Life Style Adjustments After Medical or Surgical Weight Loss
Many adjustments are necessary after weight loss surgery. Many of these need to occur at the patient’s place of employment. Because of the restricted type and quantity of food after surgery, patients often need to bring lunch from home. Also, because eating quickly leads to vomiting, patients need a certain timeframe to dedicate to meals. Other changes include the need to change clothes as weight loss continues, to avoid improper foods at social events (i.e. parties, restaurants) and to be aware of bowel habit changes (i.e. constipation or diarrhea). Patients must also understand that alcohol consumption is strictly forbidden in the first few months after surgery.
Ancillary services located in the hospital include nutritional, physical therapy and social worker services. Ancillary services throughout the New Image Weight Loss Center include nutritional counseling, vitamin and mineral supplements, skin care products and support group services.
Exercise or strenuous exertion is discouraged in the first 6 weeks after Laparoscopic surgery (up to 12 weeks after "open" surgery). After that time, patients are encouraged to begin exercising. This can range from normal exercise programs at the local gym to programs modified by patients to meet their individual needs.
Many changes happen to patient’s skin in the period after bariatric weight loss surgery. This is usually due to the sudden, extreme weight loss plus the change in food intake and vitamin/mineral levels that the patient experiences. A nutritionally balanced post-op diet plus the consumption of essential vitamin/minerals will help in the care of skin. There are also special creams available to moisturize the skin, some of which are available at the New Image Weight Loss Center.
Many psychological effects that occur after surgery are positive. The feeling of poor self-image and hopelessness are often reversed. However, not all effects are positive. The severe change in the quantity and type of food consumed after surgery can present a tremendous stress to some individuals. Psychological counseling after surgery is available to all patients.
Nutritional counseling is available to all patients after weight loss surgery at the New Image Weight Loss Center with a registered dietician. Also, all post-op visits with Dr. Artuso place a large emphasis on nutritional counseling.
During the first two months after bariatric weight loss surgery, your body will be devoting a lot of its food energy to healing. Therefore it is important that your diet be high in protein, without the consumption of red meat. Some of the alternatives are cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, tofu, refried beans, fish, turkey, chicken, or such soups as lentil, split pea or black bean.
During the third and fourth months after weight loss surgery, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower should be removed.
Also you may add fresh non-citrus fruit or canned fruit packed in water or natural juices. De-caffinated coffee and tea may also be added, but avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks.
After the sixth month after surgery, you may eat any protein, vegetable, fruit or starches that you can tolerate. Always eat protein first and make it half of your meal. Fruits and vegetable come next and if there is any room left, that is the time for starches. You will still have to chew your meat extremely well and the leanest cut of meats is always the best choice.
Sweets and fats should be avoided as well as alcohol. It is important to drink four to six 8 oz. glasses of water daily.
Vitamins and Supplements
All patients should be taking a multivitamin shortly after weight loss surgery (beginning 10-14 days post-op). This will provide the majority of necessary vitamins needed by most patients. Approximately 10-15% of patients will develop vitamin/mineral deficiencies despite multivitamin use. In those patients, another vitamin supplement will be added directed at the particular vitamin deficiency.