exercise and things to consider after weight loss surgery

Things you need to consider after weight loss surgery

In addition to adhering to prescribed dietary, exercise, and medical recommendations for sustaining weight loss, it’s crucial to be mindful of certain additional factors following weight loss surgery. These specific considerations will be elaborated upon below.


Monitor diet and nutrition

  • Malnutrition – where your body does not get enough or the right balance of nutrients – is a risk after weight loss surgery. Ongoing care from your medical team will include advice to manage your diet and supplements for the appropriate multivitamins and minerals. Multivitamins are mandatory after bariatric surgery. 
  • Regular tests are recommended to check for anaemia (low numbers of red blood cells) and normal nutrient levels including vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, and folic acid. These tests are conducted every 3 to 6 months after the procedure until a stable weight is reached, and then every year.
  • Eating too much sugar or fat can cause dumping syndrome – where food is rapidly emptied from the stomach into the intestines. While not considered a serious health risk, dumping syndrome may cause unpleasant symptoms including nausea, weakness, sweating, and sometimes diarrhoea after eating.

Use contraception

  • Both men and women experience increased fertility after weight loss surgery; however, pregnancy is not recommended for at least 18 months after the procedure.
  • Consultation with your family doctor regarding a suitable contraception plan is essential. In the first 2 years after surgery, oral contraceptive pills (OCP) may not be as effective, so barrier contraception is considered. It is recommended for women of child-bearing age consult their family doctor.

Avoid smoking and certain medications

Smoking and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, e.g., ibuprofen) and aspirin can increase the risk of developing surgical complications such as ulcers and strictures (narrowing of tubes). This is especially important for those who have undergone the bypass surgery.

Although, those who have undergone sleeve surgeries may not be as susceptible to these specific complications related to smoking and medications, it is advisable to consult with your doctor for personalised information and guidance based on the specific type of weight loss surgery you have undergone.

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