Life After Bariatric Surgery: A New Normal, Not Quite the Old One

For those who are battling obesity, bariatric surgery, also referred to as weight-loss surgery, can be a very useful tool. It can enhance health results and result in significant weight loss. What about life following surgery, though? Does it become "normal" again?
Bariatric Surgery

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The answer is both yes and no. Here’s why:

Eating Habits

Your relationship with food will undoubtedly change after bariatric surgery. You’ll feel fuller more quickly because your stomach will be smaller. For long-term success, you’ll need to concentrate on nutrient-rich foods and establish good eating habits. This could entail preparing meals ahead of time, trying new recipes, and avoiding processed snacks and sugary drinks that can result in dumping syndrome, a set of unpleasant side effects.1 1

Exercise

After surgery, sustaining weight loss and general health depends on regular exercise. As you gain strength, you may need to gradually increase the intensity of your training programme, starting with low-impact exercises like swimming or walking. Making a safe and efficient exercise regimen can be facilitated by speaking with a fitness expert.2

Nutrient Absorption

The kind of surgery you have could affect how well your body absorbs certain nutrients. Under a doctor’s supervision, supplements could be required to make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin B12, and calcium.

Positive Health Changes

The good news? Positive changes in health can cascade after bariatric y. Conditions include high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and type 2 diabetes will improve. Additionally, you will feel more confident, have less joint pain, and have improved mobility.

Emotional and Social Adjustments

Bariatric surgery isn’t just a physical change; it’s an emotional and social journey as well. Here are some additional aspects to consider:

Body Image

Losing a significant amount of weight can be emotionally taxing. Though you will be very happy with your physical appearance, it will be very helpful if you can connect to people who have undergone the surgery and share their experiences and how they coped with it. Nothing better than the support group meeting for such help.
If you are morbidly obese and take protein supplements and exercise regularly, then body toning should not be an issue. But if you are super obese or if you are more than 50 yrs of age, or if you have not been regular with protein supplements and exercise, then sagging of skin and muscle could be a problem. For this at times cosmetic surgery like abdominoplasty/ tummy tuck , brachioplasty will give very good results.3

Relationships

You may have different relationships with food, family, and friends. When it comes to eating, some people feel liberated, while others find it difficult to navigate social settings where food plays a major role. Defined boundaries and honest communication can be beneficial. As you adopt a healthy lifestyle, you may discover that certain relationships improve and others may need more effort.

Long-Term Commitment

Bariatric surgery is a tool, and lifelong dedication to healthy habits is necessary for long-term success. This includes scheduling routine follow-up visits with both a registered dietician and your physician. Additionally, you should be mindful of nutritional shortages and seek medical assistance if you have any unsettling symptoms.3

Finding Your New Normal after Bariatric Surgery

Life after bariatric surgery is a journey of self-discovery. There will be challenges, but also immense rewards. Here are some tips for thriving in your new normal:

  1. Join a support group: Connecting with others who have undergone bariatric surgery can provide invaluable emotional support and practical advice.4
  2. Celebrate non-scale victories: Focus on how you feel and the improvements in your health, not just the number on the scale.
  3. Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new lifestyle. There will be setbacks, but don’t give up on your goals.
  4. Find healthy coping mechanisms: Develop healthy ways to manage stress and emotional eating, such as exercise, meditation, or journaling.

Remember: Bariatric surgery is a major decision. By understanding the changes and making a commitment to your health, you can thrive in your new normal after surgery. It’s an investment in your physical and emotional well-being, and with the right support system, you can achieve lasting success.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37814558/ ↩︎
  2. https://asmbs.org/ ↩︎
  3. https://asmbs.org/ ↩︎
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37814558/ ↩︎
  5. https://asmbs.org/ ↩︎
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Dr. Tulip

Dr. Tulip is an advanced laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon practicing in Bangalore at TODS- Dr. Tulips Obesity and Diabetes Surgery Centre

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Nalini Narayan
Nalini Narayan
Dr. Tulip and Dr. Kavita are amazing. I had a gastric bypass surgery last year and have lost more than 40 kgs. I am extremely grateful that Dr. Tulip has given me new lease of life .Her post operative care and follow ups are fantastic. Thank you Drs.
D.s Suma
D.s Suma
DR.Tulip madam and Kavitha madam were amazing I Had a gastric bypass surgery last month I reduced 10 kgs of weight much more to go I started my second life with this Iam very grateful to dr. Tulip
Sai kiran Reddy
Sai kiran Reddy
GOOD PLACE TO GET UR WEIGHT LOSS AND GET UR DIABETES CURED
Dhanush.G
Dhanush.G
After trying for a baby for 7 long years, bariatric surgery helped me. I conceived a year ago and and am a proud mother after shedding 30 kilos
Sankarsh rakesh
Sankarsh rakesh
Huge tummy sagging I had. Confused to do lipo or tummy tuck. Finally did tummy tuck , have flat tummy I dreamed. . Thanks to Dr Tulip and team.
Mahadev Prasad S
Mahadev Prasad S
Lost 20kgs in 4 months for wedding , but also regained 4kgs within 2 months. What doctor told is right only. I should have done Stapler surgery
Anuradha Suryakanth
Anuradha Suryakanth
Gastric bypass, a very wonderful surgery that my uncle underwent. I could notvsee him suffer, his diabetes was uncontrolled, he could not sleep without a CPap machine , breathless after taking few steps. But 4 months since surgery, he has lost 32 kgs, insulin has stopped, only one diabetes medicine he is taking. He no longer uses CPAP machine. He has become positive once again. Thanks to Dr Tulip and team for all the guidance before, during and after surgery. My uncle is in safe hands
Aryan Vishnu
Aryan Vishnu
10 minutes and swalow balon done. I have no discomfort and tummy feeling full. Nevery knew it was really so smooth. Hope I lose 17kgs.
Fusion Flow
Fusion Flow
After 2 years of gastric bypass surgery, I am still maintaining my weight of 69kgs. Before I was 157kgs with knee pains, breathing difficulty, diabetes, blood pressure. Now not taking any diabetes, bp treatment. I walk 5kms every day.