Life after bariatric surgery

Adjusting to your new life is important to your overall success. But recovering from surgery can be challenging when you have to balance your old routines with your new lifestyle. With some help and self-care, it’s possible to transition smoothly from pre-surgery to life post-surgery. To learn more about what recovery may look like for you, it may be helpful to speak with a bariatric surgeon. Click here for a list of bariatric surgeons in your area.

  • Make accommodations. Whether it’s asking your boss for work-from-home days, or getting your spouse to start picking up the kids from school, there are some changes you need to make as soon as you get back from surgery. These changes will be temporary and will allow you to recover as quickly as possible. Listen to what your body tells you, and if you need to reach out for extra help in the first few weeks, that’s completely normal.
  • Create a schedule. You’ll shift to a new lifestyle after surgery, and it can be hard to make the transition when you’re used to doing things a certain way. Making a schedule for yourself, that includes regular eating and sleeping, exercise, and social time, can help you establish a new daily routine.
  • Start the conversation. While people on your support team have been with you from the start, other people in your life may not know that you had surgery, or what exactly it means. You don’t need to share your story with others if you don’t want to. But if you are excited and proud about the progress you’ve made, feel free to share with those who ask!
  • Don’t rush in too soon. After surgery, you will probably be looking forward to trying new and exciting activities that you couldn’t do before your surgery. But be sure to take it slow, and ease back into your usual activities before trying new ones. It will take time for your body to fully adjust to the new you. 
  • Expect change from others. Seeing you go through such a major life change can affect the people around you. Your relationships may change, for better or for worse.  People may be happy for you, or they may feel jealous, or think you took the “easy way out.” Talk with the people in your life to get on the same page, but remember that you had surgery for you and not anyone else.
  • Check in with your health care team. Let your doctor know about challenges you're facing in your daily routine, whether it’s at work or at home. They can help you overcome any barriers in your daily life to stay on track with your diet and exercise plans.
  • Stay in touch. Just because you’re done with surgery, doesn’t mean you’re done with your journey. Continue reaching out to your support network and keep attending support groups to help your physical and emotional transition go smoothly. Remember, they’re with you for the long haul, so don’t feel guilty about asking for support after your surgery is over.