When thinking about undergoing weight-loss surgery, you will probably face the reality that there are a lot of things to take into account before requesting your surgeon to start the process, as well as many other reasons for doing it.
This is because, to the extent that patients lose weight, changes are easier to be felt, helping patients to acquire a completely different mindset regarding to their physical appearance, as various studies suggest about the effects of bariatric surgery.
Perhaps the most important change has to do with the fact that they learn to recognize how it feels to have a better health and be in better physical condition. This transformation process is one of the most notable effects after a gastric bypass and requires a lot of care from support groups.
However, the psychological aspects are not the only ones that must be considered, and some other points of vital importance are described below for any patient who is planning to have a bariatric surgery.
BEFORE SURGERY: PREPARING BODY AND MIND
- Life after a bariatric surgery is just an important commitment. This type of surgery is not a method to extract fat and contour the figure, it is an alternative to facilitate the healthy loss of weight in patients suffering from obesity, in that sense, it is essential to mentalize and prepare for the whole process.
- Some plastic surgeons recommend trying to lose at least 5% fat through non-invasive methods, since this facilitates the recovery process.
- One of the consequences of having a bariatric surgery is the necessary nutritional change that the patient must live, so that it is important for patients to start to transform his or her eating to be able to adapt to the drastic diet that comes right after the surgery. Some small changes, such as increasing chewing while eating and including soft foods in your diet, will facilitate adaptation.
- To be clear about the goals, it is good for patients to define their expectations of weight loss after surgery with their surgeon or bariatric nurse, so that the nutritional and exercise plan after the procedure is well focused.
- It is important for you to prepare your mind, so some surgeons recommend including into your routine activities such as having experience diaries and notebooks during the entire process.
THE DAY OF SURGERY: THE PROCESS
This procedure is minimally invasive and lasts around 2 hours. During this period of time, surgeons usually use a laparoscope, a device that contains a small camera, to visualize the stomach from the inside. By this, the procedure becomes less invasive and risky and the patient can return to normal activities in a very short time.
It is important that on the day of surgery you ensure:
- Assistance and transportation after the operation.
- Suggested meals for the following week.
- Implements for later recovery.
AFTER SURGERY: RECOVERY PROCESS
Patients who undergo bariatric surgery usually have 2 days of hospitalization before being taken home in the case of laparoscopic bypass surgery and 3 or 5 days after open gastric bypass surgery.
Once the operation is done, the recovery process tends to last between 2 and 6 weeks depending on the type of bariatric surgery.
During this recovery time, the following essential aspects must be taken into account:
- Diet: to reach his defined objectives, the patient must transform his way of feeding himself completely, adapting all his life to a nutritional routine determined by the nutriólogo and the plastic surgeon to help the progressive loss of the weight.
- Exercise: this plays a fundamental role after bariatric surgery due to the fact that the calorie patients consume decreases after surgery, to what their bodies react changing from starving to starving. To deal with this lack of energy, the body can begin to burn muscle instead of fat. To avoid this, the bariatric doctor will recommend starting to exercise regularly and with specific routines adapted to your needs, goals and body condition.
- Psychological support: a good way to deal with the emotional discomfort that the entire recovery process can cause is being part of support groups, where people in the same condition and who are also going through the same process after bariatric surgery, meet and they talk about their experience.