Bariatric Surgery FAQs
If you are considering bariatric surgery but have a lot of questions on your mind, we’re here to help. We’ve put together some of the more common questions patients ask about bariatric surgery.
How soon will I be able to walk after the procedure?
Your surgeon will ask you to start walking as early as the evening of the surgery and then continue walking every two to four hours starting from the day after the surgery for at least one week. This is the best way to speed up the recovery process.
When can I resume normal activity, including exercise?
Exercise is important to your overall health and for weight loss but it’s best to avoid any intensive activity until about 3 to 4 weeks after the procedure. During this time, however, you should continue walking regularly to maintain the lost weight. Your doctor will give you specific advice depending on your overall health, but in most cases, the recommendation is to walk at least 30 minutes a day to start with and slowly increase that to 45 minutes to one hour daily.
Can I go back to my normal diet after weight loss surgery?
There will be a few dietary restrictions immediately after the procedure. Your doctor will give you a detailed diet to follow but you can expect to be on a completely liquid diet for at least a week after your surgery. This is to avoid over-exerting the digestive system. During the second to fourth week, you will be able to add skim milk and protein shakes to your diet. From the fourth to sixth week, you will gradually keep adding first pureed foods into your diet, then soft foods. You will be able to eating solid foods around the sixth week.
Are there any restrictions on how much I can eat?
Yes, there are. Limiting your portion sizes is crucial to keeping the weight loss off. Bariatric surgery effectively shrinks the size of your stomach. This helps you feel full faster and prevents you from overeating, which is the key to successful weight loss. When you eat large portions after the procedure, you will experience severe discomfort accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea. This is because your new smaller stomach is unable to accommodate the large quantities of food. If you continue over-eating, it will stretch your stomach and after a while, you will regain all the weight you’ve lost.
Is sexual activity restricted after the surgery?
You can resume sexual intimacy as soon as your wound heals completely and you do not feel any discomfort. This could take about 5 to 6 weeks.
Can I get pregnant after the procedure?
Yes, you can but we advise waiting at least two years after the surgery before getting pregnant. You must consult your surgeon before the procedure for specific advice in this regard.
Will I need to stop smoking before the surgery? Why?
We ask our patients to stop smoking at least three months prior to the scheduled surgery date. Smoking hampers the healing process and increases the risk of infection and lung problems.
You should never undergo any surgery without being fully informed. If you have any additional questions, Dr. Choi and his team are always available to answer them before the procedure. They are also there to offer advice and support after the procedure. Call Dr. Choi today to get all the clarifications and answers you are looking for before or after your bariatric surgery.