BARIATRIC SURGERY FAQs
You may qualify –
- If your body mass index (BMI) is above 40
- If your BMI is 30 or more and you have a serious weight-related health problem
Bariatric surgery risks has been found by several research to be no higher than any other abdominal surgery. However, the risks may vary according to type of surgery, your general health condition, age. Bariatric surgery as all other abdominal operations can carry the risks of bleeding, infection, blood clots in legs, lung problems, strokes or heart attacks, anaesthetic complications, obstruction of the intestine. These risks are very rare.
Please see "Am I A Candidate"
98% of our local patients stay one night at the hospital. For international patients and mainly for logistical reasons we will provide 3 nights (one night before surgery for laboratory investigations to be done and then two nights after surgery). It is possible to fly back after hospital discharge, however we recommend our international visitors to stay for 1 or 2 nights at a hotel.
Dr Tamer recommends starting a high protein and low sugar, low fat and low carbohydrates pre-surgery diet at least 10 to 14 days prior to your surgery. This diet has numerous benefits: (Diet plan will be emailed to you)
We use absorbable stitches, that helps make your scars barely noticeable
We use 38Fr or 40Fr bougies. The bougie serves as a measuring device in the form of a long and flexible tube that we use to calibrate the size of your stomach pouch.
Bougies vary in sizes and the unit of measurement is called a French (Fr) where 1F = 0.333 mm (1/3 mm). To put this into perspective, a 40F bougie = 1/2 inch.
Yes! In 100% of his patients. Dr Tamer is a big believer in staple line reinforcement. Several studies showed that it decreases the risk of complications such as bleeding.
You will have light or moderate pain in the first days after the surgery. Dr Tamer uses a special protocol during the surgery that minimize the pain after surgery. However, our specialized nurses will be taking care of pain management round the clock. You can also ask for pain medicine should you need more. Dr Tamer always tells his patients that the pain improves every hour that passes and always encourage his patients to walk a lot as this usually minimizes the pain. All patients report feeling back to normal within 3 days from their surgery.
We highly recommend to minimise or possibly stop smoking at least 1 month before the surgery.
We recommend taking a week off from work.
It usually advised to drive one week after your surgery or whenever you are pain free.
Most pills or capsules are small enough to pass through the new stomach pouch. Initially, Dr Tamer may suggest that medications be taken in liquid or crushed form.
You will be encouraged to start walking as soon as possible after your surgery. Early after the surgery walking is the most recommended activity. We recommend walking at least 1 hour per day to start, increasing the amount of time gradually. After 1 month you can start low intensity exercise. After 2 months you can add more active physical activities like swimming, weight trainings etc...
You may return to normal sexual life, after 2 to 3 weeks from surgery. Some people experience a drop in desire for about six weeks.
According to the recommendation of several societies no pregnancy should be planned before 18 months from your surgery.
Women who become pregnant after bariatric surgery may require additional supplementation to ensure proper nutrition for both you and your baby. Its a good idea to have your blood work checked throughout the year to make sure that you are absorbing sufficient levels of nutrients.
The most common vitamins and minerals for pregnant women after bariatric surgery are iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
It is critical that you eat enough protein each day to support your baby’s growth and development. For some women, protein intake may be difficult because their body cannot tolerate many of the protein-rich foods post bariatric surgery.
Try your best to first eat food rich in protein before any other food. This will help increase your protein intake. Also, slow down at meal times by chewing your food slow and thoroughly.
Not necessarily. However, it depends on person’s age, genetics, the amount of the lost weight and other factors. To make a decision you should wait 18-24 months after the weight loss surgery.
Shedding hair 3-6 months after bariatric surgery is quite a common issue. It is caused by fast and strict changes in your nutrition, general stress of the body and possibly, but less likely, some nutrient deficiency. Here are some tips to avoid the hair loss –
- Follow you consume a minimum of 60 to 80 grams of protein daily,
- Eat a wide variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods every day,
- If you can not reach the protein goals with food, add protein supplements (shakes or powders) to meet daily protein intake goals,
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplements.
Good news is that bariatric surgery-related hair loss is not permanent, it will grow back!
Bariatric surgery can help patients with diabetes and hypertension to get off their medications
Dumping syndrome is also called rapid gastric emptying. It occurs when food, especially sugar and fats rich one, moves from stomach into small bowel too quickly.
Also eating and drinking simultaneously can cause the dumping syndrome. Signs and symptoms of the dumping syndrome may be – feeling bloated after eating, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, dizzyness, rapid heart rate.
It will vary among patients because each person has a different BMI (body mass index) due to different heights and weights. However, expect to feel lighter and breathe a lot easier in the first 10 days. After 3 months friends and family will start noticing changes. After 6 to 9 months it will be time to change your wardrobe. Expect some stalls along the weight loss journey, but don’t worry as you will eventually continue to lose weight. Dr Tamer always says “ Focus on the inches ( monitor your cloths dropping sizes) rather than focusing on the scales”
Yes. Stop all beverages with caffeine for 1 month after surgery. Caffeine is a diuretic and may contribute to some dehydration during and after bariatric surgery which is not desirable. Moreover, it can increase stomach acidity. Also stop all carbonated beverages.
It is recommend that you stop taking aspirin or related anti-inflammatory medicines (lbuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc) 14 days prior to surgery.
Anticlotting, also known as anticoagulant drugs should be suspended 5 days prior to surgery, unless otherwise indicated by the treating physician. This will help avoid bleeding.
All other prescription medications should be communicated to our team on your health questionnaire.
The most popular vitamins include:
Take high-potency chewable multivitamins or a liquid multivitamin that contains at least 15 mg of iron, 390 mcg of folic acid, selenium, copper and zinc. Take 2 tablets daily during the first 3 months after your bariatric surgery, then 1 tablet daily for life.
Take 1,200 to 1,500 mg of a chewable supplement daily to prevent calcium deficiency and bone disease. To help increase absorption, take the calcium in “2 to 3 single doses” throughout the day. For example, take a 400 to 500 mg calcium supplement 3 times a day separated by at least 4 hours. Limit 1 dose to 600 mg which is the maximum the body can absorb at one time. Buy calcium supplements with Vitamin D – it helps the body absorb calcium.
Vitamin B12 Supplement
Take 500 mcg of vitamin B12 daily after your bariatric surgery to help prevent bone fractures. Patients who develop vitamin B12 deficiency often take shots of vitamin B12 to help with malabsorption following weight loss surgery.
Vitamin D Supplement
Take 1,000 to 1,600 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D daily to help stop bone loss.
Some problems include fatigue, dizziness, weak or broken bones, tingling of hands/feet, and difficulty walking. Find a reputable bariatric vitamin and supplement brand and stick with it.