Bariatric Surgery at Our Arcadia Practice: Operation Overview
On the day of the bariatric surgery procedure at our Arcadia office, you will be asked to arrive at the hospital approximately two hours before your scheduled surgery time. You will meet your anesthesiologist shortly before bariatric surgery. This is a good time to ask questions and express your individual concerns. Only a few select anesthesiologists have been chosen to be a part of our general and bariatric surgical team. An intravenous line will be started in the surgical admitting area in order to give you fluids and antibiotics. Special compression devices will be applied to your feet to help prevent blood clots. A medication that also helps prevent blood clots will be given at the time. You will be taken to the operating room and go to sleep. A catheter will be placed in your bladder to drain the urine and will be removed the following day.
The laparoscopic bariatric surgery requires five or six half-inch incisions. The open operation is performed through an upper midline abdominal incision. Your gallbladder will remain in place unless it shows signs of disease. Significant bleeding is unusual. Our philosophy is to use blood products only when absolutely necessary. To find out if you would be a good candidate, contact us about bariatric surgery in Arcadia at California Bariatric and General Surgery Associates.
Your Hospital Stay
Laparoscopic bariatric surgery patients stay in the hospital approximately one to two days. Patients undergoing open bariatric surgery stay an average of three to five days. You will be discharged when you are able to take adequate oral intake, have no fever, and have good pain control.
Patients who use CPAP or BIPAP for sleep apnea should bring their machines to the hospital for use after the operation. A dietician will counsel you on your nutritional needs while you are in the hospital.
You will be given water to drink the evening following bariatric surgery. Initially, you will be asked to drink no more than one ounce per hour. This will be advanced to four ounces per hour the following morning. You will be discharged on a liquid diet. Your diet will advance per the outlined diet plan. It is important to follow this diet because it helps you lose weight and gives your body the opportunity to heal from bariatric surgery.
Because the intestine is not intended to handle food until it has mixed with stomach acids and bile, eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates (such as ice cream and soda). This may cause very unpleasant side effects such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, palpitations, abdominal pain, and dizziness. These symptoms are referred to as “Dumping Syndrome.” To learn more, contact us about bariatric surgery at our office in Arcadia.”
At home, we encourage you to take short walks for exercise following bariatric surgery. Your level of exercise will depend on the type of operation (laparoscopic versus open), the degree of obesity, and your general medical condition. In general, most patients may begin an exercise program approximately one week following the laparoscopic bariatric surgery procedure. If your operation was open, we ask that you wait approximately six weeks prior to embarking on an exercise program.
If you are routinely on medications, discuss which ones to take upon discharge from the hospital with your surgeon. As you lose weight after undergoing bariatric surgery, the dosage or need for the medications often changes. We may need to coordinate medication adjustments with your primary care physician.
Two weeks after your discharge from bariatric surgery, we need to see you in the Arcadia office. Please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns.
Return to work is dependent on many factors. Most patients may return to light duty occupations within one week following bariatric surgery.
You will be given a medication for pain upon discharge. Most often this is Lortab ® elixir. You may also be placed on a medication to control stomach acid called Pepcid ®.
If your gallbladder is left in place, you will be given a medication (Actigall ® ) to help prevent gallstone formation. We usually start this medication when you are on solid foods. Side effects include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and rash. We ask that you begin with one tablet per day for one week, then one tablet twice per day if you have few side effects. This medication will be continued for six months. To learn more about the side effects caused by bariatric surgery, contact California Bariatric and General Surgery Associates in Arcadia today.
What can I expect after bariatric surgery?
Weight loss will occur in the months following bariatric surgery. The amount of food you will be able to eat will be reduced. It is difficult to predict how much this restriction will affect your life. Many social events center around food. We encourage you to attend our support group and discuss the effects with those who are living with a restricted stomach pouch. Most patients can eat the equivalent of one-half of a sandwich.
One of the greatest benefits of bariatric surgery is feeling good about yourself. Improved self image and confidence help in fighting the depression that often accompanies obesity. Losing weight increases social acceptance and opens new doors for better work opportunities, friendships, and even sexual relations. One must also keep in mind that strained relationships and even divorce may occur. This dramatic loss of weight changes lives! Your relationship to family, friends, and co-workers may change, sometimes not as positively as you wish.
Bariatric surgery will help you lose weight, but you must continue to work through proper diet and exercise to obtain the maximum benefit of the procedure. Consider the procedure as a tool to help you achieve a healthier and more fulfilling life. To find out if you would be a good candidate, contact us about bariatric surgery in Arcadia today to schedule a consultation.