What Happens after Bariatric Surgery?

Medically Reviewed by Katelyn J. Mock, US-Registered Dietician (R.D.)

It is normal to be nervous before surgery. What do you need to be prepared for? What things do you need to take care of? Our US-registered dietitian talks about ways to overcome anxiety and other pre-bariatric surgery jitters.

Lifestyle Changes after Bariatric Surgery

After the surgery, especially after the gastric sleeve, they take about 80% of the stomach away. So can your stomach stretch to its previous size? No. But it can still get very big.

If you have been eating out of habit, you’re familiar with the feeling of being really full. However, after bariatric surgery, you may not have that feeling. If you push yourself to reach that limit then you could be in trouble.

In the first 2-6 months, you’ll be restricted to about 10 bites of soup before feeling full. But gradually as you start tolerating solid food, you’ll reach the desired limit of food intake.

Lifestyle Changes After Bariatric Surgery

What To Do After Weight Loss Surgery

  • Stop eating more when you begin to feel that tightening in your stomach.
  • Eat mindfully.
  • Don’t eat in-between meals.
  • If you feel like eating junk food, include them with your portion of healthy food.

Drink a lot of fluids. You’ll stay well hydrated and less hungry. Do keep in mind that liquids get digested faster which means you drink more. At this point, it is important to drink low-calorie drinks.

If you are not eating a lot but you are getting these 600 calorie venti cappuccino drinks from Starbucks, you are probably going to gain weight.

Weight Maintenance After Bariatric Surgery

Post-Weight Loss Surgery – Different People Respond Differently

Be mindful of hormonal changes too. The body goes through a lot of changes after bariatric surgery. Some people have more of a reaction to the gut changes after surgery than others.

Some people don’t have any appetite or any hunger pains for a few months or maybe even a year. Some people have hunger pains immediately or, those hunger pains kind of change and ebb away with time. All of that is completely normal.

Don’t worry about your surgery. Keep in touch with your PCP and eat healthily!

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