Bariatric Surgery patients require permanent modifications to their diet and lifestyle to be successful long term.
Responsibilities and Expectations
Successful long-term weight loss depends on your dedication to a new lifestyle. You will be required to significantly modify your eating habits and follow a strict diet for the rest of your life. You must also commit to your scheduled follow-up visits for the first year, limit your alcohol intake, and eliminate all use of nicotine products. Your rate of weight loss will vary based on your commitment to make life-changing modifications to eating and exercise routine.
Our goal is to create a system of ongoing support that facilitates the development of new patterns for success. We have created a variety of support vehicles to help you transition to your optimal weight and make your experience a positive one.
The modifications made to your gastrointestinal tract will require permanent changes in your eating habits that must be adhered to for successful weight loss. Dietary guidelines will vary based on the patient and the surgeon's recommendation. It is important to remember that every surgeon does not perform the same weight loss surgery procedure and that the dietary guidelines will be different. What is important is that you adhere to your surgeon's recommendations. The following dietary guidelines will help you understand what you as a patient may encounter:
- When you start eating solid food it is essential that you chew thoroughly. You will not be able to eat steaks or other chunky foods unless they are ground up.
- Don't drink fluids while eating. They will make you feel full before you have consumed enough food.
- Omit desserts and other items with sugar (as one of the first 3 ingredients listed).
- Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie nutritional supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fiber content.
- Limit any snacks between your normal meals.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
Going Back To Work
Your ability to return to work and any other pre-surgery activities depends on a few things: your physical condition and the type of surgery you had. Some patients return to full pre-surgery activity levels within six weeks of their procedure. Patients who have had a minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure may be able to resume normal activity level with a few weeks.
To help ensure your health and success after surgery, follow-up is essential. We will see you after surgery at 2 and 6 weeks and then again at 3 and 6 months, and one year. Thereafter, yearly visits are required. If you have had lap banding, you will have appointments at 2 and 6 weeks and approximately every 6 weeks for the next 1-2 years, then as needed - yearly thereafter.
Support groups vary based on program location. These meetings are held regularly and provide an opportunity for patients to interact with other patients who have had the surgery. Facilitated by our staff, the support group shares experiences, provides encouragement and education, and is open to those who have had weight loss surgery, are scheduled for surgery, and those whom are considering surgery. We invite and strongly encourage you to attend. These meeting are very important as a reminder of what patients can achieve if they use the surgical procedure effectively. All pre-op patients are required to attend a support group meeting prior to their surgery date. Support groups are offered in Stevens Point and Rhinelander. Upcoming dates, times and locations are listed on our main page.
Physical fitness is an important part of any long-term goal to improve your health and increase weight loss. Regular exercise will help you:
- Build strength and endurance
- Improve movement in joints and muscles
- Gain more energy
- Cope with stress
Combining diet and exercise not only helps promote a more effective loss of body fat, but it also helps ensure that you lose fat and maintain muscle mass.