Bariatric Surgery Post-Op Guidelines

If you have undergone bariatric surgery, you will need to make some adjustments to your diet and lifestyle. We have put together some guidelines to ensure your surgery is as safe as possible with the greatest chance of success.

The Detroit Weight Loss Center is helping many patients post-bariatric surgery. If you would like to see how we can assist you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Movitz in Southfield, MI today!

Dietary Guidelines After Bariatric Surgery

Directly after your bariatric surgery, you will be put on a special diet by your weight loss surgeon. The following are some guidelines:

Post-Surgery Diet

Your bariatric surgery team usually restricts you to a liquid diet for several weeks. In time, you will gradually progress to pureed foods made in your blender or food processor. You will then move from soft foods to solid foods.

Hydration

It is essential to drink plenty of liquids after surgery. You should have a daily goal of 64 ounces or more to prevent complications like nausea, kidney issues, constipation, and fatigue.

Protein Intake

Taking in sufficient protein is very important following bariatric surgery. You should aim for between 60 to 100 grams per day. Inadequate protein consumption may lead to weakness and muscle loss, posing serious risks.

Avoid High-Sugar and Starchy Foods

Foods rich in sweets can cause an unpleasant condition called dumping syndrome. This can cause diarrhea (dumping), dizziness, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and fatigue.

What Vitamins and Minerals Will I Need After Bariatric Surgery?

Following any bariatric surgery, you must continue taking vitamin and mineral supplements for life. These will include a multivitamin, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Iron. 

The quantities will be determined according to the surgery you had. Poor compliance with the recommended nutrition supplementation regimen and bloodwork schedule can result in severe and potentially life-threatening health issues due to abnormal levels of essential nutrients.

Our Coaching Corner at the Detroit Weight Loss Center can provide the nutritional help you need following bariatric surgery.

Post Bariatric Surgery Exercise

Most patients experience increased energy after their surgery, which can make regular exercise seem more appealing. Gradual walking, starting shortly after surgery, aids in a faster recovery. Consult with the surgeon before initiating intense exercise. Once started, aim for an average of 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily to establish a healthy routine and maintain weight loss.

Adjustments to Medications After Weight Loss Surgery

Many bariatric weight loss patients will need to adjust the medication they are taking after bariatric surgery. Surgery can help with many medical problems; therefore, medications may be stopped or doses may be reduced. Your primary doctor will work together with your bariatric surgeon to determine these changes.

You may also need to change the form of the medication you’re taking. Those who have undergone bariatric surgery may have a reduced stomach size or different absorption rates in their digestive system, which may alter their medication requirements.

It is important to note that NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be dangerous for gastric bypass patients.

Stop Smoking and Alcohol

Quitting tobacco or nicotine products is typically required before weight loss surgery. Nicotine can cause problems during recovery from surgery, such as difficulties healing, blood clots, life-threatening infections, and other serious health conditions.

Alcohol use after surgery poses increased risks due to quicker absorption and prolonged presence in the bloodstream. Bariatric surgery patients are at a heightened risk of alcohol-related issues, including increased susceptibility to alcoholism. In addition, alcohol can result in stomach ulcers and may contribute to other major health complications. 

Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

Many studies suggest improved fertility after bariatric surgery. Although pregnancy outcomes generally improve after bariatric surgery, nutritional and surgical complications, as well as perinatal complications, can occur and are at greatest risk during the period of rapid weight loss. 

Therefore, it is recommended to wait at least 18 months after surgery to begin attempts at conception. The risk of oral contraceptive failure is increased after bariatric surgery, so non-oral administration should be considered.

Follow Up Appointments

Obesity is a chronic disease requiring regular follow-up even after surgery. Initial post-surgery follow-ups occur every few months for the first year, focusing on weight loss, nutrition, and lifestyle. These are followed by yearly visits with a bariatric specialist for life. Dr. Movitz recommends long-term follow-up at Detroit Weight Loss Center.

Given the chronic nature of being overweight, continuous monitoring is essential. Long-term follow-up may involve additional treatments, such as weight loss medications, lifestyle advice, or further surgery, depending on individual needs.

Schedule Your Consultation Today

The Detroit Weight Loss Center in Southfield, Michigan, can help you with all you need following bariatric surgery. We can help you establish an effective exercise program and provide you with the nutritional support or supplementation you need. Book an appointment with Dr. Blake Movitz today for a successful journey on your road to weight loss!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Blake Movitz, MD, FACS

Dr. Blake Movitz

Dr. Blake Movitz

Fellowship trained from the Mayo Clinic in Minimally Invasive Advanced GI Surgery, Complex Endoscopy and Bariatric Surgery.