Talking to Others About Weight Loss Surgery

Preparing for weight loss surgery is a big deal and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Anyone preparing for surgery of this kind has certainly done their homework with regard to all the details surrounding this procedure. We do our research to find the best doctor, learn everything we need to know about the weight loss surgery we have chosen, and start putting together a plan for our new after-surgery lifestyle. But there’s one big component that can make the biggest difference when it comes to preparing for surgery and that is talking to others who have been through the very same experience.

Reaching out to others who have undergone weight loss surgery can offer unique insight into what you can expect from the procedure. In fact, this is probably the best information you can get prior to having the surgery.

So how do you go about finding someone to talk to about your upcoming weight loss surgery?

Support groups are a big part of the weight loss surgery community. There is tremendous transformation that goes along with such a procedure – both physically and emotionally – and it’s important to surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through and what you’re feeling. That’s why support groups play such an integral role in the process. Your weight loss surgery center should be able to recommend a local support group that can help you:

  • Prepare for surgery. You certainly have plenty of questions about what is to come. It can be scary to sign up for surgery of any kind especially one as life changing as weight loss surgery. Starting a support group prior to surgery can provide you with a starting point to a new life and give you an outlet for asking the questions you want answered before you enter the operating room.
  • Understand what to expect immediately following surgery. Right after surgery, things happen very fast. You’re following a doctor-prescribed diet, you’re likely sore from the surgery itself, and you’re probably overwhelmed by it all. A support group can help you navigate these new waters.

Provide you support in the longterm. Ongoing success means adopting a new lifestyle and remaining committed to that life. A support group can help hold you accountable and provide insight into what to expect weeks, months, and even years down the road from surgery.

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Weight Loss Surgery: How Much Time to Recover?

There is much to consider when undergoing surgery including what you can expect in terms of the procedure itself and, of course, recovery following surgery. Every person is different and there are a variety of weight loss procedures so recovery differs from person to person as a result. While some people may recover rather quickly, others may find that they need more time to get back on their feet and back to their regular day-to-day activities.

While every experience may be different, here is some of what to expect while you recover from your weight loss surgery:

Immediately following surgery, you will remain in recovery for a period of time – typically 2 to 4 hours – following your procedure so that you can be watched to ensure that your vitals are stable and your pain is being appropriately managed.

The Lap-Band procedure generally allows for patients to be released to go home the same day as long as you are able to tolerate clear liquids. Gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients, however, are required to stay in the hospital for one or two nights.

Before discharge, your medical team will ensure that you are up and walking to help prevent blood clots, that your lungs are clear, and that your pain is under control.

One to two weeks after surgery you will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon and another one six weeks post-surgery during which you will have lab work done and undergo nutrition education. Additional follow-ups will be done six months and one-year post-surgery and then once a year every year after.

Staying in contact with your medical team following surgery is the best way to stay accountable and to ensure that you are doing all you can to remain healthy for a lifetime.