What To Expect After Surgery
First Few Days
Most people stay in hospital for 1-2 days after laparoscopic procedures and up to a week after open surgery. After having the procedure, you must follow a strict liquid diet, starting with clear liquids and slowly introducing protein shakes and pureed foods. You need to take extra care to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks. It is important that you move around, even if you don’t really feel up to it. However, avoid doing any lifting.
First Few Weeks
Most people return to work 2-3 weeks after surgery. You should continue to follow the liquid diet of pureed foods and shakes and slowly introduce soft foods before moving on to solid foods. Make sure to follow the nutrition plan drawn up in consultation with our dietician. At this point, you will be invited to join one of our group follow-up sessions where you will have the opportunity to meet other bariatric surgery patients, as well as speak to our counsellor. There will, of course, also be follow-up consultations with members of our surgical team. You should be getting around 20 minutes of light exercise every day. Walking is perfect.
6 Months Later
Your life should be getting back to normal now. You should be following the nutrition plan drawn up in consultation with our dietician. You should be able to introduce other physical activities, such as cycling, jogging and swimming as part of your new lifestyle. Many people find that they lose weight easily during the first few months after surgery. However, it is natural for the pace to slow down. Stick to your healthy eating habits and get plenty of exercise and you will continue to shed pounds. Seeking additional support by meeting with other bariatric surgical patients and/or a counsellor can also be beneficial for staying on track.
Rest of your Life
Establishing a healthy new lifestyle takes time. And to achieve the full benefit from weight loss surgery, you will need to adhere to a healthy diet – avoiding high-sugar, high-fat and high-calorie foods and beverages – and get plenty of exercise for the rest of your life. You may also need to take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement – consult your physician about this. If you want to have a baby, losing weight should make it much easier. However, it is important to wait with pregnancy until around one year after the surgery to give the body plenty of time to recover and adjust to the new lifestyle.
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