Gastric Bypass Surgery

A New Life

Serving size isn't the only thing to change in a gastric bypass patient's life. People who have undergone the surgery have to eat and drink slowly to reduce the chance of vomiting. Patients must also chew food thoroughly to make sure it can pass through the new, smaller opening from the stomach to the intestine. In addition, patients must add new foods to their diets one at a time in order to make sure that new stomach will agree with it. Vitamin and mineral supplements become an essential part of the diet and should not be skipped for any reason.

Justin Ness lost more than 100 pounds after gastric bypass surgery in 2004.

Follow-up visits to your doctor can vary, but usually a patient is expected to return to the office within two to three weeks after the surgery. The doctor monitors progress with subsequent visits occurring six weeks, three months, six months and one year after the surgery. During this first year, the doctor assesses a patient's ability to heal, measures for nutritional deficits and monitors the amount of weight loss. After the first year, every gastric bypass patient should check in on an annual basis in order to chart any further weight loss or weight gain. At all of these visits, the doctor checks the patient's blood for anemias and other nutritional deficiencies. Gastric bypass patients are specifically at risk for iron and vitamin B12 deficiencies for the rest of their lives, one reason why the annual checkup is so important.

While we can all agree that weight loss in an obese person is ultimately good for the body, the body can sometimes rebel during the initial phases of rapid weight loss. Within the first three to six months, some people can suffer from body aches, extreme fatigue, dry skin, mood swings and hair loss. After about six months, these symptoms should disappear as the body gets used to the weight loss. Patients should be aware that even with a smaller stomach and fewer absorbed calories, people who don't exercise or who eat unhealthy foods can gain all their presurgery weight back.

Now we'll take a look at a few other weight-loss surgery options.