Life After Bariatric Surgery

          Post-Bariatric Surgery Life Guide

          Bariatric surgery means you will need to make big changes in your lifestyle after the operation. Your bariatric doctor in Turkey will help you through the recovery process and life after surgery. To help you understand what will be expected of you, here are some resources about living after the surgery.

          Nutrition After Bariatric Surgery

          After your surgery, a dietitian or if you want NewMe bariatric dietitian will help you with your diet. Here are some simple guidelines:

          1. Protein First: Protein is very important. Eat lean protein first at each meal. Aim for at least 60 grams of protein a day. Examples include 1 oz. of meat (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, or pork), 1 oz. of low-fat cheese, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 egg, or ¼ cup of low-fat cottage cheese.

          2. Don't Skip Meals: Eat at least three meals a day. If more than four hours pass between meals, have 1-2 small high-protein snacks. Eating small, frequent meals helps prevent overeating and keeps your metabolism active.

          3. Eat at the Table: Sit at a table to eat, not in front of the TV or computer. Take 30 minutes to eat your meals.

          4. Control Portions: Serve smaller portions and use smaller plates, like a salad plate. Cut your food into small pieces, eat slowly, chew well, and stop when you feel full.

          5. Drink Liquids: Drink 6-8 cups of caffeine-free, calorie-free, and non-carbonated drinks daily. Do not drink with your meals. Stop drinking 30 minutes before eating, and wait 30 minutes after eating to drink again. Sip fluids between meals.

          6. Take Vitamins: Take your vitamins and minerals every day as your doctor advises. This includes a multivitamin, calcium citrate, and possibly vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iron.

          7. New Lifestyle: Remember, this is not just a diet; it's a new way of life. These healthy habits are for you and your family to follow forever.

          Vitamin and Mineral Supplements After Bariatric Surgery

          After weight loss surgery, you will need to take vitamin and mineral supplements because your body won't get enough from food alone. Deficiencies in iron, folate, vitamin B12, calcium, and zinc are common after gastric bypass surgery. If you have gastric banding surgery, you won't need as many supplements since this surgery doesn’t cause nutrient malabsorption. Usually, a daily multivitamin and calcium supplement are enough.
          Here are the required vitamin supplements. You can find them at your local pharmacy. If you have trouble finding or taking these supplements, contact your dietitian or surgeon for help.

          Mandatory Vitamin Supplements After Bariatric Surgery:

          1. Multi-vitamin and Mineral

          Dosage: 1-2 daily with meals

          Type: 2 children’s chewable multi-vitamins or 2 chewable/liquid adult multi-vitamins. Once on a regular diet, you can switch to an over-the-counter prenatal vitamin or 1 adult multivitamin (doesn’t need to be chewable or liquid).

          Function: Ensures you get all the necessary micronutrients.

          Interactions: None

          2. Vitamin B12

          Dosage: 1000 micrograms daily (tablet or sublingual) or 1000 micrograms monthly (injectable).

          Type: Any sublingual (dissolves under the tongue), tablet, or monthly injection (prescribed by your surgeon).

          Function: Helps with blood cell and nerve function, digestion, food absorption, and protein synthesis. Deficiency can cause anemia.

          Interactions: None

          3. Iron

          Dosage: 45-60 mg of elemental iron daily. Take vitamin C.

          Type: Tablets of ferrous sulfate, gluconate, or fumarate (27-28 mg of elemental iron). Prenatal vitamins might already contain enough iron. Check the label.

          Function: Important for forming red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.

          Interactions: Take 1-2 hours before or after calcium. Avoid taking with milk, cheese, eggs, whole-grain bread, and cereals. May cause diarrhea or constipation.

          4. Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D

          Dosage: 1200-1500 mg daily. Best absorbed in doses of 500-600 mg at a time. Take with meals.

          Type: Initially Tums®, then switch to Citracal® +D or any brand with calcium citrate once on a regular diet. Calcium citrate is absorbed better since it doesn’t need stomach acid.

          Function: Maintains bone strength, helps the heart pump, and repairs soft tissue.

          Interactions: Caffeinated products, spinach, and whole grains may decrease absorption. Take 1-2 hours before or after iron, as calcium reduces iron absorption.

          Exercise After Bariatric Surgery

          After bariatric surgery, you need to make big lifestyle changes. Your doctors will guide you through recovery and help you with your new life. Here’s how exercise can help:

          Benefits of Exercise:
          • Lowers the risk of heart disease and other health issues.
          • Reduces the chance of getting diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.
          • Helps lower blood pressure.
          • Strengthens bones, muscles, and joints.
          • Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
          • Helps control weight.
          Getting Started with Exercise:
          • Walking is a simple way to start exercising. Begin before surgery and continue after. Nurses will encourage you to walk soon after surgery to help you heal.
          • Start on flat surfaces and add hills as you get stronger.
          • Begin with short distances and gradually walk longer.
          • Change your walking routes to keep it interesting.
          • Walk with friends or join a club for motivation.
          • Always walk where you feel safe.
          • Wear good walking shoes.
          • Carry a cell phone and a water bottle.
          • Use Google Maps to plan your route and check distances.

          Aerobic Exercise:

          • Check with your doctor before starting any aerobic exercises.
          • Choose activities you enjoy, like swimming or biking.
          • Try different activities to avoid boredom.
          • Swimming and water aerobics are great if you have joint pain.
          • Start with low-impact classes designed for beginners.
          • Increase daily activities, like taking stairs, parking farther away, or walking to do errands.

          Strength Training:

          • Wait three months after surgery to start strength training.
          • Always check with your doctor before beginning.
          • Use the correct form to prevent injuries.
          • Consider taking a class or hiring a personal trainer.
          • Warm up for 10-15 minutes before starting.

          Goals and Motivation:

          • Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week.
          • If you’re just starting, break it into 3 sessions of 10 minutes each.
          • Set specific, realistic goals.
          • Plan for obstacles and have a backup plan.
          • Keep exercise clothes and shoes handy.

          By following these guidelines, you can make exercise a part of your new, healthy lifestyle after bariatric surgery.

          Follow Up After Gastric Banding (LAGB)

          After gastric banding surgery, it's important to have regular check-ups with your doctor. These follow-up appointments help monitor your progress and ensure everything is going well. During these visits, your doctor will check your weight loss, adjust your band if needed, and address any concerns you may have. These check-ups are crucial for your long-term success after surgery. Make sure to attend all your follow-up appointments and communicate openly with your doctor about your health and any issues you may be experiencing.

          Follow Up After Gastric Bypass or Gastric Sleeve

          After gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery, regular follow-up visits are crucial for your health. These visits help your doctors monitor your progress, address any concerns, and make adjustments to your treatment plan if needed. During these appointments, you'll discuss your weight loss, dietary habits, and any issues you may be experiencing. Your doctors will also check for nutrient deficiencies and guide nutrition and exercise. These follow-up visits ensure that you stay on track with your weight loss journey and maintain good overall health.

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