After weight-loss surgery - what to ask your doctor
Weight-loss surgery is done to help you lose weight and get healthier. After the surgery, you will not be able to eat as much as before. Depending on the type of surgery you had, your body may not absorb all the calories from the food you eat.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider about what will happen after you have the surgery.
How much weight will I lose? How fast will I lose it? Will I continue to lose weight?
What will eating be like after weight-loss surgery?
- What should I eat or drink when I am in the hospital? How about when I first come home? When will I be eating more solid food?
- How often should I eat?
- How much should I eat or drink at one time?
- Are there foods I should not eat?
- What should I do if I feel sick to my stomach or if I am throwing up?
What extra vitamins or minerals will I need to take? Will I always need to take them?
How can I get my home ready before I even go to the hospital?
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- How much help will I need when I come home?
- Will I be able to get out of bed by myself?
- How do I make sure my home will be safe for me?
- What type of supplies will I need when I get home?
- Do I need to rearrange my home?
What types of feelings can I expect to have? Can I talk with other people who have had weight-loss surgery?
What will my wounds be like? How do I take care of them?
- When can I shower or bathe?
- How do I take care of any drains or tubes that come out of my belly? When will they be taken out?
How active can I be when I get home?
- How much can I lift?
- When will I be able to drive?
- When will I be able to return to work?
Will I have much pain? What medicines will I have for the pain? How should I take them?
When is my first follow-up appointment after my surgery? How often do I need to see the doctor during the first year after my surgery? Will I need to see specialists other than my surgeon?
Ann M. Rogers, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery; Director, Penn State Surgical Weight Loss Program, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery website. Life after bariatric surgery. asmbs.org/patients/life-after-bariatric-surgery. Updated February 2021. Accessed June 9, 2021.
Mechanick JI, Apovian C, Brethauer S, et al. Clinical practice guidelines for the perioperative nutritional, metabolic, and nonsurgical support of patients undergoing bariatric procedures - 2019 update: cosponsored by American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology, the Obesity Society, American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric surgery, Obesity Medicine Association, and American Society of Anesthesiologists - executive summary. Endocr Pract. 2019;25(12):1346-1359. PMID: 31682518 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31682518/.
Richards WO, Khaitan L, Torquati A. Morbid obesity. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 48.