What To Expect

The method of weight loss is the restriction of oral intake because the stomach becomes full with small amounts of food. Additionally, in patients having the gastric bypass procedure, weight loss also occurs through mal absorption of nutrients as a portion of the small intestine is bypassed and no longer used.

Most gastric bypass patients experience fairly rapid weight loss in the first 3 to 6 months after surgery. Weight loss slows, but generally continues up to 12 to 18 months after surgery, averaging 65 to 75 percent of excess body weight. After 18 months it is critical to adhere to the low-fat, low sugar diet and exercise program and the fitness training as directed by our staff.

With the LAP-BAND ® weight loss is generally slower and more gradual compared to the gastric bypass. Weight loss may continue for up to two years.

In order to successfully lose weight and maintain a lower weight, the patient must adhere to a lifelong low-fat, low-calorie diet. The success with this surgery is approximately 65-70 percent of excess body weight loss over 12 to 18 months. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of patients lose less than a desired amount of weight. The successful patient is one who is able to maintain a low-fat, low-calorie diet and maintain some degree of regular exercise. Our dietitian is available for all post-operative patients to assist patients with dietary selection.

Weight-reduction surgery has been reported to improve conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Many patients report an improvement in mood and other aspects of psychosocial functioning after surgery.

KEY TO REMEMBER

Behavior Change
Behavior Change is necessary. Simply having the surgery will not result in behavior change. You must be an active participant in behavior change. We have a dedicated psychologist, Dr. Rhonda Jessim, who can help you before and after surgery.

Physical Activity
Physical Activity will be required daily. We have a dedicated gym and fitness program for our post-operative bariatric patients that will help you increase your metabolism and be healthier.

After Surgery
After the surgery, you will have to follow a low-calorie, low fat, low sugar diet for the rest of your life in order to keep off the weight you lose. It is possible to gain back the weight that you lose if you do not follow the lifestyle changes recommended by your doctor and/or dietitian.

Three Small Meals Per Day
Eat only three small meals per day. Portion control is critical. The small stomach pouch can only hold about ½ cup. At 8 to 10 weeks after surgery meals are about ½ cup. By 7 to 8 months after your surgery, meals will be limited to about 1 cup total. Long term, meals should never be larger than 1-½ cups total with limited or very light snacks. Overeating may cause the pouch to stretch, thus canceling the effect of the operation.

Eat Slowly
It is recommended that you take 30 minutes to eat each meal. Use a small spoon or small fork to help limit bite sizes. If you rush your meal you may eat too much. Chew your food thoroughly, 15-20 times per bite, to prevent food from getting stuck as it passes through the stoma (the area where your stomach passes food to the small intestine). Stop eating as soon as you feel full. Learn to recognize the feeling of fullness. Vomiting may occur after surgery. This is usually because of eating too fast or too much, not chewing food properly, or drinking liquids with meals or right after. It is rarely a complication of the surgery itself.

Absolutely No Beverages With Meals
Do not drink any beverages 20-30 minutes before or 1 to 2 hours after meals. This will help to keep you feeling full as long as possible. Drink at least eight 8-ounce cups (64 ounces total) of water during the day to help eliminate the waste products produced by fat loss. You will need to sip water throughout the day in order to take in enough around your meals. Drink only water or no calorie or low-calorie beverages, such as Crystal Light. Liquids run straight through the stoma and can slow or stop weight loss.

Do Not Drink Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages can possibly increase the pouch size by the effect of their gas especially right after surgery.

Vitamins
It is recommended that you take vitamin and mineral supplements daily to ensure you meet your nutritional needs.

Avoid Fibrous Foods
Avoid fibrous foods and other foods that you are unable to chew thoroughly, such as red meats, celery, asparagus, popcorn, soft breads, and white rice.