Life After Surgery
So you’ve had your surgery – woohoo! Now, you don’t have to worry any more about your weight, and everything else about your life is going to be a whole lot easier, right? Not so fast. Life after weight loss surgery brings a lot of changes, and it can take a while to adjust. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect once your surgery is completed:
- Weight loss: This is probably the biggest concern you have – how much weight will you lose, and how fast will you lose it? This depends a lot on the type of surgery you have, as well as your eating and exercise after surgery. In general, surgeries that are strictly restrictive, such as gastric banding, result in less weight loss than those that affect digestion as well, such as gastric bypass. Ask your doctor how much you can expect to lose and how quickly you can expect to lose it.
- Diet: Your surgery will have a huge impact on how much you can eat. In most cases, you’ll need to eat several small meals during the day. Be sure to chew well to avoid problems like heartburn. To avoid nutritional deficiencies, it’s also important to take supplements when advised, and make sure the foods you eat are packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Activity: Losing weight can help you enjoy lots of activities that may have been too strenuous before; just be sure to start out slowly.
- Health: Many health issues, like heart problems and type 2 diabetes, can resolve or dramatically improve following surgery, so be sure to schedule checkups and screenings to keep an eye on your improvements.
- Relationships: If going out to eat is the primary way you’ve socialized in the past, you may need to find new ways to interact after your surgery that don’t revolve around food.
- Appearance and self-confidence: Many people report that getting used to their new appearance is surprisingly difficult; for instance, if you’ve been using food as therapy, you’ll need to find healthier ways to relieve stress and find comfort.
Life after weight loss surgery brings lots of changes, and learning to adjust can take time. Finding a support group and therapist can help a lot of patients successfully move into their new lives with greater confidence and peace of mind.