What Is Life Like After Gastric Bypass Surgery?

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According to Denise Mann for WebMD, gastric bypass surgery causes patients to change their eating habits permanently. This usually entails consuming several small meals every day and strictly pacing the intake of food to avoid overloading the stomach pouch. Patients must also take several vitamin and mineral supplements and avoid sugars and heavy oils. These changes affect social relationships, and emotional eaters may encounter psychological difficulties.

In the short term, MedlinePlus states that patients experience complications as the weight quickly vanishes. This can include dry skin and body aches. People also commonly experience mood changes and become disillusioned when they realize that life after surgery was not quite what they expected it to be. There is also a lot of post-surgical discomfort to overcome during the first few weeks.

During the first month, patients must subsist on a diet of liquids and puréed foods until they are able to begin incorporating solids again, MedlinePlus explains. Mann notes that the small meals patients must eat cannot be larger than the size of a tennis ball, approximately. If too much food is consumed in one sitting, or if a patient eats the wrong types of food, the new, smaller stomach pouch has the potential of overflowing directly into the small intestine. This is an unpleasant occurrence referred to as "dumping" and causes a patient to experience sweating, chills and nausea. Patients also often undergo additional surgeries to correct cosmetic issues with excessive fat accumulation in areas such as the arms, thighs, back and buttocks.