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Dr. David Kim Kim Bariatric Institute

Life After Weight Loss Surgery

Bariatric surgery is a highly effective procedure that can provide dramatic weight loss results and contribute to a healthier lifestyle. However, bariatric surgery is not a miracle treatment. Individuals cannot achieve their weight loss goals through surgery alone. Patients must be dedicated to making the lifestyle changes that are necessary to promote good health and successful weight loss after surgery. The treatment program at the Kim Bariatric Institute provides the necessary tools, including diet and exercise recommendations, recovery tips, lifelong follow-up exams, and emotional and motivational support, needed to help patients stay on the road to recovery. Your surgeon will work with the rest of  our bariatric team to provide in-depth, personalized care to our patients, which has earned our practice the reputation for being a bariatric “Center of Excellence.” We are dedicated to helping patients live the healthiest lifestyle possible.

Weight Loss Surgery Results

Patients who undergo weight loss surgery at our bariatric surgery practice are generally pleased with their surgical results. Patients typically lose up to 80 percent of their excess body weight after weight loss surgery. This means that a patient who is 100 pounds overweight will lose approximately 80 of those pounds. In addition, patients see a dramatic decrease in the risk or presence of serious health conditions related to morbid obesity. After closely following some of our weight loss surgery patients for several years, we have seen:

Patients also show improvement in many other obesity-related health conditions after weight loss surgery. Please contact our practice for more information on surgical results.

Rate of Weight Loss After Surgery

The rate of weight loss after bariatric surgery at the Kim Bariatric Institute varies among patients depending on the operation they underwent. Patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric bypass or gastric sleeve resection generally lose significant amounts of weight within one year, and continue to lose weight for up to 18 months after surgery.

Individuals who undergo the LAP-BAND® System procedure tend to lose weight at a slightly slower rate. The adjustable gastric band used for this weight loss surgery procedure is designed to allow patients to safely lose up to three pounds per week. Patients can usually reach their target weight loss goal in two to three years. Adjustments can be made during follow-up appointments to custom-tailor the weight loss process.

In addition, the rate of weight loss is dependent on a patient’s motivation and dedication to reaching his or her goals. Weight loss surgery is not a miracle cure for obesity; rather, it is a tool to help patients achieve their weight loss and health goals. After surgery, patients are encouraged to embrace a healthy, nutritious, and active lifestyle. Patients who are highly committed to the lifestyle changes they must make following weight loss surgery will see the most successful results.

Recovery from Weight Loss Surgery

The amount of recovery time from weight loss surgery at our practice also varies depending on the type of procedure that was performed. Patients who have undergone laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection or gastric bypass surgery must usually stay in the hospital for one to two days after surgery. Patients who are able to drink four ounces of liquid comfortably in one sitting can be safely discharged. However, they may not be able to return to their normal daily activities for one to two weeks. However, LAP-BAND® System surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Patients are allowed to be driven home by a friend or family member after surgery and can return to work in approximately three to five days.

No matter which procedure they undergo, all patients are encouraged to take plenty of time to recover from weight loss surgery. Patients should not return to work until they have had enough time to heal and feel physically comfortable.

Follow-up Appointments

Follow-up appointments at our practice are essential to a successful weight loss surgery outcome. Lifelong follow-up care is an integral part of the Live Life Again program and enables our bariatric team to limit the risk for complications after surgery. Patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric bypass or gastric sleeve resection must be seen for a follow-up exam one to two weeks after their weight loss surgery procedure to make sure everything is going well. After that, they should be seen every four months during the first year, and at least once a year after that.

Patients who undergo LAP-BAND® System weight loss surgery should be seen by our bariatric team one week after surgery and every month for the first year so that their progress can be followed and the gastric band can be adjusted according to their specific needs. After the first year, LAP-BAND® System patients can schedule their follow-up visits farther apart.

Patients should remember that they can schedule an appointment at any time should they feel the need to be seen by their surgeon, or one of our bariatric team members for any reason. We are completely dedicated to helping patients stay healthy and on track toward their weight loss goals. Please contact our bariatric surgery practice today to schedule an appointment.

Lifestyle Changes Following Weight Loss Surgery

Numerous lifestyle changes must be made after weight loss surgery at the Kim Bariatric Institute. Weight loss surgery is not a miracle cure for obesity. It takes the combined effort of the patient and the physician to ensure the most successful weight loss results. Patients must be committed to making diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes necessary to a healthier life.

