What to Expect After Weight Loss Surgery


If you’re considering weight loss surgery, you may be wondering what to expect after you’ve had your surgery. The article will explain how much weight you can lose, how long the recovery process is, the possible side effects of weight loss surgery and finally, what lifestyle changes you can expect.

How Much Weight Will You Lose?

How much weight you can expect to lose will depend on the type of weight loss surgery you have. If you have a sleeve gastrectomy, you can expect to lose about 40% of your extra weight. Whereas people who have gastric bypass surgery, generally lose an average of 60% of their excess weight.

What Will the Recovery Be Like?

Most people will stay in hospital for around 2 to 3 days following their surgery and you should be able to get back to your normal activities within 4 to 6 weeks. You will have wounds on your abdomen where the surgeon has made incisions, and these will be covered with dressings. Your nurses will be able to advise you when these should be removed and how to care for your wound and sutures (stitches.) You will also have a follow-up appointment, where your surgeon will want to check that your wounds are healing well. 

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

Side effects from weight loss surgery can include issues with your digestion, such as constipation or dumping syndrome, which can happen if you eat high-sugar foods after weight-loss surgery. There is also a risk of wound infections, so keep a close eye on your wound and seek medical advice if you notice any redness, oozing, warmth or increased pain.

As weight-loss surgery causes rapid weight loss, you will also be at increased risk of gallstones. Though these are harmless, they can cause pain, nausea and vomiting and you may need further surgery to remove your gallbladder.

All surgery comes with risks, such as the very small chance of having a reaction to the anaesthesia and an increased risk of developing blood clots.

Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

After weight-loss surgery, there will be some major changes to your lifestyle. To begin with, you will need to eat small, frequent meals as you get used to your new stomach size and appetite. You will need to commit to good nutrition, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight.

You will also begin to see changes in your self-image and you may notice changes in your relationships and social life too, particularly if in the past, your friendships and activities revolved around eating and drinking. This can take some adjustment to begin with so it’s important to seek support from people who understand. The great news is that of the people who get weight loss surgery, almost all report that their quality of life improves following the surgery.

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