Bariatric surgery is a high-risk surgery that requires pre-surgical planning and post-surgical care.
Once you have been successfully evaluated and recommended for bariatric surgery, there are pre-surgery regulations about what your diet plans, drinking, medicines you take. If you are a smoker, you might be instructed to stop smoking. You might be asked to lose a certain amount of weight before your surgery as well as comply with an exercise regimen.
With a successful weight-loss surgery, you can expect long-term weight loss. Within two years of your operation, it is possible to lose up to half of your excess weight.
You can expect to be under general anesthesia for bariatric surgery and a hospital stay of up to a few days. Some operations require an abdominal incision and others are done using a laparoscope, which is a small tubular instrument with a small camera attached. Laparoscopic bariatric surgery can mean a shorter recovery time, and your surgical team will determine if this is a suitable surgery for you.
The main types of bariatric surgery include a gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND®, Roux-en-Y, and duodenal switch. Your surgical team will assess which weight-loss surgery is best for your specific situation. This will be decided and discussed with you before your surgery.
After surgery, initial recovery will take a few days. You will not be given anything solid at first so that your stomach and digestive tract can start to heal and normalize. Once you start with the nutrition, it will be in liquid form and gradually progress to soft and then regular food. You will have specific guidelines regarding how much and how often to eat and drink. It is essential to your best recovery to follow these restrictions carefully. It is also critical that you comply with long-term recommendations to ensure weight loss as well as a healthy recovery.
Frequent medical and health checks, including weight checks and blood work, are part of your weight-loss surgery recovery as well. You might have some of the following body reactions as your body adjusts, including aches, tiredness, dry skin, hair thinning or hair loss, and even changes in your mood.
The good news is that along with weight loss; bariatric surgery can also mean the resolution of related medical conditions including reflux, heart disease, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
There are a variety of complications that can happen as a result of bariatric surgery including excessive bleeding, infection, blood clots, bowel obstruction, gallstones, hernias, stomach perforation, vomiting, and in some rare cases, death.