Your success after bariatric surgery requires important lifestyle changes, like eating well and exercising. Our staff will be there to guide you with information, support and regular follow-up appointments.
Diet and Nutrition
Our registered dietitians are specially trained to care for patients who have had bariatric surgery. Through both group and one-on-one individualized counseling, you will learn to optimize your lifestyle with diet and exercise to achieve the greatest benefits to your health. Our team will work with you through the first stages of post-op eating and help you understand the importance of healthy eating for the rest of your life.
Adopting a Sensible Balanced Diet
After bariatric surgery, you must change your eating habits to fit your new stomach. Some bariatric surgeries cause your body to change the way it absorbs nutrients during food digestion. You will be restricted in the volume of food you can tolerate and may no longer be able to eat certain types of food.
A specific diet must be followed until your stomach is healed. It will be important to separate liquids from solids, take small bites, eat slowly, and chew food completely. Food and drink that is high in fat and sugar should be avoided. Once healed, your stomach will continue to adapt to its new state.
Sleeve Gastrectomy and Gastric Bypass. Patients who undergo sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass follow a similar dietary plan. Approximately 6 weeks after surgery, regular, healthy foods may be introduced to the diet. Vitamin supplementation will be necessary, especially in patients who have undergone gastric bypass.
Taking vitamin, nutrient, and protein supplements is important to avoid nutritional shortfalls caused by your new diet and smaller food intake.
We offer the specialty formulated bariatric multivitamins, which are specifically formulated for gastric bypass patients, as well as Robard Protein Supplements.
These supplements are available at the Center or online.
Exercise plays a critical role in recovering from surgery and achieving long-term weight loss success. In addition to helping with weight loss, exercise will help you build muscle strength and endurance.
You will be expected to start back on a modified version of your pre-operative exercise program the day you get home from the hospital. For the first 6 weeks please limit your exercise to walking only and no weight lifting or high intensity training. Most patients resume a walking program. Exercise will become faster and easier after your surgery as you lose excess weight, build stamina, and discover cardiovascular fitness.
We offer several options to help you move from a sedentary to an active lifestyle, or to improve upon your current activity level both before and after surgery.
- Our exercise physiologist is available for one-on -one consults and follow-up appointments to assist with evaluating your activity and exercise level and developing a realistic, achievable and customizable exercise plan. Your sessions can take place at a UPMC facility or in the comfort and privacy of your own home..
You are encouraged to talk to your surgeon about exercising after your surgery and your primary care physician before starting any new exercise regime.
Post Bariatric Surgery Support Groups and Classes
UPMC Harrisburg Weight Management Center Support Group
A solid support system is important when you are adapting to your post-surgical lifestyle or starting on a managed program preparing you for surgery. You, your family and friends are welcome to attend our free monthly Support Group during any phase of your weight loss journey. Our bariatric surgery support group includes individuals at all phases of the pre- and post-surgery process.
UPMC Harrisburg Weight Management Center Support Group meets on the second Monday of each month at 6pm at:
UPMC Community Osteopathic
4300 Londonderry Road
Harrisburg, PA 17109
Meeting 6 to 7 p.m.
Pre-registration is not necessary.
Weekly Clinic and Class
Surgical patients also have the opportunity to attend our weekly educational clinic and class where they are weighed, blood pressure is taken and their personal progress is charted. The class includes educational and informational seminars taught by various health care professionals. Topics cover nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits designed to support sustained weight loss.
Need more information?
- Medical Weight Management: 717-591-5638
- UPMC Central PA Weight Management Center: 717-988-8185
Find a weight management location near you