Maintaining Weight after Bariatric Surgery:

Weight management has gained significance in the present day scenario with increasing affluence, abundance of convenience foods and lack of physical activity Morbid obesity is typically defined as being 100 pounds or more over ideal body weight or having a Body Mass Index of 40 or higher. With weight gain comes the requirement to cut the fat out, and one such medically suggested treatment for treating obesity is bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is emerging as the modality of choice to assist the morbidly obese in developing healthy lifestyles.

However, bariatric surgery is not without its myths. Today, with expert inputs from Dr. Deep Goel, Gastroenterologist at BLK Super Specialty Hospital, let's take a look at how exactly bariatric surgery can help an obese person lose weight...


Top 5 myths of bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is reversible. Except for the adjustable gastric band, none of the features of bariatric surgery are reversible.
You will never be hungry again, the way you used to be before undergoing bariatric surgery. This is not true. However, after bariatric surgery the patient will feel full after small meals. We advise you that majority of your meals should constitute protein as this keeps you full for longer and prevents mindless snacking.
You can’t get pregnant after bariatric surgery. This is a complete myth. Infact, it is observed that fertility generally tends to increase after weight loss surgery. However, we advise patients to use contraceptive devices for the initial year.
Bariatric surgery is very risky and should be avoided as much as possible. With the emergence of advance equipments, bariatric surgery has become quite safe. However, one has to keep in mind the usual complications related to any other surgery like, leak, injury to surrounding structure, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Bariatric surgery involves a large incision and big scar. With advancements in technology, it is now done by minimal invasive techniques with few small holes in the stomach. It is safe and highly recommended for severely obese patients.
Bariatric surgery has no real benefit except for looking better. After bariatric surgery, obesity related medical conditions like diabetes, blood pressure, sleep apnea, joint pain, angina and infertility, PCOD, etc improve significantly. Looking better is just as added perk. However, it is important to note that weight control is an on-going maintenance and requires a healthy lifestyle above everything else.


Do’s and don’ts after bariatric surgery


Your progress rate should be from fluids to pureed foods and then to soft foods, slowly marching your way to the regular foods.
Do not drink liquids with meals. Drink fluids before and after one hour to meal.
Eat 4-6 tiny, protein-focused meals per day at regular intervals.
Stop eating when feeling full or if you feel any discomfort. Always cut food into small pieces and chew food properly to prevent blockage. Set aside 30 to 45 minutes for each meal and try and savor your food.
Concentrate on eating protein rich foods such as fish and seafood, paneer, eggs, and poultry. At mealtimes, eat protein foods first before any other food.
Avoid very sweet food, candy, chocolate, and high-sugar beverages to prevent the unpleasant effects of the dumping syndrome.
Sip liquids slowly, drinking at least 2 liters per day to avoid dehydration. Avoid alcohol intake for at least six months after surgery, as it is high in calories and may cause an ulcer. Also the effects of a hangover may be felt much more quickly. Eliminate caffeine, and aerated beverages from your diet for 6 months. Consume beverages such as coconut water, apple juice, herbal tea, clear veg broth, chicken broth etc.
Take a multivitamin supplement with iron, B12 vitamin and calcium on a daily basis.


According to experts, if you have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or more, you are overweight by approximately 50 kilograms (for men) and about 40 kilograms (for women). This is considered severely obese and as a result, people with such high BMI's might be candidates for weight loss surgery.

Why weight loss surgery is for you

Weight loss surgery might be recommended for people who have a BMI ranging from 35 to 40, and those who suffer from serious overweight health conditions such as serious sleep apnea, obesity-related heart disease, or diabetes. For some, the danger of death from not undergoing a surgery could be possibly bigger than the possible complications involved in undertaking the procedures. While doctors recommend natural weight loss over surgery, sometimes a person's complications might be serious enough to warrant a quick fix.

Things to keep in mind when undergoing weight-loss surgery

Most medical practitioners require candidates to exhibit their motivation levels as to why they should undergo physical weight loss surgery. They would also want a clear understanding of detailed dietary and exercise fails and successes. Most of the surgeons would establish an understanding with the patient to follow medical guidelines for the rest of their lives after undergoing a weight loss surgery. In addition to it, various medical studies are performed to evaluate the health of your body such as heart and functioning of hormonal system. Nutritional and dietary counselling is also a must to practice before and after the surgery.

Why weight loss surgery is not meant for you

For patients who tend to remain sternly obese even after undergoing non-surgical procedures of weight loss, or for people who are a victim of obesity-related disorders, surgery is not ‘the’ answer to end their weighty problems. For many, simply following a healthy lifestyle, which involves mindful eating and daily exercising, is enough to slowly and gradually pave the way to weight loss.

If your answer to these questions is ‘YES’ then you might consider weight loss surgery:

Have you already been trying to lose weight by adopting effective measures such as exercising, attending one-to-one counselling sessions with your nutritionist, calorie dictated meal plans, food or exercise journals?
Are you well aware of the weight loss surgical procedures and the after effects of surgical treatment?
Are you focused on the goal of losing weight and are you certain to improve your health by it?
Are you aware of the changes in your life you might have to undergo after a weight loss surgery treatment, such as adopting different eating plans, adjusting to the side effects of surgery and so on?
Are you certain to follow a life-long health follow-up?


Many times, weight loss surgery is seen as an easy escape from being obese. Some ill-informed people go in for drastic surgeries without realising that they'll have to adhere to strict dieting and daily exercise, despite having taken the easy way, once the surgery is over. We'll say it again - there are no short cuts where maintaining a healthy weight is concerned. Consult a doctor before even considering anything as drastice as weight loss surgery, and remember - the best health results are self-made.

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