Bariatric Surgery Post-Op Care

What to Expect After Weight Loss Surgery

OCC guides you through five-years of post-op care through our app, online support groups, and US-based on-call patient coordinators. You become part of our family. From consultation and surgery to a lifetime of support and assistance, you’re a member of the #OCCFamily. With over 23,000 operations performed and countless innovations, we have perfected the management of weight loss that comes after bariatric surgery. 

There are several phases of weight management. Each step has its objectives and specific recommendations. It is best to focus on each stage as you progress into weight stabilization.

The post-operative nutrition care has three distinct phases:

  • Recovery (surgery day – 40 days post-op)
  • Extreme weight loss (40 days to 9 months)
  • Weight stabilization (9 months and life after that)

In each phase, we provide you with food and supplement criteria as well as lifestyle and dietary behavior recommendations.

  1.  The six-week recovery process is four different diet stages. This stage consists of preventing complications, helping meet nutrient needs, diet progression, and adequate recovery. 
  2.  Starting with recovery and continuing into the first nine months, it is critical to meet fluid and nutritional needs through nutrient-dense and minimally processed foods. Nutrients provide energy, prevent muscle breakdown, repair aggravated organs, facilitate the elimination of stored toxins, and modulate metabolism. The result is fat loss.  Thus, at this stage, we emphasize the need to provide essential nutrients through food and supplements to restore health. 
  3. At nine months from surgery, for continuing weight loss (fat loss) and weight stabilization, we will make an emphasis on food and supplement choices, physical activity, and mindful eating. During the first year after weight loss or metabolic surgery, many obesity-related comorbid conditions may resolve or improve, and most of the weight will come off. This stage’s objective is to use the operation as a tool to make lasting dietary changes that will improve the quality of life.

Nutrition is a determinant of chronic disease. However, alterations in diet after surgery will have strong positive effects on your health throughout life. At OCC, we are committed to reversing chronic conditions related to diet. We work with you to implement dietary changes in a step-by-step approach that will profoundly influence your wellbeing.

Obesity Control Center Offers Nutrition and Support For Life

Your success is our success. Hence, once an OCC patient, always an OCC patient. You’re a member of the #OCCFamily for life.

Joining the #OCCFamily

Bariatric surgery is the most effective way to achieve significant and durable weight loss and can lead an end to many obesity-related diseases. (BMJ, ASMBS 2013).

Weight loss surgery at Obesity Control Center will change how your stomach, gut hormones, and metabolic pathways work. Since obesity is a complicated condition of weight regulation and the causes of obesity vary, surgery outcomes also vary. Keep in mind that bariatric surgical procedures are considered both weight-loss and metabolic surgeries. They not only lead to significant weight loss but also influence diseases caused by obesity. Some patients may resolve their diabetes before losing weight. Other patients may lose weight immediately upon surgery before showing some degree of diabetes resolution. In either case, the outcomes are both positive.

The pre-operative nutritional plan replenishes vitamin and mineral deficits that contribute to helping a compromised nutritional status and modulates the inflammatory response to surgery. In the immediate post-operative stage, the use of specific nutrients for wound healing has demonstrated a decrease in wound complication risks. In the long-term, the nutritional plan is critical to successful post-operative weight loss, reduced obesity-related health risks, and for weight maintenance.

While each person may have different health objectives, the OCC’s nutritional intervention is not limited to helping the patient meet weight-loss goals. Dietary supplementation can maximize the overall health results for long-term success. The weight-loss journey is a healing process. Nutrition is coming to the forefront as the fundamental way to heal the body. 

The lessons learned from our patients’ journeys, our own experience as health providers, and our expertise in evidence-based medicine and nutrition therapies have been put together into the OCC comprehensive medical and nutritional education program. From the moment you become our patient, you will have access to the OCC program, before and after surgery. It is a five-year-long program which includes online videos, support groups, individualized e-mail coaching, phone consults, follow-up assessments, etc. We help and support our patients for as long as they need our expertise. Your success is our success. Hence, once an OCC patient, always an OCC patient. You’re a member of the #OCCFamily for life.

sleeve revision bariatric surgery experts

The OCC APP

Real-Time Reporting 24/7

Obesity Control Center uses a proprietary app to help patients stay on track and reach their goals. We really are with you every step of the way!

  • Smart Scale Sync 
  • Weight Loss Tracking
  • Pre and Post Surgery Care/Alerts
  • Nutritional Surveillance
  • Food Log/ Bar Code Scanner
  • Sleep Pattern Tracking
  • Water Intake Log
  • Calories Intake/ Calorie Expenditure
  • Pedometer
  • Before and After Gallery
  • OCC Social Community/ Social Media Enabled

Simply step on a Smart Scale* and the OCC App will capture your Body Fat%, Total Body Water, Lean Mass and Weight and the report back to our expert team. Based on these results, pre-programmed algorithms will alert us of any adjustments needed in your program, on the fly, 24/7 for a continuous uninterrupted weight loss, preserving lean mass, and optimal hydration.

Learn more about the App here.

Coming Soon: Education and Follow-Up Program

Obesity Control Center will soon debut a comprehensive education and follow-up program designed to give patients all the information and tools they need to succeed after their surgical procedure. It will take you on a day-by-day journey, answering questions and leaving recipes and tips.

