After Weight Loss Surgery What Comes Next?

Weight loss surgery is an effective tool to help get obesity under control.

It’s a tool; it’s not cheating.

It’s a tool; it’s not an admission of laziness or weakness.

It’s a tool; it doesn’t fix everything magically.

It’s a tool and it’s surgery, major surgery, and therefore nothing to take lightly.

Surgery can help with weight loss, but as many patients who’ve undergone various procedures such as, gastric bypass, stomach stapling, gastric sleeve, Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD/DS) and lap band, etc., have discovered, it’s only the start. What comes next matters too.

After the surgery, the outcome or success depends on the patient.  If the patient isn’t committed to making changes the weight loss progress may be far less than expected. Sometimes a great weight loss start stalls and eventually turns around altogether so that some or all of the weight is regained.

Unrealistic expectations have derailed many a weight loss with or without bariatric surgery. Expecting the surgery to magically deliver a patient to a weight goal is absurdly unrealistic.

Some patients find that it’s easier to stick to a healthier way of eating and increasing physical activity while the hope of overnight success from the surgery seems like a possible dream. Then as time goes on some keep the dream alive and keep up their new habits. The dream starts to fade for others as they start to see that it takes consistent work to make the dream come true. They may fall into default behavior.

Default behavior is straying from maintaining new habits that support weight control, but more than that, it’s making excuses. Excuses are the major reason that a patient fails to make adequate progress after bariatric surgery. I know that sound harsh and uncaring. It’s not meant to be mean, it’s meant to explain why ongoing support is so important.

I believe in weight loss group support. Getting and giving help to people who understand the challenges because they own them beats advice from helpful, however clueless, friend, family and acquaintances.

It’s easy to convince yourself that your excuses aren’t excuses. It’s easier to lie to yourself than anybody else. Engaging in a support group with other bariatric surgery patients can help you recognize your excuses for what they are and help you change your thought process from “what stopped you” to “how to keep going.”

Here are more benefits of participating in a bariatric surgery support group:

  • Recipes
  • Shopping and Cooking Tips
  • Clothes Swaps
  • Guest Speakers for added Inspiration and Motivation
  • Buddies

Surgery isn’t a cure. It’s a start. Most of the work to reach and maintain a healthy weight happens after the surgery. Patients who want the best results will take advantage of everything that can help mentally and physically.?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The smartest next step after surgery is regular participation in the right support group.

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.