Changes in Diet

The weight loss surgery procedures at our practice strictly limit the amount of food patients can eat in one sitting. It is recommended that one eat only 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup or about 4 ounces of solid food at one meal. The key concept of meal planning after surgery is eating three meals per day that are solid proteins, vegetables and fruits. Carbohydrates or starches are limited to very small whole grain products, usually only a few tablespoons. If you are electing to have laprascopic gastric bypass surgery, in addition to three protein focused meals, you would also choose a protein supplement. The protein supplement would have about 15 to 30 grams of protein mixed with water, milk or soy milk. If you are lactose intolerant, then lactose free milk can be used. Our weight loss surgery team will educate patients on which foods are healthiest to eat. We recommend a high-protein diet, as well as a strict limit on the amount of carbohydrates and fat they consume. Water and low-calorie, non-carbonated beverages are an essential part of a patient’s new diet. Patients should also refrain from smoking and drinking, as these activities can prove detrimental to their weight loss progress.

Bariatric Surgery Nutritional Supplementation

Each surgery has different requirements for vitamin and mineral supplementation. We will briefly review the best bariatric vitamin supplements for each surgery.

Patients who undergo laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery are at risk for developing vitamin deficiencies or experiencing malnutrition. It is important that they take a daily high potency multi-vitamin and minerals supplement with about 200% of the daily value for most nutrients. Companies such as Bariatric Advantage® make supplements specifically for bariatric surgical patients – their scientific advisers eat, breathe and live bariatric surgery. Flintstones and most other chewable vitamins are for children, not the adult surgical patient. The person with gastric bypass surgery also will be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. It is recommended to take 500 to 1000mcg per day as a pill, liquid or lozenge. Calcium is also a crucial component to proper supplementation for the bariatric patient. Approximately 2000mg of calcium from a variety of sources including food and supplements is recommended daily.

Much of this will come from about 1200 to 1800mg of calcium citrate, a highly absorbable form of calcium needed by bypass patients to enhance absorption. No other form of calcium should be consumed by bypass patients. It can be in a chewable, dissolvable crystals, capsule or tablet. Iron is the final supplement that is needed by bypass patients. Iron is often supplemented separate from other nutrients because they interfere with each other. In addition to taking a multi-vitamin with iron, you will want to take an additional iron supplement daily as recommended by your healthcare provider. If you become iron deficient, then a specific iron prescription will be given to you. Finally, Vitamin D deficiency or inadequate levels are also being found at a high frequency. As much as 65 to 85% of our patient population may be without adequate vitamin D. We recommend that a daily intake of 2,000 IU be taken daily as part of your total vitamin and mineral regimen. If you are found to be deficient then a specific prescription will be given to you.

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LAP-BAND System and Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve Resection

Patients who undergo LAP-BAND® System surgery or laparoscopic gastric sleeve resection are usually not at risk for developing severe vitamin deficiencies above and beyond the risk of the normal and healthy population. However many of our patients do have other medical conditions such as diabetes, reflux disease, high blood pressure and other conditions that change metabolism and require medication for treatment. The conditions and medications can cause medication-nutrient interactions. It is therefore recommended that people with an adjustable gastric band or gastric sleeve take a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with a minimum of 100 to 200% of the recommended daily value. There has also been good information on the importance of low vitamin D and B12 levels in patients before and after surgery. If we find these problems we will recommend a vitamin B12 and a vitamin D supplement at a dose high enough to treat your deficiency. It is recommended that most people take a daily calcium with vitamin D supplement for general health and protection from osteoporosis.

Vitamin supplements are at times confusing and since your bariatric surgery requires special supplement regimens, we carry a full line of high quality, affordable vitamins and minerals for your convenience.

Changes in Physical Activity

Exercise plays a very crucial role in success after weight loss surgery. Because the body consumes fewer calories after surgery, it may look for an alternative source of energy by burning muscle instead of fat. Exercise helps to prevent this, in addition to altering the metabolism to help patients lose weight at a faster rate. All patients are encouraged to participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, four to five times a week. Your surgon may recommend more exercise for some patients during the follow-up examination.

Following these and many other recommended lifestyle changes will help ensure the most successful weight loss results immediately after surgery and for years to come. For more information on specific lifestyle changes, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim, Dr. Holden, Dr. Castro, Dr. Le.

Lifelong Support

A major component to our successful weight loss program at the Kim Bariatric Institute is the continued education and tremendous amount of emotional support and encouragement our patients receive to get them through the difficult weight loss surgery recovery process. Patients are encouraged to attend our helpful support groups and participate in other support services with their families and friends. Our support programs educate patients on important topics related to weight loss and offer words of encouragement when patients need them the most. We want patients to know that they are never alone on their journey to a healthier and happier life, and they always have someone to turn to during the toughest times of recovery.

Check out Dr. Kim’s Facebook page and connect with our patients.

Learn More About Our Practice’s Aftercare Support and Support Group Events

Join The Kim Bariatric Institute Weight Loss Surgery Program

Because of our commitment to helping patients realize their weight loss dreams, our bariatric surgery practice offers top-quality, lifelong weight loss surgery counseling and support services to patients from Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Southlake, Colleyville, Grapevine, and everywhere in between. Please contact our practice today to join our Live Life Again weight loss surgery program. We offer a variety of financing options and work with most major insurance companies to make your operation affordable.

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