Lifestyle After Bariatric Surgery

Vitamins

Daily vitamins are required for the rest of your life following weight-loss surgery. Failure to comply with vitamin recommendation may result in serious deficiencies. You will need specific doses of  iron, B1, B12, calcium, and Vitamin D. Your medical team will provide individual recommendations based on your surgery and your lab results. 

Back to Work

Most patients return to their normal work and routine activities within 1-2 weeks.

Physical Activity Right After Weight-Loss Surgery

Many patients are hesitant about exercising after surgery, but exercise is an essential component of success after surgery. Exercise actually begins on the afternoon of weight-loss surgery — the patient must be out of bed and walking. The goal is to walk further the next day and progressively further every day after that, including the first few weeks at home. Patients who feel the need to stay at home can do activities like marching in place. Patients are often released from medical restrictions at discharge and encouraged to expand their exercise routine once they're home, limited only by the level of wound discomfort. The type of exercise is dictated by the patient's overall condition. Some patients who have severe knee problems can't walk well, but may be able to swim or bicycle. Most patients begin with low-stress forms of exercise and are encouraged to progress to more vigorous activity when they are able.

The Importance of Continued Exercise

Physical activity is an integral part of the extended weight-loss process after bariatric surgery.  People who move more tend to lose more weight. Even better, those who exercise more tend to keep the weight off, achieve more health benefits and feel better overall. When you have a weight-loss surgery procedure, you lose weight in part because the amount of food energy (calories) you are able to eat is much less than your body needs to operate. It has to make up the difference by burning reserves. Consequently, there is some muscle mass lost after weight-loss surgery. To prevent excessive muscle breakdown and to maintain strength, it is best to engage in a comprehensive fitness program that includes cardiovascular activity and weight-bearing activities, like resistance training. For those that need extra help, it is advisable to consult with a certified exercise professional.

Pregnancy After Weight-Loss Surgery

It is strongly recommended that women wait at least one year after the surgery before a pregnancy. In the first year, your body is in a fat-burning, weight-loss state and it may be difficult to provide the nutrition needed in pregnancy. Once your weight has stabilized at around the year mark, you should be able to have a healthy pregnancy.

Many women who have had difficulty with infertility find that they become more fertile after surgery, as a result of hormonal changes that return the body to more normal functioning with weight loss.