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After Bariatric Surgery

The first few weeks after surgery can be challenging. But keep in mind: it's also the first step to a new, healthier you.

To allow the new stomach "pouch" time to properly heal, it is essential that you follow the recommendations you will be given following your surgery.

While there will be variations in the diet progression depending on the type of surgery you have, your post surgery diet will generally follow this schedule:

  • You'll follow a liquid diet for one week after surgery and avoid carbonation, ice and straws.
  • After the liquid period, you'll move up to pureed foods and chewable vitamins.
  • Then you'll be able to reintroduce "real" foods into your diet. Soft foods are best; we advise avoiding foods such as bread, pasta, rice and dry meat.

After any operation for weight loss, you will always need to:

  • Eat three small, nutrient-rich meals each day
  • Take small bites
  • Chew every bite to applesauce consistency
  • Take 20 to 30 minutes to eat each meal
  • Avoid snacking between meals
  • Never drink liquids with meals, and wait 30 minutes post-meal to resume drinking
  • Drink 64 ounces of liquid each day
  • Eat 60 grams of protein daily
  • Eliminate or limit caffeine intake
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Avoid alcohol in excess, and no alcohol for the first year after surgery
  • Beginning seven days post-surgery, exercise 30 minutes daily
  • Take all recommended daily vitamins and supplements
  • Avoid all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen products) forever

A step in the right direction

Weight loss surgery is only a first step in an entire lifestyle plan to treat obesity. Other components include:

  • Eating well
  • Moving more
  • Committing to long-term follow up with your bariatric team
  • Attending support groups

Those who make the necessary lifestyle changes can look forward to improved everyday health. They often have better self-esteem and relationships, and an improved quality of life.

Weight Loss Surgery support groups


Connections: Bariatric Care support group

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Plastic surgery options

After a significant weight loss, it's common to have excess loose skin. For some, exercise can help tone it. For others, plastic surgery might be an appropriate option.

Most plastic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance. If you choose to undergo plastic surgery, our bariatric surgeons can put you in touch with board-certified plastic surgeons who can help you achieve the results you are looking for.

Some of the most common procedures performed on patients after bariatric surgery include:

Tummy tuck

This procedure, also known as abdominoplasty, removes loose skin and fat in the middle and lower abdomen. Abdominal muscles can be tightened and the excess skin and fat removed.

Other surgical procedures, such as liposuction (see below), can be performed in conjunction with abdominoplasty. For example, abdominoplasty done with liposuction in the back and waist area can help patients achieve a more contoured look.

Breast lift

A breast lift, or mastoplexy, is used to reverse the sagging process that occurs with gravity, weight loss, pregnancy and nursing. Sagging is caused by the loss of elasticity in surrounding tissues. During a breast lift, the breasts are raised and reshaped. The surgery can be combined with breast implants to increase both the size and firmness of the breasts.

The technique used for a breast lift is similar to that for a breast reduction, except that in most cases only skin is removed for a breast lift.


Liposuction removes fat deposits and helps to reshape specific areas of the body. This complementary treatment for obesity can successfully remove up to 90 percent of the fat deposits from hips, buttocks, back of thighs, knees, legs, back of arms and abdomen. It can also help to eliminate cellulite. Newer ultrasonic liposuction can remove greater amounts of fat than traditional liposuction.

Arm lift

An arm lift, or brachioplasty, is a procedure that removes loose skin from the upper arms. Sagging in this area is often due to aging, weight loss or genetics. The procedure tightens the skin on the upper arms and can be performed in conjunction with liposuction to remove excess fat.