01. Will I feel hungry or deprived of food?
With all obesity operations the sensation of feeling full after only a small amount of food ensures that patients do not feel hungry all the time. This is one of the reasons these operations are so successful. Many patients report how happy they are to experience this feeling of fullness.
02. Will I become too thin?
It is unlikely that you will lose all your excess weight. Some operations are more effective than others but with all of them, your weight loss will eventually stop.
03. What about loose skin?
Massive weight loss increases the chance of loose skin developing. The severity of this depends on many factors but is worse with greater weight loss, very rapid weight loss and in older people. It is an individual decision as to whether you undertake skin removal surgery however it is advisable to wait until all weight has been lost and your weight is stable before proceeding.
04. What about pregnancy?
Becoming pregnant can be easier as you lose weight. Your menstrual cycle may become more regular and fertility improves. Pregnancy is safe after all obesity operations but it would be advisable not to get pregnant within the first 6-12 months after surgery when weight loss is usually at its maximum.
05. Will I need to take vitamin supplements?
The use of vitamins and mineral supplements after bariatric surgery depends on the chosen procedure. Your bariatric team will advise you if you are required to take supplements. It is important to understand that a decision to have bariatric surgery may require life long supplementation and a commitment to monitoring your bloods regularly to keep you healthy.
06. What about other medication?
You should be able to take prescribed medication. Immediately after surgery, you may need to use capsules, convert to liquid medication, break big tablets in half or dissolve them in water so they do not get stuck. After a couple of weeks medications can usually be taken normally.
07. What about exercise?
Immediately after surgery you may struggle in terms of energy which makes exercise difficult. You will also be unable to lift anything heavier than 10kg in the first 6 weeks after surgery. Eventually, we will encourage you to partake in more physical activity and remember, as you lose weight exercise becomes more achievable. We do not prescribe or insist on gyms and exercise programs but we strongly advise patients to attempt some form of activity to improve weight loss and general health. For example, taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking a bit further away from the shops, doing more house work or gardening, etc. We do have connections with Exercise Physiologists who have experience with bariatric surgery patients and we are always happy to refer you to them.
08. What if I go out to eat?
Order only a small amount of food, such as an entree sized meal or kids portion, consider sharing a meal or take a container to bring left overs home. Eat slowly and be mindful of eating too fast especially if in conversation with others.
09. What about alcohol?
Alcohol has a high number of calories. It also breaks down vitamins; however, an occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage is not considered harmful to weight loss.
10. Can I eat chocolate or ice cream?
Unfortunately, yes you can. These foods are notorious for causing poor results with all obesity operations. They are essentially liquids which do not produce any sensation of fullness and large quantities can be consumed quite easily. They are typical “comfort” foods and usually require psychological input to rectify. Your treating bariatric team will refer you to a specialist psychologist associated with our practice if comfort and emotional eating is identified as a barrier to weight loss success.
11. Can I eat anything in moderation?
Once you are about 6 weeks post surgery you will be able to eat all foods. Every person is slightly different and after surgery sometimes your taste preferences will change. This is often helpful as sweet foods can taste too sweet and your favourite food may no longer be a temptation to you.
12. Will I suffer from constipation?
There may be some reduction in the volume of your stools, which is normal after a decrease in food intake because you eat less fibre. This should not cause you severe problems. This will be monitored by your bariatric team and advice given if difficulties do arise.
13. Will I vomit?
You should not vomit after bariatric surgery. Sometimes vomiting may just mean that you have eaten too quickly or too much. If vomiting persists you need to speak to your bariatric team.