If you are considering bariatric surgery, you may be getting excited about the potential results you can have after surgery. By now, you may have already been given the list of possible risks and complications and what is expected of you after surgery. However, one thing to be aware of is that the results you see in others are not necessarily going to be the same for you. This doesn’t mean the surgery won’t help you lose weight, but that you need to have more realistic expectations and follow the instructions for losing and maintaining your weight loss.
Starting With Realistic Expectations
Realistic expectations are those that include small goals you set for yourself and understanding the probability of your results. It is very likely that you will lose weight after having bariatric surgery, but don’t assume you will lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time. It may take your body some time to start getting rid of the pounds, and this may be at a slower rate as others who have had the same surgery.
What to Expect After Bariatric Surgery
Now that you know about realistic expectations, you should understand some things about what occurs after a bariatric surgery procedure.
Potential risks and complications – Regardless of your medical status before your surgery, there are some risks for complications. They include digestive problems, infection, bleeding, ulcers, blood clots, and heart attack in the rarer cases.
The recovery process – Plan to stay in the hospital for several days before being released and understand the recovery time takes time. Your eating changes start immediately after you are released and you may notice results right away. But for others, no results are noticed for several weeks, around the same time you can resume your normal activities.
Average weight loss – Again, keep in mind your case can be different. On average, lose around 60 percent of their excess weight following weight loss surgery. How fast this happens depends on you as an individual.
Helping medical conditions – A lot of bariatric surgery patients experience improvement in their medical conditions such as asthma, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Rapid weight loss side effects – Another factor to consider with your expectations versus real results is what you experience during rapid weight loss. The fastest weight loss is usually in the first six months. During this time, expect to experience side effects like dry skin, fatigue, feeling cold, body aches, hair thinning or hair loss and mood changes.
Emotional changes – Finally, there are also some emotional changes with weight loss and the recovery period. Because your lifestyle changes so dramatically after weight loss surgery, you can have some emotional issues, even resulting in post-surgery depression. This may be due to worry about lack of weight loss or results you didn’t expect, feeling uncomfortable in social situations where you can’t eat and drink the way you did before or embarrassment due to having surgery in the first place.
After bariatric surgery, it is vital that you follow your doctor’s instructions. Not just in the recovery period, but for continuing to lose weight and maintain this weight loss over a long period of time. The first couple months are the hardest, though after that you begin getting used to this new lifestyle. Having realistic expectations and appreciating any results is a great start.