Frequently Asked Questions for Post-Bariatric Surgery
- Optimize fluid intake. The goal is to drink greater than 64oz/day
- Take over-the-counter stool softener as directed: Colace, milk of magnesia, MiraLax.
- If still not resolved contact our office for further guidance
First, are you constipated (see above)?
Second, Slow down!
Often post-operative patients eat/drink too quickly. Your stomach is much smaller and you may be surprised how helpful taking your time can be. Sometimes, something as simple as adjusting the temperature of your liquids can be helpful ie: room temperature, cold, etc., or changing flavors of protein shakes that you previously enjoyed can make a world of difference. If you are still nauseous contact us directly and we can discuss this problem further
Walking and climbing stairs and normal activity immediately post-op.
Begin unrestricted cardiovascular exercise 2 weeks post-op, walk/run/bike/etc but still no lifting more than 20lbs or core exercises until after one full month to decrease the risk of hernias.
Unrestricted exercise at 1 month. No weight limit or core exercise restrictions.
When you are no longer taking narcotic pain medications and you are >24h after general anesthesia. Often patients tolerate the procedure well and do not require narcotic pain medication at all.
Postoperative day 1.
You have waterproof glue or surgical tape on your incisions and absorbable sutures underneath. Soap and water is ok. Do not scrub the incisions. Do not soak in a tub/bath/pool/lake for at least 2 weeks.
The glue/tape will fall off overtime. Please Try to resist the urge to pick it off even though it is very tempting
Patients may experience hair loss post-operatively. Some contributing factors can be either protein deficiency or vitamin deficiency.
So how do we combat this?
Make sure you are meeting your goal of at least 60g protein/day, taking daily Bariatric Multivitamins, and checking levels as instructed. You may also add Biotin and collagen to your diet.
(Please note Biotin can alter your thyroid function testing so please discuss with your endocrinologist if applicable)
We strongly recommend waiting at least 1 year after Bariatric surgery to pursue a pregnancy. You have undergone a major life change, completely re-organized your nutrition, and your body is going through hormonal changes. Pregnancy has been shown to be safer at lower BMI levels. So take your time, heal, and be the healthiest version of yourself for your future child.
We do discontinue oral contraceptive medication in postoperative patients for approximately 3 months to decrease the risk of blood clots, so please plan for alternative forms of contraception during this time. IUD’s may remain in place.
The majority of your weight loss will occur in the first 1-1.5 years. For the best long-term outcomes/satisfaction, we recommend that you wait to pursue any plastic surgery options for at least this long.
At that time, we can send a referral to a Plastic Surgeon in the area.
Insurance coverage for these procedures is variable.
Initially at 3 months postoperatively. Thereafter, if normal and taking regular vitamins, they will be checked annually. If they are abnormal, every 3 months. The majority of patients that take appropriate supplements do very well.
In some cases, Vitamin deficiency can be life-threatening and irreversible. Compliance with vitamin checks is extremely important.