Postoperative bariatric follow-up care after any weight loss surgery is extremely important.
We want your bariatric surgery and weight loss efforts to be as successful as possible, and we know you feel the same. To this end, we cannot stress the importance of follow-up care enough. Patients who regularly keep their follow-up visits almost always lose more weight than those who skip their follow-ups.
Why Is Bariatric Follow-Up Care So Important?
Your regularly scheduled post-op follow-up visits are important for a variety of reasons.
- The success of a bariatric operation is unknown at the time of your discharge. Weight loss after sleeve gastrectomy or LAP-BAND generally occurs over a 12-18 month period, while weight loss after gastric bypass occurs for as long as 18-24 months. Follow-up care and instruction will help maximize your success.
- Counseling by the dietician, who’s experienced in treating patients after gastric restrictive operations, is important in making the transition from liquids to soft solid foods. Additionally, our dietician will emphasize the importance of making appropriate food choices in order to maintain a balanced diet and avoid the high calorie liquids and soft foods which can undermine your operation.
Remember, any bariatric procedure can be nullified if you consume too many calories. This is particularly true of LAP-BAND surgery. Your follow-up visits will help you sustain your weight loss efforts over the long term.
- Your follow-up visits are also necessary to help us recognize vitamin and iron deficiencies in the early stages of your weight loss so that appropriate treatment can be given. If you miss your regularly scheduled follow-up visits and the required postoperative blood tests, you can eventually develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Severe deficiencies may require shots or blood transfusions.
Schedule of Postoperative Visits
Typically, you’ll attend four to six follow-up meetings during your first post-surgery year. Then visits are scheduled at six to twelve month intervals for an indefinite period of time.
- First visit: Scheduled 2-3 weeks after bariatric surgery.
- Second visit: Scheduled 4-5 weeks after bariatric surgery. A new solid diet is prescribed.
- Quarterly visits: Scheduled at approximately 3 month intervals for the first year after the operation.
- Annual / biannual visits: Scheduled at 6-12 month intervals after the first year. Follow-up will continue annually for an indefinite period of time.
You’ve come a long way! You’ve been approved for surgery, had your operation and you’ve started the recovery process. But your biggest challenge is yet to come. Life Change is your final step, and the beginning of a whole new you…