Understanding the Impact of Weight Loss Surgery - Dr Geoffrey Barnett
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Understanding the Impact of Weight Loss Surgery

Posted on: June 8th, 2016
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Understanding the Impact of Weight Loss Surgery: Essential Information You Cannot Afford to Ignore

Topic: Bariatric Surgery Outcomes and Results

Are you overweight?

Have you been unsuccessful in losing weight no matter what you do?

If so, it’s a common complaint by people living in a time of abundant food options and busy lifestyles.

Whilst exercise and good nutrition are pivotal and should be a key priority if you want to change your weight, sometimes more help is needed.

If you have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more, you may be a potential candidate for weight loss surgery

Is weight loss surgery a “magic bullet”?

The short answer is “No” – and here’s why.

It’s important to realize that bariatric (weight loss) surgery is not a quick fix for obesity. Nor does it get you a contoured body even after weight change (read more below about what to expect afterwards in terms of body shape).

Rather, Bariatric Surgery is a TOOL –  one that can potentially help you lose weight and get healthy.

Following weight loss surgery, you will still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise.

How does weight loss surgery work?

  • Gastric Banding: The size of the stomach is reduced so that you feel SATIATED with a small amount of food.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: A large part of the stomach is REMOVED, leaving behind a sleeve connected to your small intestine.
  • Gastric Bypass: The stomach is DIVIDED into two sections. The upper part is sealed off and connected to your small intestine.
  • Maestro Rechargeable System: A pacemaker-like device is implanted in the abdomen to SUPPRESS hunger. The device sends false signals to the brain telling it your stomach is full.

How will weight loss surgery impact me?

It’s vital that you understand the full impact of the procedure and have realistic expectations.

Here are 6 essential implications of weight loss surgery that you should know before you embark on your Bariatric Surgery procedure:

  1. Weight Loss: How quickly you lose weight will depend on the procedure you undergo. A gastric bypass usually results in much quicker weight loss because it affects digestion. Your weight loss will wax and wane over the next 2-3 years. You may hit a plateau, followed by a drop once more.
  2. Eating Habits: You will have to learn to slow down while eating, take small bites, and chew your food well. Small amounts of food will satiate you. Eating big meals may bring on severe nausea and vomiting. You will need to limit your daily intake to less than 1000 calories per day. The focus will be on protein-rich foods.
  1. Nutrition: Weight loss surgery deprives the body of essential nutrients. Following the procedure, the focus will be on eating nutritious foods. You may need to take vitamins and supplements. You will likely experience a change in bowel habits. You may develop intolerance to particular foods and beverages. Maintaining a food journal may be necessary to identify the culprits.
  1. Body Image: Following surgery, the weight loss will be welcome, of course, but as your body shrinks in size, you may notice that your skin doesn’t keep pace and starts to look baggy and loose. You may need plastic surgery to get rid of rolls of excess skin to maintain hygiene.
  1. Emotional Impact and Relationships: You will find that you can no longer rely on food for comfort. Your self-image will change. Your relationship may experience problems due to feelings of jealousy in your partner. Support groups and therapists can help you with the psychological aspects of weight loss surgery.
  1. body-lift-best-plastic-surgeon-specailists-1Social Life: Much of our socializing with family and friends revolves around food and drink. After weight loss surgery, you will need to spend less time on activities that are focused on food. For example, you could exercise with friends instead of eating a meal in a restaurant.

Are you already through your Bariatric Weight-Loss Surgery procedure – and have a stable weight, but want to change residual, excess skin?

Call our office today to schedule a consult to discuss post-weight loss surgery skin reduction and body contouring so you can get the most from your weight changes.

Phone (03) 8849 1400 or send an enquiry form today.

Further Reading:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/weight-loss-surgery-making-the-choice
  2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/life-after-weight-loss-surgery-effects-from-head-to-toe
  3. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/life_after_bariatric_surgery/