The First Few Weeks after Bariatric Surgery
Adjusting to your new life after weight loss surgery in Michigan
The first few weeks after weight loss surgery are an exciting period. This is a crucial stage of the recovery process. As you gradually return to your regular routine and recover from surgery, the first few weeks will be your first chance to start implementing healthy habits and adjust to the guidelines that Dr. Taylor has given you.
In this section of our Weight Loss Surgery Guide, we will outline different challenges that frequently come up during this stage of recovery and how best to cope with them. As always, only use these guidelines as secondary information to those provided to you personally by Dr. Taylor. If you have any further questions about your recovery from bariatric surgery and the weight loss process, contact your weight loss surgeon.
Wound care is the first step to a healthy recovery after weight loss surgery. The sooner your wounds heal, the sooner you’ll be able to engage in activity and return to your normal routine. During the first few weeks after weight loss surgery, you must follow your weight loss surgeon’s instructions precisely to avoid infection and give your body its best chance at a speedy recovery.
The way your body digests food will change after weight loss surgery. After bariatric surgery, there are certain foods you won’t be able to eat anymore and strict caloric guidelines as to how much you can eat at once. Straying from your weight loss surgeon’s dietary guidelines can lead to severe gastrointestinal discomfort, like nausea, gas, constipation, diarrhea and dumping syndrome.
Many people look at weight loss surgery as a fresh start—the first few weeks after bariatric surgery are your first chance to start forming new, healthy habits. Since your body is still recovering, you will need to slowly adjust to activity until Dr. Taylor clears you to participate in regular exercise. By being patient and listening to Dr. Taylor’s guidelines you can prevent an injury and remain on track towards reaching your fitness goals.
You will progress through a series of dietary changes as you recover from surgery. Over the course of several weeks, you will complete four different stages of a modified diet before beginning to reincorporate regular foods.
During the first stage of your diet, you will need to only consume clear liquids. This is an important part of helping your stomach heal after weight loss surgery. Clear liquids may include broths and juices without sugar.
After completing the clear liquid stage, your body may be ready to handle the non-transparent liquids of stage two. The transition to stage two typically occurs two to seven days after weight loss surgery. Acceptable liquids in stage two may include milk and thin sauces.
You will likely begin to incorporate pureed foods two to three weeks after your operation. During stage three, you can start adding foods that are thicker than liquids but do not need to be chewed.
These foods are tender enough to be digestible, but will not need to be blended or mashed to be consumed like the foods of stage three. Though the rate at which you reach stage four will vary widely, you can expect to begin eating soft foods several weeks after weight loss surgery.
When you have successfully progressed through the four stages of your transitional diet, you will be ready to begin reintroducing solid foods to your diet.