Changes After Bariatric Surgery

Emotional changes after surgery are to be expected. Be prepared for emotional ups and downs after you go home from the hospital. Some patients feel like they are on an emotional roller coaster. These feelings are completely normal and generally go away within a week or so. If these feelings don’t go away, or get worse, please notify our office. We have psychologists and a social worker to help you through these times. They will see you at your follow-up visits and can arrange to talk to you outside of our clinic, if needed. They will help you deal with the changes in your lifestyle and personal relationships as your body changes.

For our female patients, it is important to remember that pregnancy should be avoided within the first two years after having bariatric surgery. The pregnancy will be much safer for you and the baby by waiting this long. For this reason, we highly recommend some form of medical birth control, such as the Pill. We will talk to you about this before you have surgery.

Dumping Syndrome

After gastric bypass surgery, your body is less able to tolerate foods high in refined sugars and fat. These foods often cause dumping syndrome, when the foods you eat pass too quickly into the small intestine. This can cause sweating, dizziness, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms often last a couple of hours depending on what you ate and how much of it you ate. For this reason, it is important to avoid foods high in sugar and fat.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Every day, for the rest of your life, you will need to take a multivitamin with iron and a calcium supplement. It may also be necessary for you to take additional vitamin and mineral supplements. This will be based on the laboratory results we get at your follow-up visits. It is important to take these vitamins regularly to prevent anemia and other problems caused by vitamin deficiencies. These are more common in gastric bypass, due to the malabsorption created by the surgery.

Hair Loss

Hair loss can accompany any rapid and significant weight loss. The most common reasons are poor intake of protein and decreased amounts of zinc. Patients who have not been eating enough protein will usually show some hair loss between three and six months after surgery. Hair loss usually resolves once you have enough protein in your diet, take vitamin supplements regularly, and reach a point of maximum weight loss.