Post-Bariatric Surgery Dos and Don’ts

Bariatric surgery is a wonderful tool for obese individuals who struggle to lose weight through diet and exercise alone. It doesn’t automatically make you lose weight, but with self-care, careful planning, and commitment, you can achieve the health goals you set for yourself.

If you’re considering bariatric surgery or just had a weight loss procedure, the following tips from our team of experts at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville can be helpful.

The Dos

• Follow the recommended diet
After bariatric surgery, you will be placed on a special diet. It’s very important as it gives your body time to adjust to the changes, keeps you from having nutrient deficiencies, and paves the way for achieving your weight loss goals.

This special diet will be explained by your bariatric surgery team. Most patients start with a liquid diet for weeks, followed by a soft diet, and then, eventually transition to regular food.

Protein is vital for bariatric patients. The amount of protein you have to take each day depends on several factors, but it’s usually between 60 to 100 grams per day.

To prevent constipation and other gastrointestinal issues, it’s also very important to stay hydrated.

• Take your multivitamins and supplements
As you are only limited to the amount of food you can eat, taking vitamin supplements is usually required. It’s something you have to do for a lifetime to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

• Exercise
Regular exercise after bariatric surgery is encouraged as it is important for overall health and supports your weight loss goals.

Each patient is different, so you should check with your bariatric surgery team to find out what exercises you can get started with, the intensity, and exercise duration.

The Dont’s

• Indulge in carbonated drinks

The carbonation in these drinks can make you feel full easily, giving you very little to no room for nutrient-dense food. Drinking too many carbonated drinks can also cause an abdominal upset.

To stay hydrated, it’s best to stick with water. If you want to add flavors to it, you may add lemon slices or refreshing vegetables like cucumber.

• Continue to smoke and binge in alcohol
Before surgery, you will be asked to quit smoking and drinking alcohol to reduce your risks of post-surgical complications.

After surgery, cessation of smoking and alcohol consumption is highly encouraged.

The nicotine and other toxic substances from tobacco don’t just increase your risk of lung cancer; they can also delay wound healing after surgery.

If quitting smoking is difficult for you, you can ask your doctor for tools that can help you.

Alcohol can have serious consequences for bariatric patients. Because of the changes in the body, alcohol is more absorbed quickly in the bloodstream. Hence, you may have higher levels of alcohol for a longer period of time after drinking.

• Take NSAIDs
Ulcers are harder to diagnose and treat after bariatric surgery. So, as much as possible try to avoid taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin, Celebrex, and Motrin.

We know that life after bariatric surgery will be different. Our experts at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville offer support all throughout. We have support groups, both in-person and online, to help you adjust to life after the procedure.

For questions, call our office at (865) 984-3413, or, to get started on your weight loss journey, visit https://www.foothillsweightloss.com/get-started/.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.

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