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Post-Bariatric Surgery Lifestyle Changes

Last Updated 9/1/2010 4:50:39 PM

Life after bariatric surgery calls for some important adjustments. Careless eating and lack of exercise could defeat the purpose of bariatric surgery, so it is essential to follow post-bariatric surgery recommendations.


In the first eight weeks after surgery, you will be provided with a diet to facilitate the healing process. Post-bariatric surgery portion control will remain vitally important for the rest of your life.

El Camino Hospital provides bariatric surgery patients with detailed nutritional recommendations prior to surgery. In general, you will be eating three small, protein-focused meals per day.

In order to keep the stomach pouch from stretching back out, you need to drink liquids between meals as opposed to with your food. You will also want to learn which foods to avoid, and you will take vitamins and supplements every day.


To lose as much weight as possible and keep it off for good, you’ll need to get regular exercise. If you are not used to exercising, you’ll have to start slowly and build up your strength and endurance. A session with a fitness consultant or personal trainer is an excellent way to get started.

You can get a referral from your surgeon to our Cardiovascular Pulmonary Wellness Center. There, you can work with an exercise physiologist who is trained to work with bariatric patients. Or, you can contact the center yourself, and the staff there will help you get  medical clearance from your surgeon.

If you not used to regular exercise, walking is an easy way to get started. Walking is simple and inexpensive, and it gives you the option of socializing with a walking buddy. Work your way up to at least 30 minutes, four to five times a week.

Swimming or pool exercise is an excellent option if you have major joint or back pain that limits your ability to walk.

Activities like walking across a large parking lot, active gardening, mowing the lawn, or vacuuming can be beneficial if you engage in them four days a week, for at least 20 minutes a day.


Certain medications are unsafe for people who have had weight-loss surgery. As part of preparation for surgery, El Camino Hospital gives patients a very detailed brochure about their procedure, including a complete list of medications to avoid post-bariatric surgery.

It is essential to tell any physician you see that you have had bariatric surgery so that you are not given any potentially harmful prescriptions.

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2500 Grant Road
Mountain View, CA 94040
Phone: 650-988-8415

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