What Precautions and Diet to Follow After Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery may be the only option for people who remain severely obese after adhering to strict low-calorie diet and physical exercise regime. Men who are at least 100 pounds overweight and women who are at least 80 pounds overweight can opt for obesity surgery.

Also called weight loss surgery, bariatric surgery is an operation on the stomach and/or intestines that helps morbidly obese people to lose excessive weight.

The obesity surgery includes a variety of procedures including gastric bypass surgery, vertical sleeve gastrectomy, lap band surgery, gastric banding or the gastric sleeve.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends obesity surgery for people with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 40, and for people with BMI 35 and serious obesity-related medical conditions such as sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes.

Over the course of the past decade, weight loss surgery has grown in popularity. Using the most advanced technology and state-of-the-art surgical equipments, bariatric surgeons have started performing it laparoscopically, making the procedure less invasive.

Post Obesity Surgery Precautions

However, like any other surgical procedure, weigh loss surgery too carries some risks and complications. So you are advised to take proper precautions after going under the knife for weight reduction that requires certain change to the lifestyle, eating habits, exercise plans and day-to-day activities of the individual.

Soon after the surgery, you are advised to avoid any strenuous activity, and wait for four- to six-week to resume your regular exercise program.

Adhere to the habit of eating more protein, eating less and eating healthy, in order to continue your weight loss. Start with a clear liquid diet including water, clear soup, gelatin based food like jelly, and strained fruit juice.

Once you start tolerating these, thicker liquids and purees can be started. Immediately after your surgery, it will generally take about 9-12 weeks for you to gradually progress to eating solid foods. It is very important that you move on to semi-solid and solid diet only after your bariatric surgeon or dietician asks you to do so.

Eating too quickly or too much after weight loss surgery can cause nausea, vomiting and malabsorption or diarrhea. Make sure that you chew your food well, in order to make food easy to digest.

Vitamin and mineral supplements, especially Vitamin B-12, calcium citrate, iron and folate should be taken on a regular basis as your surgically modified stomach and intestine will no longer be able to absorb these nutrients.

You must avoid at all costs sugar immediately after any kind of weight loss surgery. Likewise consuming sweetened and/or carbonated beverages is not at all a good idea following the surgery.

Avoid taking a tub bath or doing any strenuous activity until you are healed from your surgery. However, walking is a required activity at this

stage of your recovery.

If you fail to comply with your surgeon's or dietician's recommended diet and exercise regimen, it may lead to weight gain even after weight loss surgery and could cause other related health problems. So, make sure to consult with your surgeon and/or dietitian before progressing through the phases of your post surgery bariatric diet.

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Bariatric Living and Recipes is managed by Frances Osborne, Austin Texas