Post-Surgery Life

The Options program was designed to provide support and resources long term. Whether you had surgery recently or many years ago, we are here for you. Explore the tools and resources at every stage below.

Recovery Phase (First Few Days and Months After Surgery)

What to Expect and Possible Struggles

The first few days after surgery can be overwhelming. You’ll be recovering from major surgery and adjusting to a new way of eating and drinking.

Check out our post-surgery quick reference guide (English PDF) / (Spanish PDF) for tips for those first few days and weeks of recovering, including:

  • Tips to prepare your home
  • Tips to prepare for your hospital stay
  • Tips before you leave the hospital
  • Tips immediately after surgery

Reminders, Tips, and Resources

Other tools and resources available to you:

Wellness Coaching by Phone:

Self-care wellness apps (available to Kaiser Permanente members):

Programs and wellness tools at the Center for Healthy Living:

Honeymoon Phase (3 Months to 1 Year After Surgery)

What to Expect and Possible Struggles

As you continue to recover and adjust to life after metabolic and bariatric surgery, it’s important to stay on top of your nutrition, physical activity, and mental health and wellness. During this time, you are often losing weight and getting used to a new lifestyle.

While this can be an exciting time, some people report struggling with different issues, including:

  • Complications or side effects from surgery
  • Adjustments to new or existing medications
  • Adjustments to a new meal plan for different activity levels
  • Fears around eating or food in general
  • Struggles with body image

Check out the member stories to hear about and learn from the experiences of others, and explore the reminders and resources available to support you during this time below.

Never hesitate to reach out to your care team if you need support.

Reminders, Tips, and Resources

Other tools and resources available to you:

Wellness Coaching by Phone:

Self-care wellness apps (available to Kaiser Permanente members):

Programs and wellness tools at the Center for Healthy Living:

 

1 to 2 Years After Surgery

What to Expect and Possible Struggles

At about 1 to 2 years, you will likely enter a maintenance phase when you will be focusing on staying healthy and maintaining weight loss.

Some people report struggling with issues, including:

  • Adjusting to a new body image
  • Regaining some weight
  • Feeling anxious about eating
  • Experimenting with caution foods, such as alcohol or caffeine (while it may initially feel OK, it’s important to be aware of these behaviors because they can cause complications down the road)

During this time, it is also important to make sure you have set realistic expectations when it comes to weight loss. People often have a goal weight that may or may not be realistic.  Expected weight loss after surgery depends on many factors, including nutrition, physical activity, sleep, and mental health and wellness. A successful surgery gets you to a weight you can maintain with realistic lifestyle changes.

Reminders, Tips, and Resources

Other tools and resources available to you:

Wellness Coaching by Phone:

Self-care wellness apps (available to Kaiser Permanente members):

Programs and wellness tools at the Center for Healthy Living:

Bring the Medical Alert Wallet Card to your next doctor’s appointment to help alert health care professionals to your needs:

2 to 4 Years After Surgery

What to Expect and Possible Struggles

By 2 to 4 years after surgery, you have settled into a new post-surgery life. At this time, some people may start to consider family planning and pregnancy because they are safely 18 to 24 months post-surgery. Some people are also considering excess skin removal surgery.

Some people report struggling with issues, including:

  • Regaining weight
  • Old habits returning (like drinking alcohol) that may be cause for concern
  • Hormonal effects of surgery decreasing and feeling hungrier
  • Life events that happen and get you off track

Reminders, Tips, and Resources

Other tools and resources available to you:

Self-care wellness apps (available to Kaiser Permanente members):

Programs and wellness tools at the Center for Healthy Living:

Bring the Medical Alert Wallet Card to your next doctor’s appointment to help alert health care professionals to your needs:

5+ Years After Surgery

What to Expect and Possible Struggles

At 5 or more years after surgery, your care team is still here to support you. At this point, many people report fully adjusting to post-surgery life. However, some people report struggling with issues, including:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies if they forget to take their vitamin and minerals
  • Weight regain and feeling like they have failed
  • Old habits returning (like drinking alcohol) that may be cause for concern

Reminders, Tips, and Resources

Other tools and resources available to you:

Self-care wellness apps (available to Kaiser Permanente members):

Programs and wellness tools at the Center for Healthy Living:

Bring the Medical Alert Wallet Card to your next doctor’s appointment to help alert health care professionals to your needs: