Prevea Health

Success after bariatric surgery


Some people are concerned about keeping the weight off after surgery. It’s a valid concern. The more you put into your new lifestyle the more you will get out of it. Most people will regain some of their weight, but don’t let this deter you. The staff at Prevea is here to help guide you through it. Your doctor will monitor you closely with follow-up appointments at various stages of your recovery as well as yearly for the rest of your life. And, we host a bariatric support group that meets monthly, which you may find helpful.

To ensure your bariatric surgery is successful, you need to change some of the lifestyle habits you may have had prior to surgery. If you were a smoker, you can’t smoke for the rest of your life. You need to be careful with alcohol as it is purely liquid calories and the effects of alcohol will be stronger once you have a smaller stomach. You will no longer be able to take aspirin, NSAIDS or Pepto-Bismol on a regular basis as they increase your risk of getting ulcers in your stomach. You will no longer be able to gulp liquids as this fills your small stomach faster and increases the chance of adding air into your stomach.

Women can become pregnant post-surgery; however, the body needs to adjust to its new diet. Because the weight loss is so drastic and occurs over a short period of time it is important to wait 18 months before becoming pregnant.

Finally, you may be concerned about your physical appearance after losing a large amount of weight quickly. Most patients have some loose or sagging skin, but it is often temporary. Your body will change a lot between six and 18 months after surgery. Your individual appearance depends upon several things, including how much weight you lose, your age, your genetics and whether or not you exercise. Generally, loose skin is well-hidden by clothing. Many patients wear compression garments to help with appearance. Some patients will choose to have plastic surgery to remove excess skin. Most surgeons recommend waiting at least 18 months, but you can be evaluated before that. Plastic surgery for removal of excess abdominal and breast skin is often covered by insurance for reasons of moisture, hygiene and rash issues. Arms and other areas may not be covered if they are considered “purely cosmetic" by your insurer.

When considering any surgery it is important to understand what it takes to remain successful and feel good about the results. Learn more about bariatric surgery benefits or determine if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery. If you think bariatric surgery is something you would like to learn more about, you can schedule an appointment with a bariatric surgeon, attend one of our free bariatric surgery seminars or attend a bariatric surgery support group to learn more.

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