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Thinking About Bariatric Surgery or Medical Weight Loss? Let Us Help

Life After Surgery

Life After Surgery

After surgery, you can expect a tremendous amount of support from your bariatric team at WakeMed Bariatric Surgery.

Bariatric surgery is a journey that requires commitment and effort on your part, but it will be worth it when you transform your life into one that is much more healthy and rewarding.

One of the best resources for you will be others who have gone through this surgery and will know how you feel. WakeMed Cary Hospital offers monthly support group meetings that will help you before and after your surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often will I be able to eat?

You will receive a nutrition handbook about what to eat and what to avoid, and vitamin and mineral requirements. You will also get lots of guidance from your bariatric team about nutrition and eating habits. In general, you will start with a clear or full liquid meal plan that provides adequate protein and hydration. Gradually you will progress to solid foods.

General rules to follow:

  • You should eat several small nutritionally balanced meals each day, focusing on foods that are moist and low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sugar.
  • Take small bites and chew slowly and well.
  • Include protein in your meals, which will help you feel full longer.
  • Avoid high-calorie drinks such as Snapple, Kool Aid, Gatorade, and Hi-C; do not add sugar to your drinks, and do not drink carbonated beverages or alcohol.
  • Drink more water.
  • Stop eating when you feel full.

How should I take medications after surgery?

Large pills should be crushed for about 30 days after your operation. After that, pills are generally not a problem. Talk to your bariatric team about your current medications.

Anti-inflammatory drugs that may irritate the stomach, such as aspirin, Motrin, Advil and Aleve, should not be used after bariatric surgery.

How much exercise is needed after bariatric surgery?

Exercise is an important part of success after surgery and should begin prior to your surgery. Depending on your comfort, you may be encouraged to begin exercising about two weeks after surgery. The long-term goal is to get 30 minutes of exercise five or more days each week.

What is the long-term follow-up schedule?

You will be seen frequently (5 to 6 appointments) the first year following surgery and then annually thereafter for your lifetime.

How can I find a support group?

Support groups give you a safe, comfortable place to talk openly with others who are dealing with issues similar to you. Patients help keep each other motivated, celebrate small victories together, and provide perspective on the everyday successes and challenges that patients generally experience. Learn about our support group.

Blog Posts 

Debra Dupree, a 30-year tenured nurse on WakeMed’s Raleigh Campus, recently had bariatric surgery after witnessing her daughter's success with her own surgery. Read about her experiences in these three blog posts:

We also encourage you to check out the latest blog posts on weight loss on the WakeMed Voices Blog.

Online Resources

A great source of support and information can be gathered by visiting the websites of obesity-related organizations and journals. Here are some to look at: