Q: How much weight will I lose after surgery?

Patients who follow their diet and exercise regimen after surgery usually lose between 50 and 85 percent of excess body weight. However, neglecting your regimen could cause you to gain weight back. Dedicating yourself to a lifetime of healthy choices increases your chances of losing the weight and keeping it off.

Q: How many meals will I need to eat each day?

We recommend that you eat six small meals every day rather than a typical three-meals each day. Doing so cuts down on snacking and can give your metabolism a boost. Over time, your stomach will allow you to eat slightly larger meals. Make sure that every meal you do eat is high in protein. Consult your nutritionist or physician for more specific recommendations.

Q: When will I be able to eat and drink at the same time?

The answer is never. Now that you’ve had weight-loss surgery, eating and drinking at the same time will flush food out of your stomach. This can cause you to overeat since it’ll feel like your stomach can hold more food than it allows. We recommend drinking 30 minutes before a meal or 30 minutes after a meal to avoid this sensation.

Q: Can I drink diet sodas or carbonated beverages?

No, avoid carbonated and caffeine beverages. Carbonation can cause the reduced size of your stomach to stretch, while caffeine sparks your appetite. Both can prevent you from losing weight.

Q: What kind of vitamins should I take?

  • One Multivitamin twice a day
  • One sublingual B12 per day
  • 1500-2000 mg of calcium citrate per day
  • For women: 18-27 mg of iron per day
  • For men: 10-12 mg of iron per day

Be sure the vitamins you take are chewable or in liquid form.

Q: What kind of exercise should I do?

Exercises that involve cardio or weight lifting can help you reach your target weight. Walking, jogging, biking and swimming are excellent examples. Plan to exercise for 30 minutes or more, three to five times per week. Be sure the exercises you perform are safe and appropriate, but demanding enough to burn calories and raise your metabolism. Everyday activities such as laundry, shopping, cleaning or gardening do not help you lose weight.

Q: Will I lose my hair?

Hair loss may occur due to a combination of rapid weight loss and a very low-calorie diet. You can minimize the amount of hair you lose by eating enough protein and nutrient-dense foods. Certain vitamins that strengthen hair and nails, such as Biotin, can also help.

Q: When can I take my regular medications?

Before you leave the hospital, talk to your doctor about your medications. For a time after surgery, your normal dosage may need to change. You will also need to start crushing all your existing medications so they’re easier to swallow. If possible, talk to your physician or pharmacist about changing your medications to a liquid form. Remember to avoid all time-released medications.

If you have questions, please call our office at 956-664-1616.

Q: Can weight-loss surgery be reversed?

It depends on the type of surgery you received. The sleeve gastrectomy is not reversible because we remove a portion of the stomach. We can alter or reverse gastric bypass surgery if medically necessary. Lap-Band® surgery is also reversible.

Q: Will I need plastic surgery?

After surgery, your skin may sag or feel loose. The decision to shape and tone your body through plastic surgery is up to you. Some patients can achieve the results they want through exercise, depending on their age and genetics. If you decide this isn’t the right option for you, plastic surgery is a possible alternative.

Q: How soon can I have plastic surgery after my weight-loss surgery?

You should wait at least two years after weight-loss surgery to have plastic surgery. Changes or a flux in weight can cause undesirable effects in plastic surgery. Two years is generally enough time to lose and maintain your desired weight, making plastic surgery look its best.

Q: Am I able to get pregnant after weight-loss surgery?

Women should remain able to conceive children after their weight-loss surgery. In fact, your ability to conceive increase as you begin to lose weight. We recommend waiting at least 18 months before attempting to become pregnant. This amount of time ensures you are past the rapid weight-loss phase and are in a healthy physical state. Women should take the appropriate measures to prevent pregnancy until this time.

Q: Will I have gallstone complications?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, patients may develop gallstones due to rapid weight loss and a very low-calorie diet. You and your physician can discuss ways of reducing your risk of gallstones prior to surgery and what to expect if gallstones develop. We’ll also check your gallbladder for existing stones before surgery. If detected, we’ll discuss removing your gallbladder during your weight-loss procedure.