Post-Bariatric Health and Lifestyle Tips

Bariatric surgery transforms patients and provides hope for a long and healthy life.  It’s important for patients to be educated regarding the effects of bariatric surgery.  Here are some health and lifestyle tips to help prepare you for the transformation process.

Many patients who undergo weight loss surgery are on medications.  After surgery, prescription and over-the-counter drugs may not be absorbed in the same manner they were before.  Right after surgery, Dr. Frenzel will discuss the necessary changes to your medications so that you do not end up harming your body trying to help.

Lap Band and Gastric sleeve patients do not typically need changes.  However, talk to Dr. Frenzel before starting any medication.

Weight loss surgery affects your entire lifestyle.  From the medications you absorb to the type of exercises you can engage in, talk to Dr. Frenzel about what to expect after bariatric surgery.  Physical activity directly following surgery should be limited.  However, as your recovery progresses, your fitness goals and weight management will allow for an increase in exercise.

You can accomplish a lot by walking, swimming, and using exercise cardio machines—the elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc.  Consider taking about 150 minutes each week to exercise.  As you exercise, make sure you are staying hydrated and checking your blood pressure.  Do not overexert yourself—the transformation process should be slow and steady.

Walking can begin immediately after surgery, unless Dr. Frenzel advises against it.  If you wait to begin exercising until you have fully recovered, the recovery process will actually be prolonged.  Do not overexert, but begin walking and retraining your body.  Your exercise is restricted to aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises.  Do not begin lifting weights, straining your abdomen, doing push-ups and pull-ups until Dr. Frenzel clears you.

After bariatric surgery, many patients have high expectations for immediate gratification.  Dr. Frenzel will discuss your recovery and weight loss process, which includes gradual results.  Your life will change drastically after weight loss surgery.  You will see changes in your energy levels, mental health,  body image.  Make sure you have a realistic expectation of the results you will experience—excess, sagging skin, gradual progress, etc.  Expect to see weight plateaus in increments.  This does not mean your weight loss surgery was not successful.  Be patient and you will see the results you’ve been dreaming of!

Other expectations weight loss patients should have include sleep and stress factors.  During your recovery and post-bariatric journey, getting a healthy amount of sleep is necessary.  This is known as sleep hygiene.  Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it.  You can benefit from a regular sleep time.  When patients do not get enough sleep, they suffer in their overall health and wellness.

Bariatric surgery requires a lot of pre-planning, thought, and effort.  Talk to Dr. Frenzel to discuss the lifestyle changes required and determine which weight loss surgery is best for you.