What can you expect after bariatric surgery?

Weight loss surgery can drastically improve patients' quality of life and reduce the risk of obesity-related conditions. Whether you have concerns about returning to work or what diet you should follow after your procedure, the bariatric specialists at the Bariatric & Metabolic Institute are here to help you maximize the results of your weight loss surgery.

To learn more about diet and life after your bariatric surgery, use our Ask a Nurse free, 24-hour nurse line.

Post-bariatric surgery diet

After your bariatric surgery, you will need to make permanent changes to your eating habits to experience successful weight loss. It is important that you adhere strictly to your surgeon’s instructions. The following are some of the generally accepted dietary guidelines after bariatric surgery:

  • When you start eating solid food, it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other types of meat if they are not ground or chewed.
  • Do not drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have consumed enough protein.
  • Omit desserts and other items with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milkshakes and foods with a high fat or high fiber content.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid gum.
  • Limit snacking between meals.

Returning to work after your bariatric procedure

Your ability to resume pre-surgery levels of activity will vary according to your physical condition, the nature of the activity and the type of weight loss surgery you had. Many patients return to pre-surgery levels of activity within six weeks of their procedures. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to return to these activities within a few weeks.

Pregnancy after bariatric surgery

It is recommended for women to wait 18 months after surgery before getting pregnant. This is to ensure the safest pregnancy for you and your baby.

In addition, a child born after the mother's surgery is less likely to be affected by obesity later in life due to the activation of specific genes during fetal growth. There is also less risk of the mother needing a cesarean section.

Frequently asked questions about bariatric surgery recovery

Although no two patients' recovery from weight loss surgery is the same, there are some common questions that candidates for bariatric surgery .

How soon after surgery may I return to work?

How quickly you return to work will vary according to your physical condition, the level of activity your job requires and the type of weight loss surgery you had. Most patients are able to resume their jobs within two to four weeks of their procedure.

Will my activities be limited after surgery?

Patients are encouraged to become physically active as soon as possible after surgery. Before exercising, it is important to listen to your surgeon and your body. Keep in mind, exercise is a key component to weight loss success.

Will I lose my hair after bariatric surgery?

Patients commonly see hair loss three to six months after surgery, but it is usually temporary. Adequate intake of protein, vitamins and minerals are important for hair re-growth and avoidance of long-term thinning.