Keep in Mind:
- Advances in bariatric surgical technique have significantly lowered the risk of operative mortality—especially when surgery is performed by an experienced laparoscopic surgeon.
- During the past decade, patient outcomes from general anesthesia have improved significantly, so that the mortality rate is down, from one in 10,000 to one in 250,000 patients. Each patient's anesthesiology risk during bariatric surgery is based on the patient’s overall health.
For people who have spent years living with morbid obesity, weight loss surgery sounds like a lifesaver. But, some people are concerned about changing their body. It’s understandable. Your surgeon will reduce the size of your stomach so that you are able to be satisfied with less food and, depending on the procedure, absorb fewer calories and nutrients.
Compare the benefits of weight loss surgery to the risks, and then talk to your doctor about your options.
Be sure to share your concerns with your bariatric surgeon and your bariatric program’s mental health professional. They will be able to provide you with information to help you deal with your concerns.
You may think that recovering from weight loss surgery will be a long and painful process—but, that’s not usually the case.
The majority of patients have minimally invasive, or laparoscopic, surgery. Surgeons who use a minimally invasive approach create four to five small incisions.
Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive surgery offers:
- A shorter hospital stay
- Faster recovery
- Less pain
- Less abdominal trauma
- Less scarring
If you’re concerned about pain after surgery, speak with your surgeon. Your surgeon will discuss the pain management medications that he or she will provide you with after the surgery.
As with any major surgery, there will be a recovery period. Recovery periods vary from patient to patient and depend on the type of surgery you have. Most patients typically return to work 1 week following gastric band and sleeve gastrectomy and 2 weeks following gastric bypass.
Take the time to follow your surgeon’s instructions. And be sure to use this time to practice healthy habits, such as diet and exercise. And Remember… Your health is worth the time it takes to fully recover. Try not to rush it. After all, your body will be healing from surgery.
Weight loss surgery patients are expected to commit to healthy new habits, such as diet and exercise. You won’t have to become a tri-athlete or figure out these new habits on your own; just follow your bariatric program’s dietary and exercise instructions.
At St. David’s, we have a team of surgical weight loss professionals to help ensure an optimal outcome.
These professionals include:
- Bariatric surgeons
- Program coordinator
- Fitness experts
Many patients report that during the first 12 to 18 months following surgery, they enjoy a burst of energy and motivation.
During this time, you are making healthy lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating new foods and smaller portions
- Taking multivitamins and calcium supplements daily
- Exercising regularly
These changes can be overwhelming, but they are not impossible to make. Attend a support group—you will draw inspiration from listening to other people’s stories, and find support and encouragement in making permanent lifestyle changes.