You’ve invested considerable time and effort into your preparations for weight loss surgery. Deciding on a gastric bypass is a significant milestone in your personal wellness journey, so congratulations! One important step is planning for both your surgery and life after it. Getting the most out of a gastric bypass means being ready to adapt to the process, so here’s what you can expect after surgery and beyond.
Your Initial Recovery Period
The recovery period for gastric bypass surgery typically varies based on the size of your incision. You can expect to stay in the hospital for two to three days after surgery. After returning home, you’ll typically need an additional three to five weeks before you’re ready to resume your normal activities. Dr. Balsama will provide detailed instructions to follow during this time, and it’s extremely important to follow them so you can get the most out of your results!
Discovering What Works Best for Your Body
Part of your recovery process will involve learning how your body reacts to certain foods. It’s important to remember that gastric bypass will help you manage your weight. However, it can only do so when you’re willing to work with the surgery rather than fight against it. You’ll find that the biggest change will involve your relationship with food. Gastric bypass will ensure that you feel sated and full after a smaller amount of food so that you can avoid overeating. This will help you feel physically satisfied with much smaller portion sizes. You should keep in mind that there’s both a physical and psychological aspect to eating. Gastric bypass surgery can take care of the physical issues, but you’ll need some practice to adapt to the psychological changes in your relationship to food. For example, you might find that eating smaller meals on a more frequent basis will help you continue to enjoy meals while still losing weight. You’ll begin to adjust to this method ahead of your surgery so that you know what to expect and aren’t jarred by the transition.
The recovery period should also involve changes to your exercise routine and diet. As you lose weight, you’ll be able to handle a wider variety of exercises. Your overall mobility, flexibility, and endurance should increase as a result of weight loss. This can provide an opportunity to enjoy new ways of exercising. You’ll also want to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of nutrients from your meals. A reduction in portion size will often mean reducing nutrient intake, so it’s important to work with a dietitian while recovering from your gastric bypass.
Planning for Potential Side Effects
As with any surgery, you can expect some side effects during your recovery. Constipation is one of the most common side effects, usually as a result of prescribed medications that you’ll take afterward. You’ll want to discuss any concerns with Dr. Balsama, especially since your diet will be extremely important after your surgery
You should also try to avoid sugary food or beverages after your gastric bypass. In particular, the empty calories in soda, juice, and sports drinks can cause dumping syndrome. Sugar will move through your digestive system more rapidly after gastric bypass surgery. As this process occurs, it can cause severe nausea. Gallstones are also common among people who lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. 50% of the people who receive gastric bypass surgery will develop gallstones. These are usually harmless, but they can cause severe nausea and abdominal pain. A little under one in four people who develop gallstones will need to have them surgically removed.
Important Questions for Your Doctor
Dr. Balsama is your best resource for information about your surgery. Before your gastric bypass, you should go over any remaining concerns you might have. You should also make a point of asking about nutritional supplements. Gastric bypass can impair absorption of iron, B12, folate, calcium, and vitamin D. Not everyone will need additional supplements, but it’s an important topic to discuss before the surgery.
Schedule a Consultation
Gastric bypass can be an extremely effective way to lose significant weight for the long term. To learn more and meet with Dr. Balsama, we invite you to contact our Sewell office by calling or filling out our online form.