Weight loss surgery is a big decision. It’s not something to be taken lightly. After the surgery, your life will change in many ways. You’ll have to adjust to your new body, learn how to eat and exercise differently, and deal with any emotional issues. But if you’ve made the decision to have weight loss surgery, there are some things you should expect afterward. Here are a few of them:
Patients usually stay in the hospital for at least two days if the operation they underwent is minimally invasive. You should expect a few side effects in the early days or weeks after the surgery. Just remember that they are completely normal after surgery and happen to people with varying effects.
There are quite a few short-term and long-term complications that you will possibly experience. The long-term risks vary according to how invasive your operation is. Luckily, complications only have a small chance of occurring in weight loss surgery. Just remember to always check in with your doctor if you experience one of these side effects:
Constipation: This is common after surgery. You can talk to your doctor, who will give you tips on how to handle it properly. It would help if you remembered not to eat granular fiber as it can cause obstructions to your bowel, which can complicate the situation more.
Dumping Syndrome: This usually happens if you eat sugary meals after surgery. The most common culprits are sodas and fruit juices. This happens because the sugary food you intake rushes through your digestive system, making you go to the toilet more, along with bouts of nausea, weakness, and vomiting. Again, it’s normal, but you should let your doctor know.
Gallstones: Gallstones are common when your body loses weight quickly. More or less half of the people who undergo weight loss surgery experience gallstones, so it’s pretty standard. They are usually harmless and benign, but sometimes, they can cause nausea, vomiting, and even abdominal pain. At least an eighth of the people who undergo weight-loss surgery undergo another surgery to remove these gallstones.
Wound Infections: Wound infections can happen within three weeks after the surgery. If you see that your stitches appear to be red or at least warm, you should let your doctor know. This is even more so if you notice drainage of pus around it.
Bleeding in Stool: Bleeding in stool is usually indicated as having stool that appears to be reddish or black. Usually, they are benign, but they can also be a symptom of something serious. You should let your doctor know immediately if this happens.
Health Benefits and Lifestyle Changes
Enough with the side effects, as there are also a lot of health benefits, we should talk about. While most of the health benefits of weight-loss surgery happen over time, some manifest immediately, and the most notable are improvements to diabetes.
In addition, you can also experience lowering your blood pressure, less painful bouts of arthritis, lowering your cholesterol, and even improving your sleep apnea. However, you need to work if you want those health benefits. Two of the things you can do are exercise and proper dieting. Exercise is self-explanatory, but you need to eat balanced meals in terms of proper dieting.
Also, it would help if you change your eating habits, like eating small but frequent meals daily. Your stomach can only handle so much after the surgery, so eating larger meals may harm your body.
You may get dramatic weight loss after the surgery, but you still have to work for it if you want to keep those extra weights away. One of the things you can do is exercise. While some people believe that exercising immediately is counterproductive after having surgery, it’s one of the most effective ways of recovery.
Don’t worry; it’s not extensive exercise like running or jogging. Instead, it is exercises that you can do on your bed. In fact, in these exercises, you will be assisted by doctors and nurses.
For example, beginning the first night after the surgery, you can sit up and dangle your feet. Then, if you’re comfortable enough, your nurse will help you stand up to your feet at your bedside. This may hurt, but it’ll become easier over time.
After that, if you’re strong enough, your doctor will ask you to stand up and walk. You can walk up for short distances at least three times a day. You can even incorporate breathing exercises as you walk. Of course, you will be assisted by your nurse or physical therapist throughout.
Weight loss surgeries are a godsend because some of us can’t lose weight even after months of proper dieting and exercise. It may be god-sent, but just like the alternatives, you must still work hard if you want to keep your body after the surgery. It’s going to be challenging, but it’s well worth it.