Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Help You Lose Weight and Live Healthier?

If you've had bariatric surgery, one of your biggest worries may be that you'll regain the weight you lost. Unfortunately, it's easy to put the pounds back on, and many people start to gain weight 12 to 18 months after surgery. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Recovery from gastric bypass surgery takes three to six weeks, but the real recovery lasts a lifetime.

Immediately after surgery, you must adopt strict eating and exercise habits to maintain your weight loss. When you first wake up from anesthesia, you may feel pain and lightheadedness for a while. You may also find that your memory is a bit fuzzy. These effects should go away within a day or two.

You may also experience pain and dry throat due to the breathing tube used during the operation. You will have several small surgical wounds in the incision, which will be sutured or glued together with glue and covered with dressings. You will likely spend 2 to 3 days in the hospital. The staff will be there to provide support and answer any questions. You can expect some pain, especially around the surgical incisions.

The nurse will give you some pain medication to help with this. They'll encourage you to get up and move as soon as you feel able, as this can help you recover faster. Surgical wounds should heal in about a week. You'll need to keep them clean and dry while they heal. The dressings can usually be removed in about 7 days.

You will still be able to see the scars from the surgery. If you ever notice redness, pain, swelling, or pus around them, see your doctor, as you could have an infection. To return to normal, you'll need to rest for at least 2 to 3 weeks after your sleeve gastrectomy. Your body needs time to heal and during this time you'll have to follow a very restricted diet. Make sure you get enough time away from work and enlist the help of friends and family. You'll need a lot of rest and you'll still feel some pain, but you should be getting better.

The first two weeks involve a lot of rest at home, which can be quite isolating and boring. It's a good idea to prepare for this before the procedure by gathering some books, boxes, or other things to entertain yourself at home. Asking people to call or visit you can also make a big difference if you hate spending time alone. It's especially useful if you can get a little help while you're there, as it's unlikely that you'll be able to do a lot of things around the house for the first two weeks. As your body heals, you can slowly return to your normal routine. Your doctor will also recommend increasing your activity levels, as exercising regularly is an important part of losing weight.

Gastric bypass surgery can definitely change a person's life for the better, but surgery also comes with some serious risks and profound life changes. Hospital stays are often shorter for patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery than open surgery. Since undergoing gastric bypass surgery last March, Janice, an inpatient shopaholic, hasn't done much shopping. In general, patients who have undergone gastric bypass surgery weigh an average of 100 pounds less, are more active, feel better, and take significantly fewer medications (if any) to treat complications of obesity such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. Perhaps the most important thing to remember when performing gastric sleeve surgery is that it is a permanent change. Janice has lost 70 pounds since her gastric bypass surgery and has stopped taking almost all the medications she was taking before losing weight, including asthma medications. The objective of this study was to evaluate weight regain in patients undergoing gastric bypass during a 5-year follow-up period. Gastric bypass surgery involves reducing the size of the stomach by sealing most of it off and creating a small thumb-sized pouch at the top in addition to avoiding part of the small intestine in order to reduce the amount of calories and nutrients absorbed from food. Data on weight-loss surgery for three to five years or more show a weight loss of more than 50 percent in both gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery.

Like many Americans (including famous people such as meteorologist Al Roker and singer Carnie Wilson), Janice turned to gastric bypass surgery to lose weight and live a longer life and healthier.

Genevieve Szulimowski
Genevieve Szulimowski

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