You’ve Had Weight Loss Surgery, Now What?


At a high level, it's easy to understand what happens after weight loss surgery, right? You have a procedure, such as lap band surgery, and you lose weight. Simple, right?

Wrong.

Yes, most people who undergo weight loss surgery lose weight–but it's certainly not simple. It's a process that involves recovery, significant lifestyle changes, potential complications and then: weight loss.

Here's a closer look at what you can expect after weight loss surgery:

You’ve Had Weight Loss Surgery, Now What? Recovery
After a procedure such as lap band surgery, most people spend at least two days in the hospital. This gives doctors a chance to make sure the procedure went as planned and allows incisions to heal. Once you've gone home, you'll need to take it easy for three to five weeks. You'll be up and moving, but you'll want to avoid any strenuous activities.

Lifestyle
For your procedure to be successful, you'll have to change your diet significantly. Initially, you'll eat (drink) mostly liquids. Eventually, you'll be able to re-introduce more "normal" foods back into your diet–but your portions will shrink considerably. After a while, you'll want to get on a regular exercise routine. This will help maximize the benefits of the procedure–and keep you healthy.

On the other hand, you'll probably start to feel more energetic, and your risk for serious health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and even sleep apnea goes down significantly.

Potential complications
Of course there is risk that comes with undergoing a weight loss procedure such as lap band surgery. You'll want to make sure your incisions heal correctly and don't become infected. Constipation can occur, and so can the development of gallstones. You also may have excess skin, which can be dealt with through surgery. The good news is that relatively few people who have surgery (about 5 percent) have serious complications.

Weight loss
The ultimate goal, of course, is to lose weight. If you adjust your lifestyle and stay healthy, your chances of reaching your goal are good. Most people lose about 60 percent of their excess weight after surgery. And that's more good news!