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Life After Surgery

Home Patient Resources Life After Surgery

Welcome to a journey of becoming a healthier you. Life after surgery is just the beginning of a long-term commitment. Our staff at the Panhandle Weight Loss Center is committed to walking this journey with you. We believe in 5 basic principles to help you be successful.

  1. Nutrition
    Patient nutrition after surgery is a key to success.
  2. Exercise
    Find something you enjoy. Be realistic about your goals.
  3. Follow-Up
    Patients who follow up after surgery are more successful.
  4. Vitamins
    Vitamin deficiencies are common after weight loss surgery if not taken regularly.
  5. Support Groups
    Research shows patients who attend support groups after surgery are more successful.
Two women high-fiving after running together

Nutrition Tips with Weight Loss Surgery

  1. Protein as the #1 food. Always eat your lean protein food first to meet your 60g of lean protein daily requirement. Get a portion of your protein early in the day either as part of breakfast or as a mid-morning supplement. You will feel fuller during the day.
  2. Eat well balanced meals. Because you are eating smaller portion sizes it is essential that your meals are well balanced to provide you with the proper nutrition.
  3. No skipping meals. Eat at least three meals a day. Having 1-2 small high-protein supplements may be beneficial if you are going more than 4 hours between meals. Small, frequent meals will help to prevent you filling your pouch too fast and will keep your metabolism burning.
  4. Eat at the table. Use a plate or dish and sit down. Take 30 minutes to eat your meals. Focus on your food and enjoy it. Avoid eating in front of the TV or couch.
  5. Portion control. Eat smaller portions. Slow down with eating, chew foods thoroughly, and stop when you feel full.
  6. Stay hydrated. Drink 48-64 ounces of water a day. We sometimes sense hunger when we are actually thirsty.
  7. Eat whole foods. Avoid foods which are in boxes and processed. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  8. The goal is healthy living not just weight loss.

Exercise

Regular exercise and healthy eating habits are the two issues patients struggle with most. These are the foundation for weight loss and healthy living. Achieving success in these areas is essential after weight loss surgery for long term success. Tips which we have found helpful to establish an effective exercise routine are:

  1. Do something you enjoy! If you do not enjoy it you will not continue to do it. If you enjoy a sport find a way to make this part of your daily exercise.
  2. Set realistic goals! Start with achievable goals at first and then build on them. If you can commit to walking only 5 minutes a week then start there. It is better to be consistent with small goals than to set unrealistic goals and accomplish nothing.
  3. Be consistent! By being consistent you develop a habit.
  4. Start walking immediately after surgery.
  5. Increasing your muscle mass helps increase your metabolism. We recommend exercises which work out your core muscle groups. Exercises such as weight training, pushups, and squats can help build these core muscle groups.
  6. Long term goals should also include Cardio. (can include treadmill, stationary bike, jogging, fast walking, swimming or tennis:
    30 minutes, of moderate intensity five times a week
    OR 150 minutes a week
    OR 10,000 steps daily
Woman doing situps with personal trainer

Follow-Up

Patients who follow up after surgery are more successful. There are many reasons follow-up is important after weight loss surgery

  • Nutritional counseling
  • Identify surgical complications
  • Adjust or eliminate medicines
  • Monitor for vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Accountability
  • Identify and treat problems early
  • Identify and treat plateaus or weight regain
TIMEAPPOINTMENT TYPE
2 WEEKS AFTER SURGERYFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT
6 WEEKSFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICAN ASSISTANT & DIETITIAN
3 MONTHSFOLLOW UP W/ SURGEON, DIETITIAN, PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER, LABS AS NEEDED, & PSYCHOLOGIST AS NEEDED
6 MONTHSFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT, DIETITIAN, LABS REQUIRED, PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER, PSYCHOLOGIST AS NEEDED
9 MONTHSFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT & DIETITIAN
1 YEARFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSSITANT, DIETITIAN, LABS REQUIRED, PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER
18 MONTHSFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT & DIETITIAN
ANNUALFOLLOW UP W/ NURSE PRACTIONER/PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT, DIETITIAN, LABS REQUIRED, PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER – IF DUODENAL SWITCH PATIENT, FOLLOW UP WILL BE W/ SURGEON

Required Vitamin and Mineral Supplements After Weight Loss

It is almost impossible to meet certain vitamin and mineral needs without supplementation. There are two reasons for vitamin deficiencies after weight loss surgery. By altering your stomach or GI tract your body absorbs less vitamins and minerals. Secondly, by consuming fewer calories you may not get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. It is essential you take the recommended vitamin and minerals indefinitely. The recommendations shown below are from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Recommendations:

  1. Start vitamin supplementation the day after surgery.
  2. Recommend Patch MD Multivitamin Patch or chewable vitamins recommended by PWLC physicians or Registered Dietitians.
  3. Most vitamins do not meet the ASMBS recommendations and additional supplemental calcium and/or vitamin B12 may be needed.
  4. Keep your vitamin regimen simple but complete.
  5. Be compliant with taking your vitamins.
  6. Get your labs checked when indicated to monitor for deficiencies.
  7. Calcium citrate with vitamin D is recommended as the form of calcium best absorbed after weight loss surgery.
  8. Vitamin B12 can be taken either orally or sublingually at dosage of 500mcg/daily.

Support Groups

Patients who attend support groups regularly after weight loss surgery have been shown to lose more weight than those who do not attend. Our support groups are designed to create an environment for patients to meet and learn from each other. We have found patients teach each other more than any health care provider can because they live it each day. Each support group meeting is designed with different topics ranging from cooking classes, clothing exchanges, protein supplements to how to deal with excess skin. If you are interested in local support groups, you can find the times below and also on our app!

Group support for exercise

PWLC Patient Bariatric Support Group

Held by Panhandle Weight Loss patients to discuss any questions, concerns, suggestions, etc. – Every Thursday evening 6:00 – 7:00 – This is for pre-op or post-op patients – Anyone is welcome!
Location:
PWLC Waiting Room
1301 S. Coulter Suite 413

NWTH Bariatric Support Group

For more information contact our Weight Loss Surgery Coordinator at (806) 354-1985.

BSA Support Group

Free to anyone who has had or is considering weight loss surgery. No reservation required. Call (806) 212-4571 for more information.