Changes to Expect After Bariatric Surgery

Posted on: 1 September 2020

When you go through bariatric surgery, your doctor will give you a set of instructions on what to do after your surgery. These instructions help your digestive system heal and promote recovery and good health. However, there are other things to expect after bariatric surgery, some of which involve life-long changes. Here are some of the extra things to expect after bariatric surgery and lifestyle changes you may need to make.

Your Digestion Changes

Bariatric surgery involves removing a part, or bypassing a significant portion, of your digestive system. This means food will be digested differently afterward. As a result, you will find that you can no longer digest certain foods without discomfort. For example, many people find fatty foods a problem. Or you may have to separate eating food and drinking. You could also experience appetite changes.

You Need Supplements

Bariatric surgery reduces your digestive system's ability to absorb certain nutrients from food. As a result, you will need to take supplements for the rest of your life. Your doctor will give you a list of suggested supplements commonly needed after bariatric surgery. On top of that, you may also need to change the way you take these supplements and medications. Usually, liquid forms are the best. But if you have to take a pill, then you may need to crush up it up.

Your Risk for Gallstones Increases

Many people experience an increase in gallstones after weight-loss surgery. This may be due to the rapid weight loss as well as the change in the ability to process fatty foods. You may need to limit or eliminate fatty foods or foods that affect cholesterol levels. In many cases, doctors will also remove the gallbladder as part of the bariatric surgery to eliminate the risk. 

Your Alcohol Tolerance Can Change

While you can still drink alcohol after you have healed from surgery, you will find your tolerance has changed. You may find you get easily intoxicated after a much smaller amount than usual. Avoid drinking alcohol during the first six months after surgery. When you do start drinking again, start off slowly with lower alcohol drinks to learn your new tolerance levels.

Most people successfully lose weight with bariatric surgery. However, you will need to make permanent changes in order to stay healthy and relieve discomfort. Side effects are usually minor and your doctor can address them during your after-surgery visits. If you experience serious, life-threatening issues, contact your doctor or medical professional right away.