Post-Bariatric Surgery Expectations

Obesity is a chronic disease and often cannot be treated by a simple diet and exercise alone. In many cases, people who are morbidly obese need more than a lifestyle change to get started. This is why weight loss or bariatric surgery is highly recommended for individuals who are struggling to lose and sustain weight loss even with a medically-supervised diet plan. The team at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN is here to guide you and help you understand your options for bariatric surgery.

How can bariatric surgery help

Bariatric surgery can lead to weight loss through a number of options. Through changing the size of the stomach or changing how your stomach and small intestine handle the food you eat, you may end up feeling full easily with only a small amount of food. This can also create changes in your appetite and metabolism (how your body burns the calories).

What can you expect after bariatric surgery

Although it’s considered a very effective tool for treating obesity and its comorbidities, bariatric surgery doesn’t make you lose weight overnight. There are things you need to do and change to achieve and sustain your weight loss goals.

To help you understand this better, we outlined some of the things you can expect after a weight loss surgery.

Changes in diet

After the surgery, you will have to follow a special diet that will be explained by your bariatric team. Most patients will start with a liquid diet for weeks, followed by soft foods, and then eventually to solid foods.

As you’re limited to how much food you can eat, you have to prioritize proteins and certain foods to avoid nutrient deficiencies and support your recovery and weight loss.

Most bariatric programs recommend patients have a daily protein intake between 60 to 100 grams. Insufficient protein intake can lead to weakness and muscle loss, which can lead to more serious health issues.

Proper and sufficient hydration is also necessary to avoid nausea, constipation, fatigue, and kidney issues.

We recommend patients to stick with water as it’s calorie-free and just a simple drink that doesn’t have any negative side effects even for a recovering bariatric patient.

Vitamins and mineral supplements
Since you will be limited to how much food you can take, depending on which bariatric procedure you had, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for life. This may include a multivitamin, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and calcium.

As you lose weight, you may find more motivation and energy to exercise on a more regular basis.

Your bariatric team will advise you on how to get started. Most patients start with simple walking, with the goal of eventually progressing the intensity and duration of it or with other exercise/s.

Smoking and alcohol
If you are a smoker and an alcohol drinker, your surgeon will ask you to quit these habits weeks before and after surgery.

Both smoking and alcohol can affect your body’s response to anesthesia, delay your body in healing after surgery, and increase your risk of post-surgery complications.

After surgery, you may feel a mix of emotions. There can be happiness, sadness, and even confusion. These emotions are totally understandable. At Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons in Knoxville, TN, we offer support groups with the Fort Sanders Center for Bariatric Surgery for our patients.

Support group meetings can be attended in-person or online through a secure, private group. These meetings can provide you with an avenue to vent, share your experience, and learn from other bariatric patients in a supportive environment.

Deciding to undergo bariatric surgery is a major life decision, and Dr. Mark Colquitt and our team at Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons will provide you with the support you need every step of the way.

To learn more about the Bariatric Surgery process, watch our free online seminar at
Questions? You may call us at (865) 984-3413.

Foothills Weight Loss Surgeons is part of Premier Surgical Bariatrics in Knoxville, Tennessee. Foothills is affiliated with the Fort Sanders Regional Center for Bariatric Surgery, part of Covenant Health Bariatric Services.