Life after Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery is a procedure that can be life saving. It is a procedure that affects the size of the stomach and changes the intestines as well.  It should be done in individuals who have a Body Mass Index or BMI greater than 40.  This number reflects an obesity level that is severe. Obesity is closely associated with other significant medical issues. In these cases, where elevated blood pressure or diabetes are seen along with obesity.  The BMI level where surgery may be an option would be around 35.

In our previous discussion, we talked about this more in detail.  Today, I want to look at life after surgery.

Gastric bypass surgery drastically changes the size of the stomach.  The stomach may loose almost 90 percent of the original size.  A normal stomach, after eating, has the ability to stretch and in many cases, will stretch to 1000ml.  After gastric bypass, the stretching of the stomach is less than 50 ml and usually even less than this.

After surgery, in order for things to be deemed a success. Weight loss is the overall goal.  To do this, many things must change. The patient must eat several small meals throughout the day.  When they eat a small portion, they will feel a sense of fullness much sooner than sometimes even they can expect. If you or I eat a full plateful of our  meal, our feeling of fullness would match their feeling after only a hand full of bites.  If the patient continues to eat even a few more bites, a feeling of uncomfortableness or even vomiting can follow.

When less food is consumed, weight loss closely follow behind.  The average number of meals each day for a gastric bypass patient is 5 or 6.  It is also discouraged to eat between meals.  Patients should be in contact with a Nutritionist for this process. It is possible to have complications to the procedure and often nutritional deficiencies can be seen.  Iron, vitamins, protein, calcium, and other deficiencies can be seen. In some cases, this can cause changes to the patient.  This includes such things as fatigue, acne, rashes, depression, pale skin, hormonal changes and much more.

Depression and other mental health issues can develop or worsen depending on the case. Many people eat food as comfort, but when food restrictions are present, at least initially, increasing depression should be a concern. But, over time, as the waist line drops, depression usually improves and this is because of the changes that are being experienced by the patient. This of course, is not always the case. Close monitoring and contact with your physician is essential.

Muscular weakness can be seen as well. A workout regimen should be implemented in the case of stretching and light exercises. This will help combat weakness and fatigue issues. This weakness should pass as time continues and the body becomes more accustomed in the new life style change.

The important thing to remember is that your life will change. Sexual activity, self perception, relationship with foods, relationships with others, and many more things can change. This is especially true as your health improves. But, remember, life doesn’t necessarily get simpler after bypass surgery. Many patients still experience emotional roller-coaster rides, depression, eating difficulties, weight gain, and many other difficulties.

Initially you may even feel that the procedure was a bad mistake. Again, as in life, it takes an adjustment period that if done right, should begin even prior to the procedure. Three years down the line you may, and probably will, feel much different about the procedure than after just one month. The first month is hard and the days seem to last forever.

The entire procedure is a process and you should be well aware of what it takes to accomplish this task and what benefits you will see in the end. Take comfort in the fact that hundreds of thousands have done and will do this same procedure and you can too.

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