What to Expect Before and After Weight-Loss Surgery

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Weight-loss surgery is a life-altering decision. It impacts everything from your health and mental well-being to your relationships and everyday habits.

If you’re considering weight-loss surgery, you likely have a lot of questions. After all, with such an important decision on the line, it’s important that you’re as informed and educated about the process as possible.

At Surgical Weight Control Center, one of the most common questions we encounter is what to expect before and after weight-loss surgery. Knowing what to expect enables you to make informed decisions, make healthy life changes and stay on track to receive the results you’ve been working toward.

What Is Weight-Loss Surgery?

Weight-loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery or medical weight loss, is a surgical procedure that helps people lose weight by reducing the size of their stomach or by bypassing a portion of the small intestine. There are different kinds of noninvasive weight-loss surgery, the most prominent ones being laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, laparoscopic gastric bypass and gastric banding.

Weight-loss surgery is usually recommended to those who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of 35 or higher with obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.

What to Expect Before and After Weight-Loss Surgery

Weight loss consultation

The first thing to expect before your weight-loss surgery is a consultation, during which several things will be discussed.

Your doctor will help you determine whether you are a good candidate for weight-loss surgery. They’ll also explain your surgical options, explaining the different kinds of weight-loss surgery available to you, the risks, the benefits and potential outcomes.

Your consultation is also an opportunity for education and counseling. You’ll be able to ask important questions about your weight-loss surgery, such as information about the procedure, dietary changes and the timeline for the surgery.

Your doctor will also provide resources to prepare you for your weight-loss surgery. This may involve support groups, nutritionists, a psychiatrist or other healthcare professionals that can guide you in your weight-loss journey.

Pre-surgery preparation and medical evaluations

Weight-loss surgery preparations are a taxing process, both emotionally and physically. As a result, before your surgery, your medical professional will make sure you engage in the necessary medical and psychological preparations.

During your medical evaluation, your healthcare provider will conduct a thorough evaluation of your medical history, including pre-existing health conditions, current medication and previous surgeries. This will help them determine your health, whether weight-loss surgery is a feasible option and which surgery might best fit your needs.

During your psychological evaluation, your healthcare professional will assess your mental and emotional well-being to make sure you are ready for the procedure. You may be asked about your previous weight-loss attempts, eating habits and relationship with food. This will help them identify any potential issues and work together to provide additional support and treatment.

Dietary restrictions leading up to surgery

Finally, before weight-loss surgery there are also certain dietary restrictions you can expect. These restrictions are meant to help you prepare your body for the surgery and ensure successful outcomes.

Your healthcare provider will likely recommend low-calorie, healthy meals for weight loss to both help you lose some weight ahead of surgery and help reduce the size of your liver, making the surgery safer and easier to perform.

You will also likely be asked to start a protein-rich diet, as it can promote muscle preservation and wound healing that can help you during the recovery process.

Finally, your doctor may also recommend you avoid certain foods that may increase the possibility of complications during surgery. This may include high-fat foods, sugary foods and carbonated beverages.

What to Expect After Weight-Loss Surgery

Recovery timeline and post-surgery care

The first thing to expect after weight-loss surgery is the recovery timeline and post-surgery care.

Compared to other surgical procedures, the recovery timeline for weight-loss surgery is usually shorter. The exact recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery that was performed. However, you can usually expect to be discharged 2-3 days later and to be able to return back to normal in about a month.

During recovery, you will also be provided with post-surgery care from the weight-loss center that performed your procedure. This may include pain management, follow-up appointments and continuous progress monitoring. You’ll also be able to address any concerns about your recovery and health following the procedure.

In time, you might also notice that pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and high pressure, improve.

Changes in eating habits

Another thing to expect after weight-loss surgery is changes in your eating habits.

After surgery, your stomach size is significantly reduced. As a result, medical professionals often recommend having small, frequent meals to help you feel satisfied.

You can also expect to start eating nutrient-dense foods that provide essential vitamins and minerals. This includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy items. Your doctors will likely recommend you stay away from high-fat foods such as sugar, carbonated drinks and fried food. These foods expand your stomach, which can be dangerous to patients who have undergone weight-loss surgery.

Overall, you can expect to work with your healthcare provider to find a healthy, appetizing and nutritious diet that ensures you are still on the right path.

Lifestyle changes

Finally, after weight-loss surgery you might notice several changes in your lifestyle.

Regular physical exercise will become a crucial component of your self-care routine. Your provider may recommend activities such as walking, swimming, cycling or strength training.

As you start implementing your new diet, you may start noticing how much you used to rely on food for comfort. Talking to a mental health professional can help you identify the roots of your unhealthy relationship with food and develop new healthy coping mechanisms.

The way you socialize with others may also change. Many social activities revolve around food, which can be challenging when you’re on your weight-loss journey. Finding new ways to socialize that don’t exclusively rely on food will be key.

Finally, you’ll notice that your relationship with yourself may start to change. Our weight can affect the value we place on ourselves and our self-esteem. Weight-loss surgery can change the way you look and feel about yourself, leading to conflicting emotions about your body. Practicing positive thinking and self-acceptance can help you deal with these emotions.

Reshape Your Tomorrow

If you’ve struggled with other weight-loss methods, change is possible with the right treatment and an experienced team by your side.

Surgical Weight Control Center in Las Vegas offers effective, noninvasive surgical weight treatment options. We provide you with long-term management to help you reshape your tomorrow, take control of your lifestyle and regain your health.

To learn more about your options, reach out to us at 702-313-8446, sign up for one of our seminars, or get in contact with ustoday.

Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks to find out if bariatric surgery is right for you.