Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is one of the most effective (and commonly performed) surgical weight loss procedures at our practice. This particular treatment is capable of helping patients lose up to 70 percent of their excess body weight after one year and has been shown to significantly reduce—and even eliminate—comorbid conditions such as Type II diabetes, hypertension, and others. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that gastric bypass is only the first major step in a process designed to help patients safely lose weight and live healthier lifestyles in the long-term.
If you are considering gastric bypass surgery, the following guide will give you a general idea of what you can expect in the days, weeks, and months after the procedure is performed:
Gastric bypass surgery involves the internal modification of the stomach and small intestine, ultimately allowing patients to experience an earlier feeling of fullness while eating and minimizing calorie absorption. This will necessitate a recovery process after surgery; however, it may not be as extensive as one might think. This is due to the fact that our bariatric surgeon, James Parrish, MD, typically utilizes a laparoscopic surgical technique for gastric bypass procedures, which requires smaller incisions and is therefore able to minimize the recovery time. That said, patients should still plan to rest and recover at home for about one week. While some degree of discomfort can be expected during the recovery period, it can be controlled with medication.
Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled after the gastric bypass procedure. These appointments are necessary to ensure the recovery process is continuing smoothly and that the excess weight is being lost safely and effectively. There will be several follow-ups scheduled in the weeks after surgery, and then they will be spaced out at greater intervals depending on your progress. Gastric bypass surgery requires lifelong follow-up appointments to help individuals continuously stay on the path of good health after bariatric surgery. It is very important to attend follow-up appointments as scheduled in order to successfully accomplish established goals and maintain safe weight loss. Dr. Parrish oversees a comprehensive weight loss surgery aftercare program that includes nutrition and exercise guidance, support groups, and other tools to help patients along the journey.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
The gastric bypass surgery itself is primarily designed as the first step toward helping patients achieve significant weight loss—success will depend on the positive dietary and lifestyle changes required for this procedure to work effectively. The gastric bypass diet is somewhat different for each patient; however, individuals can generally expect to be on a liquid diet for the first few days following surgery, and then gradually move on to puréed foods after approximately one week. Once these foods are well-tolerated, Dr. Parrish will recommend certain types of soft foods. Most patients are able to incorporate solid foods into their diet after about eight weeks. Our nutritionist will develop detailed guidelines on the new dietary regimen. It is important to remember that your diet and a commitment to a regular fitness program are critical components of the lifestyle changes necessary for safe and successful weight loss. All of these elements will be thoroughly explained to you and our team will work closely with you on the best ways to make these changes so that your experience after bariatric surgery is a healthy and happy one!
For more information on what you can expect from gastric bypass surgery, please visit our detailed page describing the procedure and the steps that will be taken following treatment. If you have questions, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parrish, please contact us today.