It is incredibly important to understand the necessary steps needed to heal successfully after bariatric surgery – here are 5 tips to promote recovery.
Bariatric surgery, often called weight-loss surgery, is a safe and effective treatment for obesity. There are various types of bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery recovery can be somewhat difficult, so it’s important to know ahead of time what to expect so you can make the plans you need to recuperate as fully and healthfully as possible.
In this article, we’ll talk about the different types of bariatric surgery as well as some tips for healing as you adjust to the new aspects of your body.
Types of Bariatric Surgery
While the various types of bariatric surgery are quite different from one another, they are often lumped together as just “weight-loss surgery” in conversation. Some are more invasive than others, however, so it’s important to know exactly which type you will have. Here are three of the most common:
1. Sleeve Gastrectomy:
This is a procedure where the stomach, which is usually the size of a football, is reduced to a pouch the size of a banana. The part of the stomach that makes the hunger hormone is largely removed, so it helps to reduce cravings. It also makes it physically difficult to take in a large amount of food at once.
2. Roux en Y Gastric Bypass:
This is the procedure that is often simply called, “gastric bypass.” The stomach is cut into a small pouch and the first part of the small intestine is bypassed, or skipped when the food goes from the stomach to the intestine. Because the first part of the intestine won’t be processing your food, less of it will absorb and you will feel less hungry overall.
3. Gastric Band:
In this procedure, a silicone band is placed over the stomach to reduce the amount of food that you can eat at once. It does not affect your hunger or absorption and it can be reversed if necessary. This means that it’s less likely to cause complications than the other procedures but it’s also a bit less effective.
There are other types of bariatric surgery, as well. For example, sometimes the sleeve gastrectomy is combined with a bypass approach. Your surgeon will come up with a treatment plan that is right for you and your specific situation.
Tips to Heal Successfully After Bariatric Surgery
The most important part of a successful recovery after bariatric surgery is to have realistic expectations. Talk to your surgeon about what to expect and how long they expect you to have pain, trouble eating, and so on. The specifics will depend on which type of surgery you are having, what your health is like before your procedure, and other factors.
#1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Directions
In the days immediately after bariatric surgery, you will have specific instructions to adhere to regarding what you can eat and drink and also what type of movement you should be doing. If you are restricted to clear liquids, do not attempt to eat anything. If you can eat two tablespoons of food, don’t try to eat more. Just do what your doctor and nurses suggest to avoid causing damage to your new stomach or experiencing pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
You will need to be up and moving around to the extent possible after your surgery. This can prevent constipation and, more importantly, deep vein thrombosis, which can lead to potentially fatal lung embolisms. You might need to wear compression stockings, as well. The bottom line is to listen to your doctors.
#2. Plan on Resting
You are going to need to rest a lot after bariatric surgery. One reason is that you’ve just had surgery! Your body needs time to heal. The other reason is that you will not be taking in as many calories as you normally do, so you will feel tired and won’t have a lot of energy at first as you adjust to your new calorie intake.
Make sure that you have a comfortable bed to rest in and a lot of pillows. You might need to support different areas of your body with pillows to keep yourself comfortable. You will also want to be sure that you have books, magazines, television shows, and other quiet entertainment available while you rest and heal.
#3. Make Sure You Have Help
The first few days after your surgery, you might need help getting into a standing position. You may also need assistance showering or bathing and getting dressed. If you will be recuperating at home, a family member or close friend is the ideal person to ask to help you with these things. Staying at a recovery center like Pearl will allow you to relax while knowing that there is a dedicated private duty nursing staff available to help you with these basic living activities until you can do them fully on your own.
#4. Consume Healthy Calories
Once you are able to begin eating, you will want to avoid any empty calories and focus only on those that will give you the best and most nutritious bang for your buck. Your doctor and nutritionist will advise you, but stay away from salty, sugary, and fatty foods in favor of lean proteins, healthy sources of fat, and vitamin-filled produce that you can tolerate well. Again, in the beginning, you might need help putting together the meals you can eat. At Pearl Recovery Retreat, we have a chef on staff who will create and present beautiful and nutrition-packed meals for you.
#5. Be Patient With Yourself
Your surgery was invasive, and it will take some time to feel better. In addition, you’re operating on fewer calories and working on losing weight to become a healthier version of you. Don’t be hard on yourself after bariatric surgery; assume that it will take a while. Your weight loss might be slower than you expect or you might be frustrated when you can’t physically do the things you want to do right away. Talk to your doctors and also the nurses at Pearl Recovery Retreat to help you keep it all in perspective as you look forward to a healthier life!