Does Laparoscopic Surgery decrease the risk?
No. Laparoscopic operations carry the same risk as the procedure performed as an open operation. The benefits of laparoscopy are typically less discomfort, shorter hospital stay, earlier return to work and reduced scarring.
Will I have a lot of pain?
Every attempt is made to control pain after surgery to make it possible for you to move about quickly and become active. This helps avoid problems and speeds recovery. Various methods of pain control, depending on your type of surgical procedure are available.
Will the doctor leave a drain in after surgery?
Most patients will have a small tube to allow drainage of any accumulated fluids from the abdomen. This is a safety measure, and it is usually removed a few days after the surgery. Generally, it produces no more than minor discomfort.
How soon will I be able to walk?
Almost immediately after surgery doctors will require you to get up and move about. Patients are asked to walk or stand at the bedside on the day of surgery, take several walks the next day and thereafter. On leaving the hospital, you may be able to care for all your personal needs, but will need help with shopping, lifting and with transportation.
How soon can I drive?
For your own safety, you should not drive until you have stopped taking narcotic medications and can move quickly and alertly to stop your car, especially in an emergency. This usually takes 7-14 days after surgery.
What should I bring to the hospital?
Basic toiletries (comb, toothbrush, etc.). Choose clothes for your stay that are easy to put on and take off. Other ideas are reading and writing materials, crossword or other puzzles and a bathrobe.
What’s so important about exercise?
When you have a weight loss procedure, you lose weight 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 or unused tissues. Your body will tend to burn any unused muscle before it begins to burn the fat it has saved up. If you do not exercise daily, your body will consume your unused muscle, and you will begin to use muscle mass and strength. Daily exercise will communicate to your body that you want to use your muscles and force it to burn the fat instead.
Can I get pregnant after weight loss surgery?
It is strongly recommended that women wait at least one year after the surgery before a pregnancy. Approximately one year post-operatively, your body will be fairly stable (from a weight and nutrition standpoint) and you should be able to carry a normally nourished fetus.
Will I be able to take oral contraception after surgery?
Most patients have no difficulty in swallowing these pills.
What happens to the lower part of the stomach that is bypassed?
In some surgical procedures, the stomach is left in place with intact blood supply. In some cases it may shrink a bit, but for the most part it remains unchanged.
How big will my stomach pouch really be?
In the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, the stomach pouch is created at one ounce or less in size. The first few months it is rather stiff due to natural surgical inflammation. About 6-12 months after surgery, the stomach pouch can expand and will become more expandable as swelling subsides. Many patients end up with a meal capacity of 3-7 ounces.
What if I am not hungry after surgery?
It’s normal not to have an appetite for the first month or two after weight loss surgery. If you are able to consume liquids reasonably well, there is a level of confidence that your appetite will increase with time.
Is there any difficulty in taking medication?
Most pills or capsules are small enough to pass through the new stomach pouch. Initially, your doctor may suggest that medications be taken in liquid form or crushed.
Will I be asked to stop smoking?
Patients are encouraged to stop smoking at least one month prior to surgery.
If I continue to smoke, what happens?
Smoking increases the risk of lung problems after surgery, can reduce the rate of healing, increases the rate of infection, and interferes with blood supply to the healing tissues. If you continue to smoke, you may develop ulcers after gastric bypass surgery leading to complications.
How can I know that I won’t just keep losing weight and waste away to nothing?
Patients may begin to wonder about this early after the surgery when they are losing 20-40 pounds per month, or maybe when they’ve lost more than 100 pounds and they’re still losing weight. Two things happen to allow weight to stabilize. First, a patient’s ongoing metabolic needs (calories burned) decrease as the body sheds excess pounds. Second, there is a natural progressive increase in calorie and nutrient intake over the months following weight loss surgery. The stomach pouch and attached small intestines learn to work together better.
Will I be miserably hungry after weight loss surgery since I’m not eating much?
Most patients say no. In fact, for the first 4-6 weeks patients have almost no appetite. Over the next several months the appetite returns, but it tends not to be a ravenous “eat everything in the cupboard” type of hunger.
What if I am still really hungry?
This is usually caused by the types of food you may be consuming, especially starches (rice, pasta, potatoes). Be absolutely sure not to drink liquid with food since liquid washes food out of the pouch.
Will I have to change my medications?
Your doctor will determine whether medications for blood pressure, diabetes, etc., can be stopped when the conditions for which they are taken improve or resolve after weight loss surgery. Two classes of medications that should be used only in consultation with your surgeon are diuretics (fluid pills) and NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc.). Depending on how severe your diabetes is, your doctor may adjust or even stop medications.
How long will I be off of solid foods after surgery?
Your diet will start off with liquids following surgery. After a period of approximately 2 weeks after surgery, your diet may be advanced to soft or pureed foods. You will be provided with specific dietary guidelines for the best possible surgical outcome.
Is there a restriction of salt intake?
No, your salt intake will be unchanged unless instructed by your primary care physician.
Will I be able to eat spicy foods or seasoned foods?
Most patients are able to enjoy spices after the initial 6 months following surgery.
What vitamins will I need to take after surgery?
You will require a daily multivitamin, vitamin B12, calcium citrate and vitamin D for the rest of your life.
Will I get a copy of suggested eating patterns and food choices after surgery?
We will provide our patients with materials that clearly outline our expectations regarding diet. Compliance to the guidelines will provide the best possible outcome for your weight loss surgery. You must do your part by restricting high-calorie foods, by avoiding sugar, snacks and fats.
Can I hear about patient stories?
Click the link below to watch videos on patient testimonies on their journey