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Understanding the Impact of Weight Loss Surgery

Weight loss surgery is an option if you have been unsuccessful in losing weight no matter what you do. Both exercise and good nutrition are vital, and they should remain a key priority if you want to change your weight. However, sometimes people need more help.

If you have a BMI (body mass index) of 40 or more, you may be a potential candidate for weight loss surgery.

Is surgery a “magic bullet”?

The short answer is “No” – and here’s why. It’s important to realise that weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery) is not a quick fix for obesity. Nor does it get you a contoured body even after weight change (read more below about what to expect afterwards in terms of body shape).

Rather, bariatric surgery is a tool that can potentially help you lose weight and get healthy.

Following surgery, you will still need to maintain a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise.

There are a few different types of weight loss surgery, so, how do they differ?

  • Gastric Banding: The size of the stomach is reduced so that you feel satiated with a smaller amount of food.
  • Sleeve Gastrectomy: A large part of the stomach is removed, leaving behind a sleeve connected to your small intestine.
  • Gastric Bypass: The stomach is divided into two sections. The upper part is sealed off and connected to your small intestine.
  • Maestro Rechargeable System: A pacemaker-like device is implanted in the abdomen to suppress hunger. The device sends false signals to the brain telling it your stomach is full.

How will surgery impact me?

It’s vital that you understand the full impact of the procedure and have realistic expectations. Below are six essential implications of weight loss surgery that you should know about:

Weight Loss

How quickly you lose weight will depend on the procedure you undergo. A gastric bypass usually results in much quicker weight loss because it affects digestion. However, your weight loss will wax and wane over the next 2-3 years. You may hit a plateau, followed by a drop once more.

Eating Habits

You will have to learn to slow down while eating, take small bites, and chew your food well. Small amounts of food will satiate you. Eating big meals may bring on severe nausea and vomiting. You will need to limit your daily intake to less than 1000 calories per day. The focus will be on protein-rich foods.

Nutrition

Weight loss surgery deprives the body of essential nutrients. Following the procedure, the focus will be on eating nutritious foods. Be aware that:

  • You may need to take vitamins and supplements.
  • It’s also likely that you will experience a change in bowel habits.
  • You may develop intolerance to particular foods and beverages.
  • Maintaining a food journal may be necessary to identify the culprits.

Body Image

Following surgery, the weight loss will be welcome, of course, but as your body shrinks in size, you may develop excess skin. You may need plastic surgery to get rid of the rolls of excess skin.

Emotional Impact and Relationships

  • You will find that you can no longer rely on food for comfort.
  • Your self-image will change.
  • Support groups and therapists can help you with the psychological aspects of bariatric surgery.

Social Life

A lot of your socialization with family and friends revolves around food and drink. After surgery, you will find you need to spend less time on activities that are focused on food. For example, you could exercise with friends instead of eating a meal in a restaurant.

Are you already through your Bariatric Surgery procedure – and have a stable weight, but want to change residual, excess skin?

Call our office to schedule a consultation.

Medical references:

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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