Weight Loss Surgery FAQ

Deciding whether or not to undergo weight loss surgery can be a hard choice. Weight loss surgery is life changing and demands a concrete commitment from the patient to follow a diet and exercise plan.

These surgeries are gaining more acceptance today as more new technology makes the surgeries more effective and safer. If you are considering weight loss surgery, there are probably many questions you have. Here are some common questions regarding weight loss surgery.

  • Is weight loss surgery safe? For the most part, weight loss surgery is safe. As with any surgical procedure there are risks involved and these should be cautiously considered before having the procedure. Also, there are some forms of weight loss surgeries that are safer than others. Surgeries that are performed laparoscopically are generally safer and easier to recover from than open procedures. Supplementally, there may some medical conditions that will prevent a good outcome for some patients. It is important to discuss these issues with your health care provider before having surgery.
  • How much weight can I lose? The amount of weight you will lose following weight loss surgery will depend on several aspects. First, the type of weight loss surgery you have can affect the outcome. The Lap-Band procedure, while safer, has slower weight loss than other forms. Also, the foods you eat and your exercise routine will influence your weight loss outcome. It is essential to follow the diet plan given to you and to exercise everyday for the maximum weight loss. Most patients can expect to lose about 36 percent of their excess body weight within the first year.
  • Will I qualify for weight loss surgery? That will also depend. Typically, a candidate for weight loss surgery must weigh 100 pounds or more over their ideal body weight. Another factor is the body mass index. Morbidly obese people rate at 40 or more on this index and can be considered for weight loss surgery. Some people may weigh less than 100 pounds over their weight, but must also suffer from obesity related illnesses before being considered for the surgery.
  • What can I eat following surgery? For the first five weeks after surgery, you will be limited to liquids and pureed foods. Gradually, you can begin to add in other foods such as lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables and low fat dairy products. Most patients will only be able to eat a very small portion so it is important to stop eating when you feel full and to eat several small meals during the day. Also, you should avoid sweet foods and foods that are greasy, fibrous, doughy or sticky. This can lead to obstruction of the stomach and intestines.
  • Can I participate in activities following surgery? Yes, after you are totally healed, which generally takes four to six weeks. Healing time can depend on the type of surgery that is performed. After that time, you can resume your normal activities. In fact, exercise is encouraged and will aid in more rapid weight loss.