Weight Loss Surgery Frequently Asked Questions These are the questions our patients often ask.The answers should help you plan and prepare for your surgery. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please consult with your surgeon. FAQs How long is the average recovery period? Will I need to take vitamin supplements? Why are diet and exercise important after this procedure? What are the risks and complications associated with this surgery? Can I become pregnant after having this procedure? How often will I need to see my surgeon after the proceudre? Will I need plastic surgery for extra skin after I lose weight? Will I be sick frequently after the operation? How much weight will I lose? Will I feel hungry or deprived? Can I eat anything in moderation? Can I take other medications after surgery? How long is the average recovery period? Each laparoscopic procedure’s recovery time is approximately two to six weeks. Most patients return to work in 10 days to two weeks, depending on the job's level of physical demands. Patients with a more physically demanding job may need a longer period of time off work. You may begin exercising in about four to six weeks following surgery. Will I need to take vitamin supplements? Yes. It's likely you will not be able to get enough vitamins and nutrients from your diet following any of the gastric procedures we offer. The supplements include multivitamins, calcium and B12 supplements. Taking supplements will be a lifetime routine. Why are diet and exercise important after this procedure? Remember that weight-loss surgery is not a quick fix. These are surgical tools that can help you lose weight, but your motivation and commitment to a new lifestyle are the real keys to your success. If you don't follow the post-surgery nutrition and exercise guidelines, your weight loss success may be greatly reduced. In addition to the new nutrition plan, regular exercise helps you lose even more weight and improve your overall health and wellness. What are the risks and complications associated with this surgery? Any surgery can have risks of complications, which can include reaction to anesthesia, infection and risk for blood clots. More detailed risks will be reviewed at the informational seminar and with your surgeon during your consult. Can I become pregnant after having this procedure? Pregnancy is not recommended within the first 24 months following a weight loss procedure. The first year following surgery is typically the most rapid weight loss time frame, and your weight loss may not make it possible to consume the nutrients needed during pregnancy. After 24 months, nutritional needs are easier met. How often will I need to see my surgeon after the proceudre? Check-ups with your surgeon are extremely important for long-term success and highly recommended before and after the procedure. During the first year following surgery, you will follow up with your surgeon at 10 days, one month, three months, six months and one year. You will be seen yearly after that for maintenance of weight loss. Will I need plastic surgery for extra skin after I lose weight? As a rule, plastic surgery won’t be considered an option for the first year or two after surgery. This is to make sure you have lost most of your excess weight and more loose skin doesn’t appear with more weight loss. This also gives your skin time to adjust to your new body and allows you time to decide if plastic surgery is right for you. Will I be sick frequently after the operation? The procedures all involve some sort of stapling and revising of your stomach. During the healing phase intermittent nausea may be present. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to help control that. After your healing process is complete, nausea or feeling sick on a regular basis may mean you aren’t chewing your food well enough; you are eating too quickly, or eating too much. How much weight will I lose? Weight loss results vary from patient to patient, and the amount of weight you lose depends on several things. Weight loss surgery is a tool and not a miracle cure, and the pounds won’t come off by themselves. It is very important to set obtainable weight loss goals along your weight loss journey. A weight loss of two to three pounds a week in the first year after operation is possible, but one pound a week is average. Weight loss will slow down after 12 to 18 months, but is still possible. Losing weight too quickly creates a health risk and can least to a number of problems. The main goal is to have weight loss that improves your health, corrects problems and prevents new problems. Will I feel hungry or deprived? The surgery reduces the size of your stomach and alters the hunger hormone. After a small meal, the size of which varies from person to person, you should feel full. If you follow the nutritional guidelines when you chose your food and then chew it well, you should not feel hungry or deprived. The system is a tool to help you change eating habits and portion sizes are key to success. Can I eat anything in moderation? After your stomach is healed, you may eat most foods that don’t cause you discomfort. However, because you can only eat small amounts at a time, it's important to include foods high in protein, vitamins and nutrients, such as those recommended by your surgeon and dietitian. If you eat foods that are high in sugar and fat or drink liquids full of “empty” calories, such as milkshakes, the effect of the weight loss procedure may be greatly reduced or even reversed. Can I take other medications after surgery? You will be able to take most, if not all, of your medications following surgery. Your surgeon will review your medication list with you. It is recommended that anything bigger than a Tylenol be cut in half, dissolved in water or changed to a different dose of a smaller size. Your primary care doctor or pharmacists can help with this. You will be asked to avoid taking aspirins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers for a time before and after surgery because they may irritate the stomach. If you have the gastric bypass procedure, you will have to permanently avoid these medications. Tylenol products are okay to take.