So What Should You Expect?
To prepare for surgery you will be required to be on a very low-calorie diet for two weeks prior to your surgery date. This includes using Optifast (or similar product) meal replacements as well as drinking plenty of water and eating plenty of ‘free’ vegetables. Free vegetables contain a decent amount of fibre per carbohydrate along with vitamins and minerals.
The purpose of this phase is to:
- Reduce the size of your liver and decrease fat around your abdomen to allow easier access to the stomach during surgery
- A reduction in any pre-existing metabolic abnormalities (e.g. hypertension, high blood glucose levels, high blood cholesterol)
- Increase confidence that you will be able to comply with the post-operative dietary restriction
In the long term you should expect:
- Reduced portion sizes
- Good quality food with an emphasis on ensuring adequate protein
- Daily supplementation with multivitamins and other nutrients as individually prescribed by the dietitian
- Regular meals and snacks
- Separation of food and fluid
- That some foods which you eat regularly now may not be well tolerated
Our highly skilled dietitians have extensive bariatric surgery knowledge and are committed to working with you to support you through your surgical experience and into the future.
Dietitian appointments are usually scheduled for 10-14 days after surgery to upgrade your liquid diet to solid foods. Soon after, a soft and semi-solid diet will start, followed by a full bariatric diet. It is recommended that patients have five to six small meals a day. Regular sips of water are required to prevent dehydration since the consumption of large amounts of water in very short periods is not possible after bariatric surgery. Additional appointments and exercise consultations may be of benefit and can be arranged privately. Private health and/or Medicare rebates for these visits may be available.
After any weight loss operation deficiencies particularly of iron, protein, calcium, micronutrients and different vitamins are possible. Therefore regular blood tests are required and sometimes an intramuscular vitamin B12 injection or iron infusion might be necessary. In most patients, these deficiencies are easily preventable by following the diet recommendations and taking daily multivitamin tablets.
Pregnancy must be avoided 24 months after weight loss surgery.
Smoking can promote inflammation of the stomach, which can lead to a gastric ulcer. Therefore, smoking should be avoided.
Sometimes loose bowel motions are possible and may require oral medication. Also reported are changes to the taste of food and sometimes reversible loss of hair.
Weight regain can occur after all types of bariatric surgery. Up to a certain level this is expected since the body adapts after surgery and becomes more efficient with food. If over time an increasing volume of food is consumed, the sleeve will enlarge causing the procedure to lose its effectiveness. A stretching of the gastric pouch, when overeating has also been reported after gastric bypass. Similar to a SG, a Minimizer gastric ring can be placed around the upper part of the gastric pouch during bypass surgery to prevent stretching some years down the line. Regular attention to weight gain and consultation with a dietician is necessary to minimise this possibility.
After any gastric bypass surgery, the anatomy has been changed due to the transection of the upper part of the stomach to create the pouch. Therefore the distal stomach cannot be entered with an endoscope (gastroscopy). In the case of stones in the bile duct (dislodged gallstones) an endoscopy (ERCP) is not possible to retrieve the stones, so if necessary, the bile duct may be operated on by using minimal invasive keyhole techniques.
Postoperative follow up after all bariatric operations:
Dr Puhalla and his team do regular medical check-ups after surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. The daily intake of a multi vitamin tablet to prevent vitamin or micronutrients deficiencies is strongly recommended.
Dr Harald Puhalla
Associate Professor of Surgery
If you’ve been struggling with your weight for some time, you’re not alone. More than 14 million Australians are obese or overweight, and obesity is now a global health concern.
Contact Us for more information on Bariatric Surgery
Take the first step by making an initial appointment with Dr Puhalla, who has decades of surgical experience. Understanding your full medical history will assist Dr Puhalla in providing you with a holistic treatment plan to help you reach your goals. Our friendly and caring team are more than happy to answer your questions and guide you through your weight loss journey. Your health is worth your focus!
Dr Harald Puhalla is a General Surgeon with a private practice in Gold Coast Private Hospital and Pindara Private Hospital. For more information about the surgical procedures offered by Dr Puhalla, please contact us to arrange a consultation or phone (07) 5667 9766.
Pacific Private Clinic
Suite 4, Level 6
123 Nerang Street
Southport, QLD 4215
Disclaimer: This website contains general information only about medical conditions and treatments and does not replace a detailed medical or surgical consultation. The information provided is done so without any representation or warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.
All medical and surgical procedures carry a risk and visitors to this website are advised to consult a registered medical practitioner for advice applicable to their individual requirements. Treatment outcomes and results may differ from person to person.