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Before you get weight loss surgery, you need to know what to expect after you've recovered. The changes won't just be about your weight, and some of them may surprise you.

Weight loss surgery can change just about every aspect of your life, including your eating habits, self-image, and relationships.

Weight Loss

Ask your doctor how much weight you can expect to lose. The type of weight loss surgery makes a difference. Surgeries that affect digestion, such as gastric bypass, tend to result in faster and greater weight loss than adjustable banding procedures.

Many people find that their weight loss ebbs and flows over months, dropping, then leveling off, and then dropping again. Depending on the procedure, you might keep losing weight for up to 2 or 3 years after surgery.


Weight loss surgery will radically change how you can eat. Meals that might have seemed tiny in the past will quickly make you full. You'll need to eat small amounts slowly, and chew well.

Doctors usually recommend eating a number of small meals a day, with a special emphasis on foods high in protein. They usually advise against drinking when you eat, because it can wash food out of the stomach too quickly and interfere with your feeling of fullness.


Because you're eating less, you need to focus on choosing the most nutritious foods. Some weight loss surgeries, including gastric bypass, also make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients.

Talk to your doctor or a dietitian for advice on what sorts of foods to eat after weight loss surgery and whether you should take supplements.

Health Benefits

After gastric bypass or certain other types of weight loss surgery, the health benefits often happen right away. For instance, your diabetes might improve dramatically. The same might be true of high blood pressure, arthritis, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and other conditions.

Improved health after adjustable banding procedures may be more gradual. You'll need to schedule regular checkups after surgery, so your doctor can keep a close eye on your health as you recover.

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