Did you know dehydration is the leading cause of hospital readmission after bariatric surgery? Some bariatric practices report as many as 37 percent of their patients are readmitted to the hospital due to dehydration after bariatric surgery.
These statistics — surprising as they may be — point to the importance of water after bariatric surgery. But staying hydrated after weight loss surgery isn’t as easy as it was before surgery.
Weight loss procedures such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and gastric banding all limit the capacity of the stomach, facilitating weight loss through reduced calorie consumption. But the new restricted stomach also limits the amount of fluid the stomach can hold. Before bariatric surgery, when you felt thirsty, you may have been able to down a bottle of water in a matter of a few seconds., After surgery, drinking too much too quickly could lead to nausea and vomiting. So being sure you’re getting enough fluids after bariatric surgery requires planning ahead, along with discipline.
Preventing dehydration after bariatric surgery means gradually sipping on water throughout the day, rather than chugging a full glass of water when you feel thirsty.
Your body’s dependence on water doesn’t change when you have weight loss surgery. Just as was true before your procedure, every cell in your body is dependent on water for survival. Water helps your heart pump blood more efficiently through the body, it helps your body maintain a steady temperature, and facilitates the removal of toxins and waste.
Most bariatric surgeons recommend patients drink at least 64 ounces of fluid every day after surgery. Half of a patient’s fluids after bariatric surgery should be from clear liquids, without protein or added sugar. The remaining 32-ounces can be from full liquids and protein supplements.
Whether you are preparing for weight loss surgery, or are struggling to drink enough water after surgery, here are some tips to help you avoid dehydration after bariatric surgery:
Just as important as making sure you’re drinking enough fluids after bariatric surgery is knowing the signs of dehydration. Common signs of dehydration include:
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, which is why it is so important to ensure you are getting enough fluids after bariatric surgery. Some of the health complications of dehydration include:
It may be time to call the doctor if you:
Understand the importance of water after bariatric surgery, and arm yourself with these tips to help you stay hydrated and avoid a return trip to the hospital after weight loss surgery. If you are struggling to get in enough water each day after surgery, don’t hesitate to reach out to your First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor, who provides post-op support to ensure patients are getting proper nutrition to achieve their weight loss and health goals.