Life after Gastric Bypass Surgery

Life expectancy in severely obese people can be limited. However, if you’re reading this blog, you may be thinking about taking steps towards making a positive change in your life.

We know that obesity surgery can be scary, but we applaud you for taking a stand to live your life to the fullest. No matter the type of surgery you choose to have, it’s important to know the after-effects to be prepared.

People often wonder what lifestyle changes they will have to make after surgery. WIll it increase their life expectancy? How will their new life be different? Will there be any drawbacks?

Luckily, not only has Dr. Michel Gagner has worked in the field of bariatric surgery for decades continuing to study new developments, he can also provide you with all the answers to your questions about weight-loss surgery. Read on to learn more!

What is Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Gastric bypass is also called Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This procedure combines gastric reduction and intestinal malabsorption techniques by creating a small gastric pouch and modifying the intestinal pathway. It involves connecting the lower part of the separated intestine to the gastric pouch, while the upper portion is re-connected further down the digestive tract, which limits both ingestion and digestion to bring about major weight loss.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Obese patients will see big changes in their life after bariatric surgery, and that’s not a bad thing!

While you will need to ensure that you remember to take vitamins each day and carefully track your health, it gets easier everyday because you will feel better about yourself. One long-term effect of gastric bypass surgery (after the recovery period) is a renewed sense of confidence in the way you look.

The following are some of the other long-term effects and instructions to bear in mind

Take Vitamins and Minerals

It is essential for patients to take over-the-counter vitamins and mineral supplements for the rest of their lives. These usually include:

  • A multivitamin
  • Vitamin B12
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron

The doctor will advise you about the amount, as it can differ from patient to patient. The format of the supplements will also vary: some patients may require chewable tablets while others can tolerate pills.

Exercise Regularly

Once recovered, patients usually have a lot of energy and feel motivated to exercise. While this is a good thing, they must make sure not push themselves too hard.

Calm walking is encouraged, especially right after surgery, but it’s vital to consult your doctor about the type of intense exercise regime you should start. Thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise is the goal and will help to prevent regaining weight.

Stop Smoking and Using Nicotine Products

Patients must stop using nicotine products before surgery because the chemical affects the body’s healing process. Additionally, nicotine use can increase a patient’s risk of health issues right after bariatric surgery, such as:

  • Heart Attack
  • Pneumonia
  • Blood Clots

To ensure optimal health, it is essential that the patient quit smoking for the rest of their life. This is not an easy request, so patients that struggle with quitting should speak with their doctor, so they are provided with the best solutions to help them quit.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

After the first six month period of post-surgery recovery, patients can start having alcohol again. However, bariatric surgery causes alcohol to be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream, causing individuals to quickly become intoxicated.

If patients resume alcohol consumption, it can turn into alcohol abuse if not carefully regulated. Much like smoking, it’s best to abstain from alcohol for the rest of your life to prevent serious issues. It’s a small price to pay for the addition of years of life expectancy.

Pregnancy After Weight Loss Surgery

Female patients must avoid pregnancy from 12-18 months after gastric bypass surgery. The reason for this is for the patient to reach their lowest possible weight and ensure that they are in good health when they do want to get pregnant.

Schedule Follow-Ups

Gastric bypass surgery and other weight-loss surgery procedures are delicate, and do pose some risks after surgery, including potential blockages and ulcers. But if you follow up with your doctor, they can monitor your health and target the source of any problems more easily.

If any revisions are required, the doctor can arrange the procedure and will already be aware of your medical history. In the first year, patients should have follow-ups every few months. After that, they should schedule annual visits.

What is the Mortality Rate after Gastric Bypass Surgery?

When doctors deliver their estimate of an obese patient’s life expectancy, that can deeply affectly them if the estimate is low. It can move patients to try to find a solution. Sometimes, dieting and regular exercise, whether or not the regime is tailored to the individual, isn’t enough.

That’s where weight-loss surgery can be the answer.

Life Expectancy

According to a study published in 2019 on MedPage Today, there is a minute risk of death caused by bariatric surgery, such as a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The study involved 9,000 bariatric surgery patients and those who had a gastric bypass rather than a sleeve gastrectomy, saw a 36% reduction in mortality risk.

The study continues to provide statistical information on the increase of gastrointestinal-related problems post-surgery. While these types of problems may occur, it is for this reason that patients must frequently follow-up with their doctor within the first year.

Moreover, the risk of severely obese patients and obese diabetic patients not having weight-loss surgery can outweigh the post-surgery risks, depending on the case.

Learn More About Bariatric Surgery at Clinique Michel Gagner

The staff at Clinique Michel Gagner are here to make your surgery go as smoothly as possible while providing you with all of the information you need to improve your quality of life.

We are happy to discuss all of the long-term effects of a gastric bypass or other types of bariatric surgery. Contact us today to book an appointment!