Life After Surgery

Patients — with the support of their families and our staff — must commit to a series of lifestyle changes and follow-up visits in order for weight loss surgery to succeed in the long term.

Continuous support

Follow-up visits ensure that patients address any problems as quickly as possible, confirm that the body is healing from surgery and review whether the patient is getting sufficient nutrition and exercise. All patients and families must attend follow-up visits every year according to a specific timetable, including six visits in the first year.

The Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery team provides continuous emotional support to patients and families. During follow-up support group sessions, patients and families can get their questions answered, voice their concerns, and receive guidance and encouragement from other patients and families. Patients are required to attend at least four support groups per year either in person or by telephone, but everyone is encouraged to attend monthly.

Required lifestyle changes

Patients are also required to make the following long-term lifestyle changes after bariatric surgery:

  • Take vitamins and mineral supplements daily for the rest of their lives
  • Eat small, frequent meals and follow a low carbohydrate, high protein diet
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Take prescribed medications for six months
  • Avoid pregnancy until at least two years after bariatric surgery
  • Undergo blood draws and vitamin level tests yearly for the rest of their lives

After turning 21, patients are given the option to have their care transferred to the adult Stanford Healthcare's Bariatric Surgery and Medical Weight Loss Program.