People who underwent weight-loss surgery are often advised to take specific health measures. Reducing food portions, engaging in physical activity, and making lifestyle changes are recommended for those who want to keep the weight off after surgery permanently.
Dr. Carlos A. Barba, an established bariatric surgeon in Brownsville, TX, is not foreign to patients looking for permanent weight loss and maintenance post-surgery advice. Although most will succeed in this life-changing process, there are indeed some who may take missteps along the way, even after weight loss surgery. Thus, Dr. Barba is a strong advocate of establishing healthy habits even during the recovery phase of a bariatric procedure.
Did your weight loss surgery fail, or have you revert to your original weight pre-surgery? In this post, Dr. Carlos A. Barba explains why this could happen and what to do about it.
1 Regressing to a Previous Lifestyle
One of the main reasons why weight loss surgery fails to be effective is the regression to previous lifestyle choices. Often, patients who have completed their bariatric surgery will be given some pointers on how to take care of their health. These include three components, such as:
- Food intake: What type of foods to eat, portion sizes, the timing of meals and snacks, and other program instructions.
- Physical activity: After surgery, individuals are advised to engage in low-impact exercises and move further to more active exercises as they fully recover.
- Mindset and relationship with one’s body: Just as diet and exercise pointers are necessary, patients are also given attitudes that help them shift their relationship with food, bodies, and overall health.
For weight loss surgery to be successful and results to last, the individual must also have a permanent lifestyle change. Gradual poor choices compound over time, leading to weight gain compared to one’s pre-surgery condition.
2 Not Abiding By Post-Surgery Instructions
Another potential issue after weight loss surgery is failing to perform the care instructions after bariatric surgery. Dr. Carlos A. Barba explains that these care instructions are provided to prevent complications during the recovery phase. After weight loss operation procedures, internal organs are still healing and may need time to get used to processing certain foods or performing daily functions.
Some standard post-bariatric surgery instructions include:
- Eating slowly and mindfully: Eating in smaller portions and not overstuffing oneself is essential to avoid stomach upset after weight loss surgery. After a procedure, the intestines and stomach may have reduced dramatically in size, so being mindful of one’s food portions can help prevent complications.
- Avoiding certain foods: Stringy, chewy, and other food types which are hard to digest can upset the intestines during the recovery phase. Your physician will provide a list of foods to avoid for a few weeks or months after the surgery.
- Drinking in between meals: It is also recommended to drink water between meals to help digestion and satiety. However, refrain from sugary drinks as this can be problematic for permanent weight loss.
3 Lack Of Support
Permanent weight loss and maintenance after bariatric surgery both have internal and external factors. It is just as important to have an encouraging environment along with a healthy mindset.
Some individuals fail to stay at a healthy weight after surgery because of the lack of support. Family members and other loved ones can receive advice and counseling to help the patient remain on the right course after surgery.
To give the proper support on the weight loss journey of a recovering bariatric patient, one must help them manage triggers. Avoiding junk food, making healthy grocery purchases, and preparing balanced and well-portioned meals can help a patient’s success. Expressing encouragement is also helpful, especially in challenging times where stress or the desire to indulge is the strongest.
4 Medical Problems
The previous three reasons are often within one’s scope of control. However, there are some situations where weight loss surgery leads to unexpected medical problems. It is best to watch out for post-surgery complications, such as:
- Hernias: The organ may bulge on an opening not intended. Some hernias may require surgery.
- Reflux: Due to adjustments in the digestive system, patients may experience acid reflux. This can cause heartburn, throat and esophagus irritation, and indigestion.
- Surgical wounds: Some movements are still restricted post-surgery. Even with great care, some surgical injuries such as scarring and bleeding can still happen. If any unusual pain or discomfort occurs after surgery, it is best to consult your doctor.
When medical problems happen, expert intervention is needed. Dr. Carlos A. Barba urges patients to be mindful of worrying symptoms to prevent dangerous health consequences after a bariatric procedure.
5 Weight Loss Surgery Success: A Matter of Discipline and Time
Bariatric surgeries provide a pathway towards healthier choices, but they are not a quick solution to permanent weight loss.
Dr. Barba emphasizes that weight loss surgery success lies behind the things each individual can control, such as food intake, physical activity, following through instructional care, and managing poor lifestyle pattern triggers. All these components are like gears working together to build upon the ultimate goal of health and wellness.