After Surgery

How much weight a patient will lose after the procedure depends on several factors, including:

  • Patient's age
  • Weight before surgery
  • Overall condition of patient's health
  • Surgical procedure performed
  • Ability to exercise
  • Commitment to maintaining dietary guidelines and other follow-up care

Your commitment to the program and the cooperation of family, friends and associates is very important as you start this journey. In general, weight loss surgery success is defined as losing 50% or more of the patient's excess body weight and maintaining that level for at least five years. Clinical data will vary for each of the different procedures mentioned on this site.

Patients with a higher initial body mass index tend to lose more total weight. Patients with lower initial BMI's will lose a greater percentage of their excess weight and will more likely come closer to their ideal body weight. Patients with Type 2 diabetes tend to show less overall excess weight loss than patients without Type 2 diabetes. The surgery has been found to be effective in improving and controlling many obesity-related health conditions. A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied, such as back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression, were improved or resolved. For example, many patients with Type 2 diabetes, while showing less overall excess weight loss, have demonstrated excellent resolution of their diabetic condition, to the point of having little or no need for continuing medication.

Diet

The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. The following are some keys to success for our bariatric patients.

  • Drink slowly.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Take sips of water throughout the day.
  • Eat protein foods first.
  • Wait 30 minutes after eating to start drinking fluids. Don't drink fluids while eating because they can make you feel full before you have consumed enough food and can contribute to excessive stretching of your pouch.
  • Chew foods very well.
  • Eat six times each day.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Take your vitamins and minerals.
  • Monitor your food and fluid intake by keeping a food diary.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Make exercise a daily habit.
  • Participate in support groups and dietician counseling.

Going Back to Work

Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight loss surgery you had. Many patients return to full pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.

Birth Control & Pregnancy

It is strongly advised that women of childbearing age use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 16- to 24-months after weight loss surgery. The added demands pregnancy places on your body and the potential for fetal damage make this a most important requirement.

Long-Term Follow-Up

Although the short-term effects of weight loss surgery are well understood, there are still questions to be answered about the long-term effects on nutrition and body systems. Nutritional deficiencies that occur over the course of many years still need to be studied. Over time, patients need periodic checks for Vitamin B12, folate and iron levels. Your Loma Linda Bariatric surgery team will help you through this. You will see our dietician at 2-weeks, 6-weeks and 3-months along with your surgical post up visits, to make sure that you are achieving the health that you are seeking. Additionally, we want to make sure that you are in touch with your primary care physician, who our team will also be communicating with throughout your recovery period.

Support Groups

This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your various personal and medical issues. We know that weight loss surgery will not immediately resolve existing emotional issues or heal the years of damage that morbid obesity might have inflicted on your emotional well-being. Support groups help us all to bridge this important transition. This is the place where psychological referrals and special nutritional consults can be initiated. Support is critical to success.