By Dr. Stephen Fleischer
One of the critical elements for success of weight-loss surgery is post-bariatric surgery care. As a result, we are there for our patients as they make the decision to have life-saving surgery. After surgery, the Surgical Healing Arts team is committed to supporting our patients through lifetime lifestyle changes to ensure post-bariatric surgery success. Just some of the changes include healthy eating, exercise and regular healthcare monitoring, according to the ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery).
“Losing weight is not easy and you don’t have to go at it alone,” said Dr. Moses Shieh. “It is a challenging process filled with many ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. At Surgical Healing Arts Center, we team up with our patients and face these challenges together. We initially achieve the weight loss goals through surgery, and further continue this team process by being by the patient’s side in their transformation process to a healthier diet, renewed daily participation in revitalized activities, and positive lifestyle changes in a warm-support-group fashion.”
The Importance of Support Groups for Post-Bariatric Surgery Success
The University of California San Francisco notes the importance of bariatric surgery patients to engage in activities, behaviors and groups that encourage the new lifestyle.
While making lifestyle changes is up to the patient, our team offers tips and strategies needed to succeed and stay motivated. Our team is here to help patients maintain their commitment to living a healthier life.
We offer a bariatric patient support group with monthly topics including exercise, nutrition, stress, changing behavior and more. The group addresses concerns and questions. Also, participants share experiences, encouragement and tips.
According to studies, support group attendance after bariatric surgery is associated with greater post-operative weight loss.
In fact, we know this step in post-bariatric surgery success is so important that we offer support and follow-up care to patients who had weight-loss surgery elsewhere. Our adopted patients program extends our warm post-operative care to patients who are seasonal or have relocated to the area.
Developing a New Relationship with Food
Because bariatric surgery changes how the body processes food, patients need to commit to a new way of life after bariatric surgery. These changes include new dietary restrictions and even how to eat.
However, our patients need not worry about making mistakes or having to figure out their new diet. We outline guidelines and recommendations to the high-protein, low-fat and low-sugar diet in the Bariatric Surgery Guide given to every patient.
Taking protein, mineral and multivitamin supplements after surgery are critical to proper, balanced nutrition.
In addition to teaching patients what they can and should not eat, our team will help patients understand hunger cues and sort out hunger versus emotion. In addition, we help our patients understand why lifestyle changes are necessary. For example, the reason protein is so important to post-bariatric surgery success is that it takes longer to digest. As a result, eating protein first results in consuming less food overall.
Another example is the importance of drinking water instead of soda, coffee, tea or juice. Flavorful liquids can increase appetite and lead to snacking, one of the obstacles to success of post-bariatric surgery success.
The Importance of Exercise
Just like with any type of surgery, movement helps with recovery. After surgery, moving can help prevent blood clots that can form in your legs.
In addition, exercise is important to overall health and may help with weight loss after surgery.
We understand that people may misunderstand the idea of exercise. You do not necessarily have to join a gym to be successful. At first, stretching and walking will get you moving. As patients lose weight, activity will likely become more enjoyable, and is important to maintain muscle and cardiovascular fitness.
Our team is happy to help our patients find activities they enjoy to continue their commitment to living a healthier life.
The bonus to exercise is that it releases hormones that make you feel good while also curbing hunger. Activity helps promote mobility, benefits nearly every major organ and helps maintain weight loss over time.
How We Support Our Patients in Achieving Post-Bariatric Surgery Success
We understand that the decision to have weight-loss surgery was difficult. Also, we know that the lifestyle changes necessary for success can be hard, too. That is why we are committed to supporting our patients, long after surgery.
Here is what a few of our patients have said about the support they received (to read or view other patient testimonials, click here).
“Everyone at Surgical Healing Arts Center have always been so caring and helpful. From my first appointment through all of my nutritionist visits I have felt completely comfortable, excited, and trusting in the process and people who work within Surgical Healing.” – Libby
“The surgeons, assistants and staff at Surgical Healing Arts are friendly, professional and caring. My experience with them has been nothing but exceptional. They were always there when I had any questions and the staff always made sure I was taken care of. I always felt like I was in good hands!” – Renate
“This group of doctors with Dr. Shieh and Dr. Ramlogan saved my life!! Because of them I have my life back. Because of them I’ve lost a total of 184 pounds, and I couldn’t have done it without them. They are professional, they are kind, and they actually care about their patients. And I can get in and see them anytime I need to no matter what’s going on. I like when a doctor feels like family.” – Amber
To find out about how weight-loss surgery may help you lead a healthier life, click here.
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Fleischer’s specialties are advanced laparoscopic general surgery and bariatric surgery.