Below are the most commonly asked questions about bariatric surgery. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact us. We'd be happy to help you!
Q: How much weight will I lose, and how quickly?
A: With gastric bypass, you can expect to lose 90% of your excess body weight after a year and half. With sleeve gastrectomy, excess body weight lost during the same time period is typically 70%. With adjustable gastric banding, most patients lose 50% of their excess weight after three years. For the first year following weight-loss surgery, you may lose between 2 and 3 pounds per week; however, as with any weight-loss program, results will vary based on the individual. In most cases, gastric banding patients will lose an average of 1 pound per week following surgery. Many patients are eager to experience an overnight transformation, but weight loss will require your patience. Your goal after undergoing gastric banding is to improve your health and prevent or resolve any health problems associated with obesity. Your success will depend on several factors, including your commitment to lifestyle changes that include exercise and healthy eating habits compatible with your gastric band.
Q: How long does it take to recover from surgery?
A: Most gastric banding patients can leave the hospital the same day. Sleeve gastrectomy usually requires an overnight stay, while gastric bypass is typically a two-night stay. Most patients can return to work in 1-3 weeks following surgery, depending on your procedure. Patients can resume exercising within four to six weeks.
Q: Will I feel sick or uncomfortable following surgery?
A: In the days and weeks that follow your surgery, you may experience some discomfort as your body adjusts. Dr. Garrison will prescribe a special liquid and soft-food diet for the first few weeks following your procedure to allow your body and stomach to properly heal. If you frequently experience extreme nausea or sickness following surgery, it's possible you may not be adhering to the diet rules properly or thoroughly chewing your food. Try to avoid vomiting if possible, as this behavior can stretch the small stomach pouch. Be sure to contact Dr. Garrison if these symptoms persist.
Q: Will I need to have regular checkups following surgery?
A: Following surgery, you will need to undergo regularly scheduled check-ups to track your weight-loss progress and laboratory values. Your first appointment is 7-10 days after surgery.
Q: Will bariatric surgery limit physical activity?
A: No. After you have recovered fully from weight-loss surgery, you can enjoy all physical activities, including aerobics, stretching, strength-training, and all other forms of strenuous exercise. Exercise is fully encouraged following gastric banding to promote weight loss and overall good health.
Q: Is bariatric surgery reversible?
A: Depending on the procedure, your surgery may be reversed if certain complications arise. Please consult Dr. Garrison if you have any problems related to your surgery. Keep in mind that reversal could result in weight gain, since you will no longer have a tool that allows you to restrict your food portions.
Q: Will bariatric surgery interfere with the ability to become pregnant?
A: To the contrary! Weight loss will increase your ability to become pregnant. Bariatric surgery is considered completely safe for pregnancy. We recommend that you not attempt to get pregnant for a year and a half following weight-loss surgery.
Q: Can I take medication?
A: Bariatric surgery will not prevent you from being able to take prescribed medication. Weight-loss surgery can cause alterations in absorption of medications; therefore, all time-released medications should be switched to the non time-released counterparts. Chewable tablets and liquids are also alternatives. Always consult your prescribing doctor with any issues.
Q: Can I continue to go out to eat?
A: You can absolutely continue to dine out in restaurants, but keep in mind that you will only be able to eat very small portion sizes. When going out, split meals with friends and family, or order healthy snacks from the appetizer portion of the menu. Also, remember to eat slowly and pace yourself to prevent overeating and experiencing discomfort. Remember you should not sit longer than 30 minutes at a single meal.