Incentive Spirometer

An IS helps prevent lung problems by exercising the muscles used for breathing. For spirometry, you will need to breathe slowly and deeply. Breathing deeply helps open your airway and fill your lungs with air. The incentive spirometer shows how well your lungs inflate (expand) by measuring how deep your breathing is. Learn more about how to use an Incentive Spirometer.

Possible Complications of Gastric Surgery

Lap-Band

Productive Burping (PB’ing)
A common occurrence for banded patients is regurgitation of non-acidic swallowed food from the upper pouch, commonly known as PB’ing (productive burping). This is not to be considered normal.
Occasionally, the narrow passage into the larger / lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of unchewed or unsuitable foodstuff.

A single episode of regurgitation can be caused by:

  • To large of a bite
  • Swallowing a second bite too soon
  • Eating too fast
  • Not chewing thoroughly
  • Eating too much

When regurgitation is frequent or even a daily event:

  • Your band may be too tight
  • You may have a swollen stomach due to food dislodged or repetitive vomiting
  • You may be frequently displaying the behaviors listed above

Reflux
Acid reflux is different than regurgitation. It is not food that just went down and is returning up. This actually is the acid produced in the stomach, which is burning the lower esophagus. Heartburn is the main symptom, which can be caused by a band that is too tight or swelling of the stomach lining. This condition requires immediate medical attention for treatment as it can evolve into a major complication.

No Weight Loss After Gastric Band
The band is too loose:

If you can eat more than a third of your pre-surgical intake of solid foods
Your band could be too tight:

If you can only eat soft or liquid foods or if solid foods always get stuck
You have the right fill level but you are not eating solid food
You are consuming only high calorie foods.

Slippage: 2-3%
When the upper pouch of the stomach pulls the lower stomach through the band. This pushes the band down on the stomach. As more stomach is pulled through the band and the band is displaced distally, the band surrounds more stomach until it totally obstructs. This causes varying degrees of intolerance to solids of liquids or even total obstruction, depending on the degree of slippage. All slips require surgical repositioning. This surgery is very straightforward and should not be postponed, recovery tends to be faster and re-slippage is rare.

Erosions: Less than 1%
Though erosions are very rare, (even rarer than slippages) they do sometimes occur. The Lap Band is an implant and it is subject to natural body reactions, including elimination. The inside of the stomach, for practical purposes is outside of the body. Since the Lap Band is considered a foreign body, the body may react to it trying to eliminate it into the stomach. All erosions require surgery for removal and replacement of the band if so decided by you and your doctor. Though not considered a medical emergency, it should be addressed promptly.

Port Problems
Rare port complications include infection (usually skin bacteria in your pores contaminate the wound), seroma, which is a collection of sterile serous fluid, hematoma, which is a collection of blood. Breakage of the port can also occur though the Lap Band device is guaranteed. Natural body movements can also cause it to break. This is very rare and is usually related to a specific event. Port replacement can be done under local anesthetic as an ambulatory procedure. Port leaks are rare and are usually related to the disconnection of the device or a needle stick.

Improved Gastric Sleeve

Bloating, heartburn, leakage (rare). The innovations pioneered by surgeons at OCC, including the Double Buttress Sewing Technique, means there are fewer post-surgery side effects. Complications are lower compared to other sleeve procedures.

Gastric Bypass

Bloating, heartburn, leakage (rare).

Gastric Plication
  • Bloating
  • Leaking
  • Obstructions

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to take supplements for life?

Since the procedure will restrict the amount of food you can eat, it is necessary to take supplements to fill the nutritional gap. Bariatric supplements contain different doses and forms of the vitamins and minerals. The advantage of these supplements is that they reduce the pill intake and facilitate the absorption of nutrients.
Is there weight regain after surgery?
After a patient’s weight stabilizes (typically 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery), he or she may experience some weight regain. Throughout the first year after surgery, the volume of food that patients can consume increases. This increase is reasonable. Compared to the presurgery weight, patients who regain a few pounds still maintain substantial weight loss that is greater than the weight loss typically achieved by diet and exercise.

When can I get pregnant?

Most female bariatric surgery patients are of reproductive age. Fertility improves after weight loss and bariatric surgery, particularly in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women must take precautions against becoming pregnant for at least 12 months after the procedure. Some evidence suggests waiting for up to 2 years before conceiving. Patients should base the timing of pregnancy on their health status and wishes. At OCC, we recommend waiting for at least 18 months.

How much weight will I lose per week?

Some patients may lose weight at a steady rate each week. In contrast, others may lose a significant amount of weight intermittently each month. Weight loss varies among patients. Often there are periods of decline followed by weight plateaus. The average weight loss per month is 10 lbs. Because each individual’s weight loss pattern is unique, patients should avoid weighting themselves obsessively or comparing weight losses.
We consider successful weight loss to be from fat loss, not from muscle breakdown. At OCC, we encourage you to track down body fat instead of measuring overall weight. Losing muscle is by no means a healthy or sustainable weight loss. A healthy body fat range depends on gender and age. If you are a woman, aim to have 30% of body fat if you are a man aim for 20%, regardless of weight.

Schedule your Gastric Procedure Today

Call 1 866-893-8005 or email us here to start your weight loss journey. Call one of our US-based coordinators and learn how you can get the life you’ve always wanted with the help of the Obesity Control Center.