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What to Expect After Weight Loss Surgery

(continued)

What Are the Possible Side Effects? continued...

Serious side effects include:

  • Bleeding in stool, which can appear as reddish or black stools, can be serious. Let your doctor know about this immediately, or go to an emergency room.
  • Blood clots to the lungs, called pulmonary emboli, are rare, happening less than 1% of the time. They can be life-threatening. But blood clots can usually be prevented with blood thinning drugs and frequent activity.
  • Leaks in the new connections made by the weight loss surgery are rare, but serious. They usually occur within 5 days of the surgery. Abdominal pain and feeling ill are common symptoms -- these should prompt a call to your doctor.

Also, you may notice that your skin is sagging. You may choose to get surgery to remove it.

 

Nutrition After Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery changes how your body handles food. It becomes harder to absorb certain nutrients, including:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D

You don't have to fall short on those nutrients. Ask your doctor if you need to take supplements.

Lifestyle Changes After Weight Loss Surgery

You can get dramatic results from weight loss surgery. You'll need to back those up with lifestyle changes to keep the pounds off.  

These tips can help:

Eat small, frequent meals. The small stomach created by weight loss surgery can only hold so much. Eating large meals can cause problems. Many people with obesity are binge eaters. Adapting to eating smaller meals can be a challenge.

Commit to good nutrition . Ask a dietitian to help you create a plan that will get you all the nutrients you need.

Exercise. It helps you keep the weight off, and it's often easier after weight loss surgery, because losing weight may have helped your joints.

Many weight loss surgery centers offer programs to help people shift to a healthier lifestyle before and after weight loss surgery.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Andrew Seibert, MD on February 05, 2012
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