Life After Bariatric Surgery

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Life After Bariatric Surgery

1. Diet

  • Immediately after bariatric surgery, the patient is restricted to a clear liquid diet, which includes food such as clear broth, diluted fruit juices or sugar-free gelatine desserts. This diet is continued until the gastrointestinal tract has partially recovered from the surgery. Diet is to be strictly followed and will be tailor-made for each patient
  • Food is to be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.
  • Avoid dessert or sugary items, carbonated drinks, high fat food and high fibre food.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Limit snacking between meals.

2. Return to work

  • This depends on the nature of work and associated co-morbid conditions.
  • Most patients return to work after a week and full activity within six weeks of the procedure.

3. Birth control and pregnancy

  • Preferable to avoid pregnancy for 12-18 months after the surgery
  • The reason is pregnancy places additional demands on the body.

4. Long term follow-up

  • Nutritional deficiencies may occur over the course of many years after surgery.
  • Anaemia, vitamin B-12 deficiency, reduced folate and iron levels can occur.
  • Follow-up with surgeon and blood tests are required:
    • Every month for 6 months
    • Every 3 months over the next 6 months
    • At least every 6 months during the second year
    • Long term bi-annually or at least once a year
  • It is important to attend periodic support group meetings to remain committed to weight loss