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.
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.
It is true that with massive weight loss, loose skin will develop. The severity of this depends on many factors. Generally loose skin is worse with greater weight loss, very rapid weight loss and older people. Most patients will not need to consider further surgery to have it removed but about 10% will.
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 6-12 months after surgery when weight loss is usually at its maximum.
You may. It depends on the type of surgery and the rate of weight loss. It’s possible you may not get enough vitamins from three small meals a day. At your regular check-ups, your specialist will evaluate whether you are getting enough vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron. Gastric bypass requires life long supplementation.
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.
We do not prescribe or insist on this but we strongly advize patients to attempt some form of exercise to improve the weight loss. This does not mean you have to be a gym junky, it means you should expend more energy doing things, for example taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking a bit further away from the shops, doing more house work or gardening, etc.
Order only a small amount of food, such as an entree sized meal, kids portion or consider sharing a meal. Eat slowly and be mindful of eating too fast especially if in conversation with others. Finish at the same time as your table companions. You might want to let your host or hostess know in advance that you cannot eat very much. All you can eat deals are not good value for money!!
Alcohol has a high number of calories. It also breaks down vitamins. An occasional glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage, though, is not considered harmful to weight loss.
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. It is usually better to sort this type of eating disorder out before contemplating obesity surgery.
After your stomach has healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat a little it is important to include foods full of important vitamins and nutrients such as those recommended in the nutrition section of this booklet and as advised by your surgeon and/or dietitian. If you eat foods that contain lots of sugar and fat or drink liquids full of “empty” calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the surgery may be greatly reduced or cancelled.
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. If difficulties do arise, let us know as soon as possible.
You should not vomit with these operations. Vomiting usually means there is something wrong. For gastric banding it often is caused by excessive tightness of the band, or a slippage of the band. You must return to your doctor/surgeon to get this checked. Many people believe excessive tightness of the band will give good weight loss, but in our experience this will cause people to eat high calorie liquids and soft foods such as ice cream and chocolate, or adopt a grazing habit and actually gain weight as a result. These people are particularly unhappy – they vomit frequently, can’t eat most solid foods and are not losing weight. The solution is simple – loosen the band.