Six Questions You Were Afraid to Ask about Weight Loss Surgery


Dr. Neil Ghushe, Medical Director, Bariatric Program at South Shore Hospital

Neil Ghushe, M.D.

I’ve led many weight loss surgery seminars for the South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. These sessions are designed for anyone who may be considering surgery to learn more about the surgical options and the life changes that are required to maintain long-term results.

While we open the floor for questions, there are some topics many attendees don’t feel comfortable asking in a group setting. Here are answers to some of the most frequent questions patients ask me privately.

Will my skin be loose after weight loss surgery? When will I fix that?

This varies from person to person. Skin is elastic, and some find that they don’t need plastic surgery to address loose skin. But for others, it can be an issue. We recommend that patients wait at least two years after surgery before considering plastic surgery to remove excess skin.

How long will it take to get into the operating room for bariatric surgery?

It typically takes two to six months from the initial surgical consultation to the time of surgery. By the time people attend our weight loss surgery seminars, they’ve often been considering surgical options for years. Once they make the decision to move forward, they often want to move fast. The time before surgery is important to ensure you are medically, psychologically, and nutritionally ready to have a great result after surgery.

Are there any foods I can never eat again after weight loss surgery?

No. Patients are able to eat a full and balanced diet after surgery. What will change are the portion sizes and the way patients can eat. Patients may not eat as large a portion of their favorite foods or eat them as often, but they can enjoy them responsibly.

I have back pain. Can I keep taking pain relievers after weight loss surgery?

It depends on the type of bariatric surgery you have. If you have a sleeve gastrectomy, you can take some pain medications occasionally. In general NSAID type medications should not be taken after traditional gastric bypass.

Can I drink alcohol after bariatric surgery?

You should completely abstain from alcohol for at least the first six months after surgery. After six months, you may reintroduce alcohol in moderation. Patients need to be aware that even a small amount of alcohol after surgery may affect you more significantly than before surgery due to faster absorption.

My cousin’s friend’s brother said he knows someone who had bariatric surgery and gained most of the weight back. Will that happen to me?

Some patients will regain weight in the future. This is why the South Shore Hospital Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery offers life-long follow-up care. We provide nutritional and behavioral health support to nip weight gain in the bud and maintain your health over the long term. The surgery is a tool but you still need to eat well and exercise to maintain long-term results.

If you have more questions for Dr. Ghushe, attend one of our free Weight Loss Surgery seminars to learn more from the experts at South Shore Hospital’s Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Register online today or call us at 781-534-7706.