Bariatric Surgery is a relatively safe procedure, but that doesn’t mean that your post-op life will be free of any complications.
By the end of this blogpost you’ll know about 3 unexpected events that may take you by surprise after bariatric surgery.
And remember that every journey is different. Just because complications exist, doesn’t mean that you’ll get it too.
Are you ready to learn more?
Then keep on scrolling!
#1 An underestimated side-effect after Bariatric Surgery: Having “The Foamies”
If you think the foamies have something to do with a nice warm bubble bath, well….then you are mistaken!
There’s nothing cozy about having the foamies. As a matter of fact, it may be one of the most unexpected side-effects after Bariatric Surgery.
So what are the foamies exactly?
The Foamies is referred to as the regurgitation of mucus and undigested small food particles that can move back up from your stomach back into your mouth.
It’s not the same as vomit – but it can leave you pretty nauseous and unwell all the same.
The foamies is also known as ‘foamy mouth’.
The Foamies can happen when:
- you eat too fast
- you don’t chew thoroughly
- when food doesn’t sit well in your stomach
And what anatomically happens is this:
The opening between your stomach and your small intestine (called the stoma) is blocked by the food that’s in your stomach – which makes it impossible for your food to pass through during this moment.
Your stomach will produce more mucus in order for the food to pass, but the exact opposite may happen: the food and mucus regurgitates.
The best way to prevent the foamies from happening is to eat slow and chew well.
But even if you’re eating mindful and chewing every piece of food until you can’t chew it anymore – it may still happen.
#2 Another unpleasant effect after Bariatric Surgery: Constipation
The first few days after having weight loss surgery can be pretty rough.
You’re still recovering and gas pain can be the worst.
One thing you don’t really need (but could very well happen….) is this: constipation.
However, it’s one of those bizarre effects that may leave you yearning for that first poop for days!
Did you know that constipation is more common after the gastric sleeve than the gastric bypass?
Constipation may be at its peak in the first stages after Bariatric Surgery and bowel movements should slowly improve over the following 6 months post-op.
So, why is constipation more common after Bariatric Surgery?
The main reasons for post-op constipation may be:
- lack of fiber
- lack of hydration
- lack of exercise
- supplements such as iron or calcium
As your food intake and food tolerance increases, and you’re able to get more fiber and water in – your bowel movements usually improve on its own.
Always consult your bariatric care team for personal guidance!
#3 When you can’t unsee the ‘old you’ – Body Distortion after Bariatric Surgery
Body dysmorphia after Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric Surgery may cause (symptoms) of body dysmorphia, because your brain doesn’t seem to be catching up with the rapid weight loss transformation that follows.
And this can cause a ‘mismatch’ in how YOU perceive yourself and the actual reality.
Symptoms of body dysmorphia are:
- Constantly comparing yourself to others
- Avoiding mirrors – or being overly obsessed by looking in the mirror
- Always asking others for validation on your appearance
- Not being able to accept compliments about your appearance from others
- Hiding (parts of) your body constantly
Keep in mind that Body Dysmorphia is an official DSM-5 disorder that can only be diagnosed by a licensed specialist.
Showing signs of Body Dysmorphia doesn’t automatically indicate that you have Body Dysmorphia.
Nevertheless, these feelings shouldn’t be underestimated and the physical transformation that can happen so rapidly after weight loss surgery can have a major impact on your own perception of yourself.
Always reach out to your bariatric care team if your mental health is affected in some way or the other.
More valuable tips for your journey
Bariatric surgery is far from easy. And there’s just so much to unravel, don’t you think?
There’s the commitment to the bariatric guidelines, like getting your protein in and taking your vitamins. There’s dealing with the physical side-effects (like the ones we talked about in this blogpost). And there’s the mental part of this journey: overcoming self-limiting beliefs and truly setting your mindset up for the success you deserve.
But there’s more.
If you need more meal inspiration, check out these easy-to-follow recipes here.
And if you’re ready to commit to your daily habits, then the bestselling bariatric planners from our book collection may be just what you need.
Whatever you do or however you feel, don’t give up. You got this, okay?
- Sarwer D.B. & Fabricatore A.N. Psychitric Considerations of the Massive Weight Loss Patient. In: Clinics in Plastic Surgery (2008); 1-10.
- Roberts, C.A. Physical and Psychological Effects of Bariatric Surgery in Obese Adolescents: A Review. In: Frontiers in Pediatrics (2020)
- Afshar, S. et al. The Effects of Bariatric Procedures on Bowel Habit. In: Obesity Surgery (2016); 2348-54.
*Disclaimer: The information on our Instagram page, website, blogposts, e-mails and other (social) media platforms and channels as well as the community challenges we provide have been prepared solely for general educational purposes and should not be construed or relied on, nor is intended to be used or substituted for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. It should not be used to replace that of your surgeon, your dietitian, your therapist or other qualified medical professional or healthcare provider. Each individual and situation is fact-specific and the appropriate solution in any case may vary; therefore, these materials may not be relevant to your particular situation. While every attempt was made to ensure that these materials were accurate at the time of publication, errors or omissions may be contained therein, for which any liability is disclaimed. Should you have any health care related questions please contact your qualified health care provider as soon as possible. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking advice because of information you have read or listened to on our websites and social media accounts. Communication on any of our platforms including comments, emails, the community challenges and direct messages does not constitute a therapeutic relationship.