The best candidates for bariatric surgery or non-surgical weight loss procedures are people with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or higher or obesity-related medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, or joint problems. Individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher may also be suitable candidates.
Before undergoing bariatric surgery, several tests are typically performed to assess the patient's overall health and identify possible risks or complications. These tests may include a thorough physical examination, and blood tests to assess liver and kidney function, lipid levels, and blood glucose levels. A chest x-ray and electrocardiogram (ECG) may be performed to assess heart and lung function. In addition, imaging tests such as ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) scan may be ordered to assess the patient's abdominal anatomy. In some cases, a psychological assessment may also be performed to assess the patient's mental health and readiness for surgery.
The recovery cycle of bariatric surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and individual factors such as age, general health, and pre-existing conditions. In general, patients can expect to spend several days in the hospital after surgery, during which time they are closely monitored for any complications. It can take several weeks to several months for patients to fully recover from bariatric surgery.
After bariatric surgery, patients must follow strict and individualized nutrition plans to ensure proper recovery and long-term success. A liquid diet should be followed for the first week after the operation, followed by a gradual transition to soft and solid foods. The focus of the nutrition plan is to promote weight loss and prevent malnutrition. Therefore, high-protein, low-fat and low-sugar foods should be consumed during the recovery period. Patients may also need to take vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure they are getting enough nutrients.
When to start sports or exercise after bariatric surgery depends on individual factors such as the type of surgery performed and general health status. In general, patients can start with light activities such as walking as soon as they can after surgery. However, it is important to follow the surgeon's recommendations and avoid high-impact or strenuous activities until authorized by a healthcare professional. Patients should also gradually increase the intensity and duration of their exercise regime over time and avoid pushing themselves too hard.
Dietary modification is necessary before bariatric surgery. This is because bariatric surgery is a serious procedure that requires a healthy and well-prepared body to achieve the best results. In the weeks before surgery, patients are usually advised to follow a low-calorie, high-protein diet to help reduce the size of the liver and reduce the risk of complications during surgery. Vitamin and mineral supplementation may also be considered necessary before and after surgery.
Pregnancy after bariatric surgery may be appropriate, but it is recommended that patients wait at least 12-18 months after surgery before attempting to conceive. This waiting period allows the body to fully recover and adapt to the weight loss and dietary changes associated with bariatric surgery. It is also important for patients to reach a stable weight and ensure they are adequately nourished before becoming pregnant to minimize the risk of complications for both mother and baby.
After bariatric surgery, additional treatments may be needed to achieve weight loss goals and improve overall health. Depending on individual circumstances, these treatments may include interventions such as behavioural therapy, nutritional counselling, medication management and even additional surgery. Behavioural therapy can help patients address underlying emotional or psychological factors that may be contributing to their weight gain or difficulty maintaining weight loss. Nutritional counselling can help patients develop healthy eating habits and ensure adequate nutrient intake. Medication management may be appropriate for some patients to help control appetite or manage weight-related conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
There is a risk of weight regain after bariatric surgery. While most weight loss procedures are effective tools for long-term weight loss, they do not offer a guarantee for maintaining a stable weight. Therefore, patients should continue to follow a healthy diet and exercise regime to maintain weight loss. Attention should be paid to unfavourable factors that may contribute to weight regain, such as poor dietary choices and lack of physical activity.
Bariatric surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries various risks. The most common risks include bleeding, infection, blood clots and reactions to anaesthesia. Long-term complications such as dehydration and intestinal obstruction are rare. In some cases, psychological complications such as depression and anxiety may also occur. The risks and benefits of weight loss surgery should be carefully considered and it is important to choose professionals who are experts in their field to ensure a successful procedure.