Obesity is a chronic disease with numerous complications. That’s why your medical team is so important after bariatric surgery. Weight loss surgery is an invasive major surgery. To ensure that the outcome is successful, bariatric surgery follow-up requires keeping in touch with your bariatric team of surgeons, obesity specialist, dietitian and mental health professionals. Also, it is important that a primary care practitioner is involved in bariatric surgery aftercare for overall health assessment.
What Can Go Wrong After Bariatric Surgery?
Of course, things can go wrong after any surgery. But bariatric surgery follow-up with the team of clinical experts in this field is vital to diagnose problems early while they can still be treated. Your bariatric team will assess and treat the following problems:
- Calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiencies
- Changes in bone metabolism
- Digestive symptoms
- Encephalopathy or protein-energy malnutrition
- Food intolerance
- Iron deficiency
- Maladaptive eating behaviors (related to eating disorders)
- Nutritional deficiencies
Bariatric Surgery Aftercare Determines Long-Term Weight Loss Success
With gastric bypass, gastric sleeve or any other bariatric surgery, patients undergo extensive preoperative counseling and evaluation by a multidisciplinary team of bariatric experts, including a board-certified bariatric surgeon, obesity specialist, dietitian and mental health counselors. As explained during this process, bariatric surgery is not a cure: it is a weight loss tool. Many lifestyle changes must be made to be successful and prevent complications, including:
- Complying with taking postoperative vitamins and minerals
- Following the bariatric surgery diet
- Following specific exercise regimens
- Regular follow-up care with the bariatric team for a lifetime
Science Daily: Diabetes and Metabolism.
JAMA Network: Long-Term Follow-Up After Bariatric Surgery.
Springer Link: Bariatric Surgery.