Sometimes diet and exercise just aren’t enough to lose weight. Many people struggling with obesity seem to be doing everything right, and the pounds simply aren’t coming off. Because of the health risks associated with being significantly overweight are quite varied and serious, some sort of intervention is necessary. Gastric bypass surgery is one such intervention that can offer dramatic results and set the stage for dramatic and permanent weight loss. Here are some frequently asked questions about this procedure.
What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?
Gastric bypass surgery facilitates weight loss by changing the way your stomach and small intestines handle food. The surgeon will make your stomach smaller, which results in you being able to eat less food, and performs a procedure that causes food to bypass certain parts of your stomach and small intestines, so fewer calories will be absorbed.
How Long Does it Take to Recover?
Generally, it will take about two to three weeks to recovery fully from the surgery. This can vary though, depending on factors such as your surgeon’s preference and any individual factors that would possibly affect your recovery, such as your overall health. The nature of your work may also call for a longer recovery period before you can resume your duties.
How Soon Can I Get My Surgery after the Consultation?
This will vary depending on a number of factors. Some examples include availability of the surgeon, the schedule of the gastric bypass surgery center, insurance requirements, and any preoperative requirements, such as bringing a previously untreated condition under control before undergoing surgery.
How Much Weight Can I Expect to Lose and Keep Off Permanently?
Typically, people who undergo gastric bypass surgery lose from half to up to 80 percent of their excess weight, which is defined as your present weight minus your ideal weight. It is important to remember that while the surgery facilitates this weight loss through reducing absorption of calories and reducing the amount of food your body can handle, over the long-term, you need to play an active role in maintaining your weight through healthy lifestyle choices, such as regular exercise and following the nutritional recommendations of your doctor.
Do I Have to Take Vitamin Supplements for the Rest of My Life?
Because you will be eating less, and not as many nutrients will be absorbed, it is recommended gastric bypass patients take a quality multi-vitamin supplement, calcium, vitamin D, iron and B-12, all of which can be purchased over the counter, with the exception of certain types of iron supplements. If you require B-12 injections, insurance typically covers that.
Will I Be Able to Eat Fresh Fruits?
Because of the changes in your digestive system brought on by the surgery, certain types of foods may be problematic, namely fresh fruit. During the early phases of your post-surgery regimen, they will be limited. After this period, they can usually be tolerated in small amounts, though you may find you cannot handle skins of the fruit, or other parts that are very high in fiber.
Do I Need a Psychiatric Evaluation?
Whether or not you require a psychiatric evaluation will depend on your insurance company and your surgeon. In most cases, one will be required. Your doctor can provide a list of psychologists or you may have to use someone on a list of providers given to you by your insurance company.