Weight loss surgery may have been one of the biggest decisions you have ever made in your life and is sure to have come after many years of trying numerous weight loss attempts with limited success but you have finally taken the first step to achieving long term weight management. Congratulations, now it’s time to look at what happens now – post operation.
Your doctor and the clinic support team will have gone through all the details with you however with your main focus being on preparing for the surgery, your expectations for post-surgery may not have been high on the priority list. So let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions patients have after the surgery.
What are the side effects you may experience after weight loss surgery?
It is important to be aware of the possible side effects associated with surgery but choosing a surgeon who has many years’ experience and an excellent success rate will dramatically reduce any potential post-surgery risks. These risks include:
- Acid reflux
- Anaesthetic related effects
- Acid reflux
- Food intolerances
- Anastomotic ulcers which cause nausea and vomiting (bypass only)
- Dumping syndrome which cause nausea and vomiting (bypass only)
- Oesophagus dilation
- Stomach obstruction
- Inadequate weight loss / weight regain
- Gallbladder disease/gallstones
Although these all sound scary, in reality, most people experience few issues and can eat a wide range of foods in small portions and are very happy with their success.
Severe surgical complications are thankfully rare but they can happen. If you are experiencing a surgical complication or suspect you may have one, you need to contact Dr Moore ASAP. This would include severe pain, bleeding or vomiting or reflux.
Most, less serious, side effects will resolve as you progress through your journey and can usually be managed with time and education.
How will my hunger be controlled after weight loss surgery?
It may come as a shock at first that the small meal you have just eaten has left you feeling full. If this is the case, the surgery has been a success. The aim of the surgery is to make you feel satiated (comfortably full) on far less food. All types of weight loss surgery achieve this by decreasing the size of your stomach which results in signals being sent to your brain much earlier to notify you that your stomach is full. Bypass and sleeve surgery also reduce the hormonal hunger signals normally produced by the body in response to an empty stomach.
How will I maintain a healthy weight range after weight loss surgery?
Prior to surgery you will be given detailed education by your dietician. The aim of this education is ensure you have the skills to be able to nourish yourself on a smaller amount of food, choose foods that provide the best nutrition for your body, manage non-hungry (emotional eating) and eat out successfully. All these skills are required in order to lose weight and keep it off in the long term.
Will there be foods I will never be able to eat?
In the initial phases post-surgery there is often food that people find difficult to eat, but over time and by slowing down your eating, chewing well and stopping as soon as you feel comfortably full, our aim is for a wide range of foods to be tolerated. We do not expect you to have to make special foods for yourself but enjoy whatever the family is eating.
Unwanted excess skin after weight loss surgery?
Excess skin is often a by-product of bariatric surgery. One of the best ways to help deal with unwanted excess skin is toning & firming by undertaking a strength building exercise regime.
Strength building is ideal because as previously noted, our skin expands when mass under the surface has increased so instead of stretching the surface of your skin with fat you will build muscle as a replacement to help fill out the area.
If you are a bit older or have lost a large amount of weight, toning and firming exercise may not be enough and you may choose to see a Reconstructive Surgeon.
What supports will be in place for me after weight loss surgery?
At North Eastern Weight Loss Surgery several pre-surgery and post-surgery supports are put in place to give each patient the best chance at a successful procedure along with a continued healthy lifestyle.
The support staff include access/referral to dieticians, psychologists, the administrative team and of course your surgeon, Dr. Patrick Moore. You will have several follow up appointments with various members of the team to track your progress and discuss any ongoing concerns you have.
The staff at NEWLS see your weight loss journey not only as a job but instead as a lifelong partnership. They are there to guide and support you on this journey and look forward to sharing your successes along the way.