1. How do I know if I am a candidate?
Patients must have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of greater than 40, or have a BMI of greater than 35 accompanied by medical problems such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, High Cholesterol, Metabolic Syndrome among others.
2. How long will I stay in the hospital after my bariatric operation?
Sleeve Gastrectomy patients typically spend one night in the hospital and Gastric Bypass patients or Duodenal Switch patients will typically spend two nights. Again these are averages and each patient along with Dr. Minkin will determine if they’re ready to leave or if they need additional time.
3. How long will I need to be off of work after surgery?
After surgery, most patients are able to return to work in one to two weeks. Because of the significantly reduced calorie intake initially, many patients will have low energy for the first few weeks after surgery. This generally improves once patients are able to have soft foods.
4. How much pain will I be in after surgery?
Most patients will experience minimal pain and fortunately it is often well controlled after surgery. Patients often compare the pain to that of having laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. Most patients only need to take the oral pain medications for only one or two days after surgery.
5. When can I start to exercise again after bariatric surgery?
As soon as patients are awake from anesthesia, we encourage them to walk. As you heal, you can begin to increase your exercise time and intensity of course listening to your body. Most patients can return to full exercise and physical activity in two to four weeks.
6. How long will I have to wait before getting pregnant after surgery and will my baby be healthy?
Women generally have significantly increased fertility after bariatric surgery. We recommend that all women of child bearing age use an alternate form of contraception other than birth control pills. The reason for this is that birth control pills are often less effective during the period of rapid weight loss. In addition, it is recommended that you avoid getting pregnant for 12-18 months after surgery. This allows you to have maximum weight loss and reach a more stable weight. Losing the excess weight significantly reduces health problems during pregnancy (gestational diabetes, eclampsia, macrosomia) and during childbirth.
7. Will I need plastic surgery after my weight loss?
After losing much of your excess weight, you may have some sagging or loose skin. The degree of loose or sagging skin depends upon several factors such as amount of weight loss, age, genetics, nutrition, smoking and whether or not you exercise.
We recommend that you wait at least 12-18 months before having plastic surgery after a bariatric procedure. Dr. Minkin will assist in referring you to a plastic surgeon at the appropriate time.
8. Do I need to take vitamins and supplements after surgery?
You will need to take a multivitamin, calcium with vitamin D3, iron and vitamin B12. Sometimes additional vitamins/supplements are added to the regimen depending on the type of surgery and the level of malabsorption. We will routinely check labs to ensure adequate nutritional status.
9. Will I lose hair after my surgery?
Hair loss after bariatric surgery is common between the 3-6 months following surgery. However, it is almost always temporary. Taking in adequate amounts of protein, vitamins, supplements such as biotin and other minerals will help to ensure hair re-growth and avoid additional loss or thinning.
10. Why is Fluid intake so important?
Dehydration is the most common reason for readmission to the hospital after surgery. Dehydration occurs when your body does not get enough fluid to keep it functioning at its best. Your body also requires fluid to burn its stored fat for energy. Always try and carry a bottle with you and aim for 64 ounces. Remind yourself to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty. Signs of dehydration can be thirst, headache, hard stools or dizziness upon sitting or standing up. Please let us know if you’re having problems staying hydrated.