- Can weight loss surgery prolong my life?
There is strong evidence from scientific research that if you have serious obesity-related health conditions, you are 80-100 pounds overweight, and are able to comply with lifestyle changes, that weight loss surgery may significantly prolong your life.
- Can weight loss surgery help other physical conditions?
According to current research, weight loss surgery can improve or resolve associated health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and many other weight-related diseases.
- What are the risks associated with bariatric surgery?
All surgery comes with risk, but there are some complications specific to bariatric surgery. These will be discussed in great detail when you come in for your consultation with your surgeon.
- How much weight could I potentially lose after the procedure?
Weight loss is very different from one patient to the next. Surgery is a tool, and it greatly depends on how you use your tool. Following the diet and exercising are also very important factors.
- How long is the recovery period?
Recovery time varies from patient to patient but in general, it takes 1-4 weeks for recovery.
- What will I be able to eat after surgery?
Your diet will be restricted after surgery, with a progression from liquids to solids over the course of 1 month. You will have a one-on-one consultation with a nutritionist before surgery to understand your diet after surgery.
- Can I stretch my pouch or my sleeve stomach?
For RNY gastric bypass patients, you can stretch your pouch over time. This comes with overeating for a significant amount of time. Also, carbonated beverages can stretch your pouch. For sleeve patients, you can also stretch your sleeve over time. Remember that these operations are a tool. If you use it properly, you can be successful.
- Why do I have weight loss plateau periods?
You may experience weight loss plateaus throughout your weight loss journey. You may have a significant weight loss, followed by a period of one to six weeks or more with no weight loss. This is normal and there is nothing you can do to change it. During this plateau period, you will usually lose inches instead of pounds. As long as you are following the diet and exercising, you should begin losing again.
- How big will my pouch or sleeve stomach be in the long run?
If you follow the diet carefully and do not consistently overeat, your pouch or sleeve will remain a small size. It may increase roughly 10% over time. Many patients end up with a meal capacity of three to seven ounces.
- What happens to the staples in my abdomen? Is it OK in the future to have an MRI? Will, I set off metal detectors?
The staples remain in you forever. Your tissues will grow around them. The staples are made of titanium, so you will not set off metal detectors. They are also non-magnetic, so you may have an MRI.
- Is there any difficulty in taking medications?
During the first four weeks after surgery, it is best to cut or crush very large pills or take the liquid form. Small pills are OK to swallow. After the first 3-4 weeks, there is no difficulty swallowing pills.
- How will my weight loss stop? Will I waste away to nothing?
Patients may begin to wonder about this early after surgery when many are losing 15-40 pounds per month. Two things happen to allow weight loss to stabilize. First, a patient’s ongoing metabolic needs (calories burned) decrease as the body sheds excess pounds. Second, there is a natural progressive increase in calorie and nutrient intake over the months following weight loss surgery. In the absence of a surgical complication, patients are very unlikely to lose weight to a point of malnutrition.
- What can I do to prevent excess hanging skin?
Many people heavy enough to meet the surgical criteria for weight loss surgery have stretched their skin beyond the point from which it can “snap back.” Others have good elasticity of the skin, and with the help of exercise, may not have much excess skin. There is no way to predict what your skin will do, so exercise and cross that bridge once the weight loss has stopped.
- Will I lose my hair after surgery? How can I prevent it?
Many patients experience some hair loss or thinning after surgery. This usually occurs between the fourth and eighth month after surgery. Consistent intake of protein at mealtime is the most important prevention method. Also, you may take supplements such as Zinc, Biotin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E. There is a good chance that it will regrow.