Lifestyle regimen must after weight-loss surgery

In the past we have had many examples of people going in for bariatric or weight-loss surgery and post-ops appearing in their brand new avatar and leading a healthy life.

A few notable examples being that of political leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and well known singer Adnan Sami. But, recently, there was a shocking news of a TV actor who died after developing complications following a weight loss/bariatric surgery.

The unfortunate complications notwithstanding the case highlighted the consequences faced by patients if proper post-surgery regime is not followed.

Bariatric surgery is done by reducing the size of the stomach with a gastric band or through removal of a portion of the stomach or by resecting and re-routing the small intestines to a small stomach pouch.

According to Dr Tarun Mittal, Consultant Laproscopic, Obesity and Robotic Surgeon, Sir Gangaram Hospital, “There can be few conditions and complications that are possible after the bariatric surgery. Perforation of stomach/intestine or leakage, internal bleeding, severe wound infection, opening of the wound can be few reasons which can develop complications after the surgery.”

“Post-operation many people think that bariatric surgery will be followed by a long and painful recovery period. However, patients usually do not have that experience. In fact, many patients speak of discomfort rather than pain. Recovery does, however, vary from patient to patient,” added Dr Mittal.

Many patients return to normal activities, such as driving and cooking, within one to two weeks after the surgery. But, care should be taken to avoid lifting heavy objects or doing strenuous activities for six to eight weeks after the surgery, advises the doctor.

While most bariatric surgery patients are able to lose body weight, they must follow rules and strict diet and lifestyle regimen in order to achieve long term weight loss. They should follow a healthy and balanced food plan with additional nutritional supplements and regular physical activity, says Dr Mittal.

Dr Subhash Aggarwal, HOD, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, Paschim Vihar, said, “People who have high blood pressure, are diabetic, have heart and respiratory problems can face complications after the surgery.

Bariatric surgery

can be an added assault to the already weak body. So, one should follow a strict regime given by the doctor post the surgery.”

Post surgery, dietary guidelines should be followed strictly. When eating solid food, it is essential to chew it thoroughly.

Do not eat chunks of meat. Either the pieces should be small or should be chewed thoroughly.

One should also avoid drinking fluids while eating.

Omit desserts and other items with sugar. Omit carbonated drinks, high-calorie supplements, milk shakes, high-fat foods and foods with high fibre content. Avoid alcohol and limit having snacks between meals.

It is strongly advised for women to use the most effective forms of birth control during the first 16 to 24 months after bariatric surgery.

Becoming pregnant during this period can also be fatal, warns the doctor.

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