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Life After Weight Loss Surgery

In many ways, bariatric surgery is the first step in a new weight loss journey to health and wellness. As you adopt healthy habits that work for your life, our team of bariatric specialists will cheer your successes and talk you through any challenges you face.

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, we offer personalized nutrition guidance, an in-person support group, and online resources to help you reach and maintain your health and weight goals.

After bariatric surgery: What to expect

Our team approach to weight loss surgery continues after you undergo your procedure. In the weeks and months after surgery, we offer one-on-one support and a wealth of resources to help you improve your health. We’ll make sure you receive an outstanding level of care that’s personalized to your needs.

Bariatric surgery diet

When you return home after surgery, you will need to stick to a strict diet. Drink lots of water and liquids – at least 2 liters each day. What you can eat and drink will change as your recovery progresses.

Your care team will give you specific instructions. In general, your dietary guidelines will help your body slowly transition from digesting liquid to whole foods. Following these instructions carefully helps ensure your health and weight loss progress.

During this time, you will continue to have access to our nutrition professionals. They will work one-on-one with you to help you adopt the basics of a healthy diet – in a way that works for your life.

Exercise and resuming regular activities

You may feel nervous about doing too much, too soon after surgery. But your body will benefit from whatever activity you can safely tolerate. Resume your usual activities, including walking, lifting, and bending, as you are able.

We encourage you to fit in as much exercise as you can endure, starting immediately after surgery. Avoid sitting for more than one hour at a time. You may drive again when you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication.

Caring for your body

If you have bandages over your incisions, you can carefully remove them once you get home from the hospital. Your physician or nurse will tell you how to care for the incision site after surgery. If you have steri-strips, they can be removed after five or six days.

If you have diabetes, check and record your blood sugar multiple times each day. If your blood sugar levels are running too low (below 70) or too high (consistently over 200), let your care team know immediately. Your medication may need to be adjusted.

Medication and vitamins

Your physician will review your medications before discharging you from the hospital. We will be sure to answer any questions you have before you head home.

You will need to take chewable multivitamins regularly after bariatric surgery. These vitamins help give your body the nutrients it needs since the way your body digests food has changed. While these vitamins may change with time, you will need to take them for the rest of your life. Your surgeon will specify when you should start taking your vitamins.

Weight loss support groups

Long-term success after weight loss surgery depends on your lifelong commitment to healthy habits. At AHN, we are dedicated to helping you honor this commitment.

To help you in your lifelong journey, we provide:

  • A dedicated Facebook community where you can access healthy recipes and online support
  • A monthly in-person support class where you gain insights from people facing similar challenges
  • Follow-up visits with your bariatric team

When to call your doctor

Some pain and nausea following bariatric surgery is normal. Your care team will monitor you closely in the weeks following surgery. They are always available to respond to your questions or concerns.

But certain symptoms may indicate a more serious problem. Call your provider immediately if you experience:

  • Redness, swelling, increased pain, or pus-like drainage from your wound
  • Fever
  • Bleeding
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent vomiting

Weight loss surgery: Attend a free information session

Are you ready to lose weight and improve your life? At one of our free information sessions, you can meet our weight loss specialists and learn more about bariatric surgery options. Sign up online or find a session near you by calling (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677.

Contact us

Request an appointment with one of our weight loss specialists. You can also find out more about our bariatric services by calling (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677.

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