Contrary to what many people believe, any form of invasive weight loss surgery is going to change your life. After your surgery, your old routines just aren’t going to cut it, especially with your new smaller stomach. The new dietary changes given to you by your health care professional are only the beginning. Unless you want to find yourself back in the hospital or regaining the weight, you need to prepare yourself for the changes that are coming after the surgery.
After Effects of Gastric Band Surgery
Lap, or gastric, band surgery will require that you consider your stomach to be the size of a baby’s stomach. Your “new” stomach will never hold more than 4 to 6 ounces at each meal, meaning you must take small bites and chew slowly. Your stomach is basically relearning how to eat, and the doctor will prescribe protein and vitamin shakes to keep you healthy, since you won’t be able to take in enough solid food to meet nutrition requirements. You may also need to puree foods for the first few weeks until your body learns how to handle solid foods.
People with the gastric band find that they lose about one-to-three pounds a week. There may be feelings of hungriness as the stomach begins to heal. After six to eight weeks, the doctor may fill the band with saline to tighten the band and help speed up your weight loss. Each time this happens, you will need to help your stomach relearn how to handle solid foods. Things you may experience with the gastric band include vomiting, nausea, and bleeding.
After Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery
This invasive surgery makes your stomach the size of a walnut and it takes a considerable amount of time to get your body used to its new stomach. Weight loss in the first few months is quick, and your body can experience a myriad of side effects and changes.
Vomiting and stomach pain are common occurrences for the first few months after surgery. The stomach is not only relearning how to eat but going through the recovery process at the same time. This surgery can also cause flu like symptoms, mood changes, and dry skin. The rapid weight loss you will likely experience often causes thinning hair.
Dumping syndrome is a problem that may affect some patients after having gastric bypass surgery. It is the result of food passing too quickly into the small intestine, usually table sugar or other sweets. It can also occur as a result of eating too much at one time. Symptoms include rapid heart beat and diarrhea.
With all of the negative side effects come some positive body changes. Within the first two years, many people report a decrease in cholesterol and blood pressure, improvement with Type 2 diabetes, and a reduction in gastroesophageal reflux disease, and sleep apnea.
Mental and Emotional Changes
Besides the obvious physical changes made to the body, many people report an increased level of self-esteem and self-confidence after weight loss surgery. The increased mobility, ability to buy smaller clothes, and the feeling that not everyone is judging you based on your weight helps improve mental health. Many people credit weight loss surgery for both the physical and emotional changes that happen to their body.