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RG Marathon Championship 2022

What are the ways to control weight after bariatric surgery?

What are the ways to control weight after bariatric surgery?

Obesity has become a health concern in recent times. Excessive junk food, increased salts and fat contents in diets, and a sedentary lifestyle are major factors behind it. Although obesity is not a disease (and it would be rude to classify it as one), it predisposes individuals to innumerable morbid conditions. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 is considered normal, while a BMI of more than 30 indicates obesity. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help maintain your BMI and reduce the risk of being obese.

What is Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a group of surgeries aimed at weight loss in patients with extreme conditions. Exercise and dieting are not helpful for patients who are highly overweight. As a result, they have to resort to bariatric surgery to help them lose weight and battle the condition. It is essential in cases where immediate weight loss is required to prevent and control severe illness. Such potentially life-threatening diseases include-

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Heart disease and stroke

  • High blood pressure

  • Sleep apnea

  • NASH

  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease

Types of bariatric surgery

There are primarily three types of bariatric surgeries. However, the underlying principle of each surgery is either decreasing the capacity of food consumption or reducing nutrient absorption by the gastrointestinal system.

Gastric Bypass - This weight loss surgery involves creating a pouch bypassing the stomach. The food directly enters the small intestine via bypass, which reduces food intake capacity. It is the most common bariatric surgery performed.

Biliopancreatic Diversion with duodenal switch - There are two steps in this surgery. The first is the sleeve gastrectomy. In this, there is the removal of most of the stomach. The second step involves the removal of intestinal portions. This surgery reduces food intake as well as absorption of fats and proteins.

Sleeve gastrectomy - Doctors will remove 80% of the stomach in this procedure. Also, it induces hormone production leading to weight loss. It is usually done in patients with BMI more than 40 or with BMI more than 35 having a life-threatening condition.

Risks associated with Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric surgery is an invasive surgery associated with the removal of GIT organs. It can lead to co-morbidities and procedure-related problems. Thus, it is considered as an intermediate to high-risk non-cardiac surgery. Due to such risk factors, this surgery is unadvised if you do not experience any debilitating issues. 

Short term risk factors include 

  • Blood clots

  • Excessive bleeding

  • Wound infection

Long term risks associated with Bariatric Surgery

  • Dumping syndrome

  • Gallstones

  • Malnutrition

  • Hypoglycemia

  • Stomach perforations

  • Weighty regain

  • Ulcers

  • Candy cane syndrome

Diet Plan in Bariatric Surgery 

Surgery alone cannot be an answer to the treatment of the patients. They must follow a strict diet and exercise regularly after the surgery. Here are some tips that can be followed before, during, and after the surgery.

Pre-Surgery Care 

It is beneficial to lose weight before the procedure. Losing a certain amount of weight decreases the fat content in your abdomen thus, increasing the chance of a laparoscopy than open surgery. Laparoscopy is a preferred procedure due to its less invasive nature. You can consult with professionals to plan a pre-op diet.

Points to remember-

  • Your diet must be calorie deficient. 

  • It should have sufficient proteins to supplement your muscles. 

  • You can resort to a liquid diet a few days before surgery

  • Never forget to inform your doctor about your diet and drug intake.

  • Avoid smoking cigarettes and alcohol consumption. 

  • Do not binge eat or consume a diet rich in sugars.

You can also consult the anesthesiologist if you suffer from any specific conditions that may impact your recovery post-surgery. 

Post-Surgery Care

It is essential to follow diet plans and exercise after surgery. There are steps according to which you can bring changes to your diet after the surgery. A dietician or healthcare provider will be obliged to jot down the instructions for you. 

For the first few days - The body needs to heal after the surgery. You are allowed to consume only a liquid diet consisting of clear liquids. It gives your body sufficient healing time without causing alterations in your stomach’s anatomy. Later you can drink other beverages, such as skimmed milk, tea, decaffeinated coffee, unsweetened juices, etc.

The second step involves the consumption of pureed food. It is the type of food that can easily be blended and liquefied in your GIT. Avoid adding any spices that might irritate the stomach.

Recommended food items: 
  • Fruits - Apples, bananas, peaches

  • Vegetable - Spinach, carrots

  • Protein-rich food - Yogurt, turkey, scrambled eggs

Food items to avoid:
  • Food items that are prepared with too much spice. 

  • Fruits such as kiwi or strawberries

  • Vegetables that are difficult to digest include cauliflower and broccoli

The third step consists of soft food consumption. These are easy to chew food items such as eggs, baked fish, fruits, etc.

The final step involves the stabilization of the diet. You can now consume small pieces of solid food. It usually takes two months to reach this stage. Avoid food items causing abdominal discomfort.

Food to avoid in the last stage of post-surgery care: 

  • Fried food

  • Dry food

  • Tough meat

  • Items that contain excess sugar 


Bariatric surgery has a success rate of 65-80%. It can be made possible by incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise into your lifestyle. You can also reach out to support groups to help you with the journey.

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