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After you have had bariatric (weight-loss) surgery, you will only achieve and maintain your weight-loss goals and your health by doing the following:
- Follow dietary guidelines
- Take vitamin/mineral supplements
- Follow up with us
- Avoid smoking
- Take NSAIDs precautions
- Wait before considering plastic surgery
Any time you have a question or concern, please call us at 412.235.5900.
Weight loss after surgery will slow down and eventually level out at approximately 12 to18 months after surgery. Most people "bottom out" then gain about 5-10 pounds, so don't be worried when this happens. After you've "leveled out," you can maintain your weight if you continue eating the same way you have been for the past 18 months, exercising regularly, and taking your vitamins.
You should not increase your portion size or eat more frequently. If you do, you will gain weight. You must continue to follow all of the diet and vitamin/mineral supplementation rules and to be active/exercise regularly to achieve and maintain the best results of surgery.
Avoid 'grazing' on food all day and avoid starches when possible. Eat small portions of healthy foods (protein, vegatables, fruits) slowly. Slow down and decrease portion sizes.
Weight problems are life-long problems. Patients should not feel embarrased or ashamed if they are regaining weight. Call us!
After weight-loss surgery, you need to take your multivitamin and supplements of vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, and iron for life.
You must take vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life, to avoid nerve and brain problems (some of which can be permanent), low red blood cell levels (anemia, which causes fatigue), and other problems.
Patients need to follow-up with us yearly for blood work, weight and diet check-up, and for us to see how you're doing.
We are here to help - we will try to get you 'back on track' if necessary. Keep a food diary as a start. Some patients may be candidates for revisional surgery to 'fix' a problem as well.
It is also important for you to call us with any 'stomach problem' (nausea, pain, vomiting) you may develop no matter how far out from surgery you are. Even though thousands of people have had similar surgery, many physicians and surgeons do not understand all of the aspects of this surgery. So please call us with any problems.
Patients should always try to quit smoking. Patients who smoke are highly likely to develop ulcers. Symptoms of an ulcer can include abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty with eating, and bleeding. Ulcers can also perforate and require emergency surgery.
Any patient who does smoke needs to take a daily antacid medication, such as Prilosec, Nexium, or Protonix, to decrease their risk of ulcers. Any patient with these symptoms should call our office for further evaluation. An upper endoscopy may be required if symptoms persist after medical treatment. Most ulcers due to smoking will not heal until the patient quits smoking.
Patients who need to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naprosyn sodium) for arthritis or another medical problem are also at risk for ulcers and need to take a daily antacid medication on those days that NSAIDs are taken.
After losing 100 or more pounds, many people have excess skin. This skin can be anywhere, but the most common place is the abdomen, thighs, and upper arms. Many people chose to have this taken care of by plastic surgery.
We recommend that you wait until at least 1 to1.5 years after surgery, or until your weight has reached a plateau. We have a plastic surgeon speak at our support group meetings a number of times throughout the year.