After Your Surgery

You are in complete control of your success following weight loss surgery.

Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix or cure for obesity. It’s part of an ongoing journey toward transforming your health through lifestyle changes. Even though it can be difficult at times, most patients say it was the best decision they ever made.

At Woman’s, we understand there will be hard work in the months and years ahead. Your surgeon, program navigator, registered nurse, dietitian, exercise physiologist, social worker and support group provide support for you both before surgery and after surgery.

After surgery, you’ll feel satisfied and full with less food. Positive changes in your body, your weight and your health will occur only if you maintain the diet and exercise routines recommended by our bariatric program.

Right After Surgery

Just after your procedure, you may experience some discomfort, gas and soreness rather than pain. Woman’s team knows how to help you — from getting you up and walking to administering liquid pain medication that your new stomach can handle.

Your Recovery

As with any surgery, there is a recovery period. Remember this is a necessary step, and the better care you take during recovery, the faster you’ll return to normal activity.

Recovery time can range from a week to a few weeks. Length of recovery depends on:

  • The type of surgery you choose
  • Your overall health
  • Your typical daily activities before surgery

Medications

The absorption of most medications remains the same after your surgery.

  • Most pills or capsules are small enough to pass through the new stomach pouch.
  • At first, your surgeon may recommend medications be taken in crushed or liquid form.
  • Check with your doctor before taking any medications.

Your Long-term Success

Through lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and healthy eating, you can make changes for the better. We are dedicated to your long-term success. Our team is here to help you overcome your obstacles. Woman’s offers:

If you have adjustable gastric banding surgery, you’ll work with your surgeon to have the band adjusted starting at six weeks after surgery and continuing as often as needed.

With gastric bypass and vertical sleeve gastrectomy, you usually see your surgeon for three to five follow-up appointments the first year, then once per year. Over time, gastric bypass patients need regular checks for anemia (low red blood cell count) and vitamin B12, folate and iron levels.

Your Fitness

Exercise is crucial for weight loss success. It shortens recovery time and reduces the risk of post-surgical complications.

You can count on us to help you achieve your goals. Woman’s offers the area’s premier women-only fitness facility at Woman’s Center for Wellness. It stands apart from other facilities by:

  • Offering services and programs specifically designed for the unique fitness, rehabilitation and wellness needs of women.
  • Teaching you about proper exercise techniques and how to maintain physical activity habits throughout your life.

Talk with your surgeon about how to ease into an exercise routine after surgery and when you can be released from any activity restrictions. Many patients return to normal levels of activity within three to six weeks of surgery.

Dietary Plan

It’s important to follow the recommended dietary plan carefully designed by your bariatric team. The plan limits the amount of calories you consume, while providing balanced, nutritious meals.

This new way of eating may seem overwhelming at first, but over time, the plan will become part of your daily routine. If you have problems following it, the team at Woman’s is here to help you.

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a bariatric surgery side effect. It causes your stomach contents to be dumped quickly into your intestines. The result can be uncontrollable diarrhea. At Woman’s, we’ll teach you how to manage this uncomfortable situation.

Eating simple sugars or high-fat foods can cause dumping syndrome in patients with gastric bypass surgery. Simple sugars include:

  • Refined sugar
  • Honey
  • Corn syrup

Products that contain these ingredients have a small particles that are “dumped” from the stomach into the intestine. Water is pulled into the intestine from the bloodstream to dilute the sugar load. This flush of water causes symptoms that can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hot flashes
  • Sweating
  • Clammy skin
  • Dizziness

If you experience dumping syndrome, try:

  • Eating small meals more often
  • Cutting out sugar
  • Avoiding fluids with meals

Pregnancy

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) a woman should wait 12 to 24 months after bariatric surgery before conceiving. Getting pregnant too soon after surgery could mean a growing baby might not get needed nutrients. Consult your surgeon as you plan for pregnancy.