With all procedures, complications can occur post-surgery. Consult with your bariatric surgeon prior to surgery to make sure you understand all of the potential risks and complications for your weight loss procedure.
After bariatric surgery, it's not uncommon to experience side effects or other issues.
. Feeling isolated or depressed after surgery
Experiencing a mild degree of depression after having bariatric surgery is common. You need some time to adjust in the months following the procedure. Weight loss surgery takes an emotional toll, so talk to your doctor if you're feeling depressed.
. Loss of appetite: food doesn't taste as good
Most people experience a lack of appetite after their operation. Some even lose interest in foods they once craved or found appealing. This is caused by the production of ketone bodies resulting from metabolized fat.
Ketone bodies are biochemicals produced during a period of lower food intake by the liver and used by the body for energy instead of glucose.
Appetite loss after bariatric surgery is common and should subside in a few days. We recommend eating what feels comfortable and progressing slowly back to a regular diet.
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. Smell of cooking food makes you sick
Just as your appetite for certain foods, or food in general, may decrease after weight loss surgery due to ketone bodies, the smell of food often causes people to experience mild nausea. This and other side effects are short-lived.
Be sure to speak with your doctor if these or other changes last more than one month. You may be suffering from a mineral deficiency. Zinc deficiency is common in bariatric surgery patients. Your doctor can prescribe a supplement to help.
. Excess skin after losing weight
One side effect of successful weight loss is excess skin. After massive weight loss, your skin may hang loosely from your body, making you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.
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Natural Remedies to Tighten Loose Skin
The following natural remedies may improve skin strength and elasticity to some degree in people who have lost small to moderate amounts of weight.
Engaging in regular strength-training exercise is one of the most effective ways to build muscle mass in both young and older adults.
In addition to helping you burn more calories, an increase in muscle mass may also help improve the appearance of loose skin.
Collagen hydrolysate is very similar to gelatin. It is a processed form of the collagen found in the connective tissue of animals.
Although it hasn't been tested in people with loose skin related to major weight loss, studies suggest that collagen hydrolysate may have a protective effect on skin's collagen.
In a controlled study, collagen strength increased significantly after four weeks of supplementation with collagen peptides, and this effect remained for the duration of the 12-week study.
Collagen hydrolysate is also known as hydrolyzed collagen. It comes in powdered form and can be purchased at natural food stores or online.
Another popular source of collagen is bone broth, which provides other health benefits as well.
Certain nutrients are important for the production of collagen and other components of healthy skin:
. Protein: Adequate protein is vital for healthy skin, and the amino acids lysine and proline play a direct role in collagen production.
. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed for collagen synthesis and also helps protect skin from sun damage.
. Omega-3 fatty acids: A small study found that the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish may help increase skin elasticity.
. Water: Staying well hydrated may improve your skin's appearance. One study found that women who increased their daily water intake had significant improvements in skin hydration and function.
Many "firming" creams contain collagen and elastin.
Although these creams may temporarily give a slight boost to skin tightness, collagen and elastin molecules are too large to be absorbed through your skin. In general, collagen must be created from the inside out.
Medical Treatments to Tighten Loose Skin
Medical or surgical treatments are usually necessary to tighten loose skin after major weight loss.
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Those who have lost a significant amount of weight via bariatric surgery or other weight loss methods often request surgery to remove excess skin.
In body-contouring surgery, a large incision is made, and excess skin and fat are removed. The incision is sutured with fine stitches in order to minimize scarring.
Specific body-contouring surgeries include:
. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck): Removal of skin from the abdomen.
. Upper-body lift: Removal of skin from the breasts and back.
. Medial thigh lift: Removal of skin from the inner and outer thighs.
. Brachioplasty (arm lift): Removal of skin from the upper arms.
Multiple surgeries are usually performed on different body parts over the span of one to two years after major weight loss.
Body-contouring surgeries usually require a hospital stay of one to four days. Recovery time at home is typically two to four weeks. There may be also some complications from the surgery, such as bleeding and infections.
What are the most common post-op Risks and Side Effects associated with Bariatric Surgery?
As with any major procedure, bariatric surgery poses potential health risks, both in the short term and long term.
Risks associated with the surgical procedure can include:
. Excessive bleeding
. Adverse reactions to anesthesia
. Blood clots
. Lung or breathing problems
. Leaks in your gastrointestinal system
. Death (rare)
Bariatric Surgery Long-Term Risks
Longer term risks and complications of weight-loss surgery vary depending on the type of surgery. They can include:
. Bowel obstruction
. Dumping syndrome, which leads to diarrhea, flushing, lightheadedness, nausea or vomiting.
. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
. Acid reflux
. The need for a second, or revision, surgery or procedure
. Death (rare)
Reducing Your Bariatric Surgery Risks
You can help lower some of the risks and possible side effects by:
. Decreasing your Body Mass Index (BMI)
. Increasing your amount of exercise
. Stopping smoking