Our Philosophy
- Surgery Options
- Getting Started
- Prepare For Surgery
- Life & Success After Surgery
- Additional Resources
The First Year - What to Expect After Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery is a big step along your weight loss journey. However, there are also lifestyle changes necessary in order for you to succeed. Knowing what to expect after bariatric surgery will allow you to plan ahead and make the most of your weight loss surgery. Your diet and exercise routine will be two of the biggest changes the first year after bariatric surgery, but will also be among the most important steps in helping you to achieve your weight loss goals. Post-operative follow up care and social support are two additional key components of your first year. Below you will find details on what to expect after bariatric surgery.
Post-operative Follow Up
Medical studies reflect what we’ve seen firsthand: Individuals who are committed to their post-operative care are more likely to be successful in maintaining their weight loss than those that that do not complete the follow-up care.
Our team is devoted to your wellness and long-term success. We know what to expect after bariatric surgery and can help you along the way. With this in mind, we expect to share in your weight loss progress and discuss your journey with you at 2 week, 6 week, 3 month, 6 month, 12 month, 18 month, and annual follow up visits at our Flint, Michigan location. With frequent follow up with your care team, we can monitor your progress, answer your questions and help you to continue to safely reach your weight loss goals.
Bariatric Surgery Diet
In your pre-operative educational classes and sessions with your surgeon and dietitian, you will learn how important healthy eating is in your weight loss journey. You and your team will discuss tips for avoiding nutritional deficiencies and they will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
Immediately after surgery. Immediately after your weight loss surgery, you will be on a high-protein liquid diet. 2 to 3 weeks after bariatric surgery, you will begin to have pureed and soft foods.
1 to 3 months after surgery. 1 to 3 months after your bariatric surgery, you will begin to reintroduce normal foods into your diet. You will find that some foods are more agreeable than others. Examples of soft foods that may be good choices for you include cottage cheese, fish, eggs, cooked vegetables, and soft fruits such as bananas.
It is important to remember that figuring out your bariatric surgery diet is a process and that you may be frustrated at times. However, by continuing to eat small meals (3 to 4 ounces) and by paying attention to your body, you will keep progressing on your weight loss journey.
6 months after surgery. 6 months after you have surgery, you should have lost a large amount of weight. Individuals that undergo gastric bypass may have already lost 30% to 40% of the excess weight, and those who elected the sleeve gastrectomy or the adjustable gastric banding may have lost between 25 to 50 pounds at this point.
9 months after surgery. 9 months following your weight loss surgery is when many individuals may begin to realize nutrition (mineral and vitamin) deficiencies. While it has nearly been a year, it is still essential that you follow the tips provided by your care team. The customized treatment plan was designed to guard against deficiencies, but if you experience any problems your care team is available to answer any questions and provide tips that will help you to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
1 year after surgery. You will meet with the Bariatric Team to discuss your progress, your experience, and your future goals. If necessary, they will work with you to help you adjust your treatment plan.
While you will advance in your diet as time goes on, below are some tips that may be especially helpful the first year after surgery.
- Listen to your body. By eating and sipping slowly, you can better understand how your body is reacting to the food. Hiccups and pressure at the top of your stomach are indications that you are full.
- Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. By chewing slowly, you give your body time to recognize that it is getting full. Also, it is necessary to chew your food thoroughly to aid in proper digestion.
- Continue to have small portions. Your meals and snacks should be between ½ and 1 cup. Your care team will work with you and let you know the exact quantity that is right for you based on your procedure.
- Drink eight, 8-ounce cups of water, herbal tea or other sugar-free, caffeine-free, alcohol-free, low calorie beverages. Avoid carbonated beverages as they may lead to discomfort.
Exercise is another aspect of your lifestyle change that is going to be very helpful in your weight loss. The first few weeks after surgery we encourage you to get up and go for a walk every hour that you are awake for at least 5 minutes. With time, we encourage to engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 to 5 times per week. Walking, swimming, and yoga are good choices that will help you to build strength, increase flexibility and burn calories. Please check with your expert care team before beginning a new exercise routine.
Social Support and Weight Loss Support Groups
You will experience many changes on your weight loss journey and it is important to have the support of your family and friends. Oftentimes, meetings with family and friends are centered on food. Ask those around you to catch up while going for a walk or enjoy a movie together.
Weight loss support groups can also be helpful to you and instrumental in your success. The Hurley Bariatric Team is pleased to offer you both medically supervised and peer support groups. Additionally, our weight loss support groups are offered at many convenient locations so that you can attend one that is located near your home or workplace. Learn more about Hurley's weight loss support groups.