Among the different types of weight loss procedures, also called bariatric surgery, gastric bypass is one of the most common. It is usually performed laparoscopically which reduces the complications and shortens the recovery time. With gastric bypass, your stomach is stapled to create a smaller pocket, and malabsorption bypass is built. This helps you lose weight by only being able to eat small amounts of food at a time. Here are some things to know about your life after having the procedure.
Immediately After Surgery
Right after your surgery, your life will revolve around recovery. It is important that you stick to your liquid diet until your nutritionist and doctor say it is okay to start adding soft foods, followed by solid foods. During the recovery period, it is also important to look for signs of complications, like a high temperature, redness or discharge, swelling, increased soreness, nausea and vomiting, depression, or passing very dark stool. Expect to have limited activity for the first few weeks after surgery.
Changes to Your Diet
The most significant change to your life after gastric bypass is your diet. If you followed your doctor’s recommendations, you started changing your eating habits before the procedure. But the limited amount of food you can eat after surgery can be extreme in the beginning. Because of the smaller size of your stomach, you eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day, as opposed to 3 larger meals. Because of the smaller size of your stomach pouch, these little meals must contain adequate nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Dumping syndrome is a risk of weight loss surgery, so avoid caffeinated beverages, citrus juice, excessive amounts of sugar, alcohol, and carbonated beverages.
Exercise is added gradually, starting with minor walking during the first few days, to longer workouts by the 3-month mark. Find exercise routines that include activities you enjoy, combining cardio and strength training exercises. If you need to, get a personal trainer who can show you some exercises you can do. If you have arthritis, you need to find gentler activities, such as water aerobics.
A significant change in your life after gastric bypass surgery is going to be with your relationships. Relationships often change because so much of your life prior had to do with food. You probably spent time with friends by going to lunch or coffee or had romantic dates starting with dinner. It isn’t easy for you to eat in the same ways you did before, making a large impact on what you can eat and when. Having someone who supports your new lifestyle is essential to maintaining healthy relationships. Insecurities can also happen when your body and your energy levels start changing in your new life.
Other changes in your life don’t necessarily have to do with your relationships, but your lifestyle in general. Expect to have an adjustment period when you get used to the difference sin eating and physical activities. When you start losing weight, this will motivate you and give you more energy, but you might also experience some phases of depression or just frustration with the different lifestyle you have now.