Postoperative Lifestyle for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Patients, with the support of their families, must commit to a series of follow-up visits and lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery.

Follow-up Visits

Patients and families living within 100 miles of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford must attend follow-up visits according to the timetable below:
 
Time after bariatric surgery discharge:

  • 2 weeks
  • 6 weeks
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • If needed, every 6 months after this
  • Annual visit around date of surgery
Kayla Shoopman, after bariatric surgery Megan Acaccia, after her bariatric surgery
 

These visits may include clinical consultations and laboratory and diagnostic tests. These are necessary to:

  • Address any problems as quickly as possible
  • Ensure the body is healing from the surgery
  • Ensure the patient is getting the necessary nutrition and physical exercise

Periodic visits will be scheduled until the patient turns 18. After age 18, patients are given the option to have their care transferred to the adult Stanford Hospital & Clinics Bariatric Surgery Program.

Lifestyle Changes

Patients are highly encouraged to make the following long-term lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery:

  • Take vitamins and mineral supplements daily
  • Eat a very low-calorie, low-carbohydrate diet
  • Exercise on a regular basis 
  • Take prescribed medications for six months
  • Avoid pregnancy until at least two years after the bariatric surgery

Emotional Support

The bariatric surgery team provides emotional support to patients and families through continuous in-person and telephone follow-up. Pre- and postsurgical patients and families are required to attend at least four support groups per year. Everyone is encouraged to attend monthly. Attendees can:

  • Get their questions answered
  • Voice their concerns
  • Receive guidance and encouragement from other patients and families