The Three L's After Weight Loss Surgery
Let’s talk about Lethargy, Libido and Loose Skin after having weight loss surgery.
If you’ve chosen to undergo gastric sleeve surgery in Melbourne to help you shed those excess kilos, you may see a number of changes to different areas of your life in the wake of your weight loss surgery. For a while the most radical and long-lasting change may be to the shape and size of your body, however, you may also find changes to your libido (sex drive), your sleep patterns and the quality of your skin.
We’ve outlined below the changes you might see in both the long and short term following your surgery. From an increase in libido to higher levels of energy, here’s what you need to know in relation to recovering after weight loss surgery.
Lethargy after gastric sleeve surgery
Lethargy, a lack of energy and an increase in fatigue is a normal response to weight loss surgery. There are a number of reasons why a post-bariatric surgery patient may feel run down and sluggish in the wake of their procedure, and the most common cause is the lack of hydration. Our bodies are made up of 73% water and given that weight loss surgery involves drastically reducing the capacity of the stomach, this means that there is a reduction in the intake of water. Cells subsequently experience dehydration, which, in turn, leads to feelings of fatigue.
Another reason why post-op patients may be prone to lower levels of energy is the drastic drop in calorie consumption. It is highly likely that in the months following your surgery, you will be adjusting to a significantly lower calorie intake than you’re used to, which will consequently have a big impact on your stamina. It too is worth considering, particularly for women, that following on from surgery, your body may well be experiencing a loss of vital nutrients and minerals, such as iron and vitamins. This is a very common cause of lethargy, and if you do experience ongoing tiredness, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking monthly vitamins regularly. If tiredness persists, you need to make an appointment to see your doctor. In some cases, patients may need a specific iron infusion prior to the operation; which is something that can be discussed with your surgeon before booking in for your surgery.
Sex and libido after gastric sleeve
While losing excess pounds is the key benefit of bariatric surgery, patients who undergo the procedure may also enjoy a long-term increase in their libido (sex drive). Obesity is known for causing erectile dysfunction or shortness of breath during intercourse, both of which contribute to poor sexual performance. Obesity can also impact fertility in women due to hormonal imbalance that it creates while also causing PCOS. Therefore, both bariatric surgery and a subsequent sustained weight loss can lead to improvements in sexual function.
One advantage of weight loss surgery is that it can help correct testosterone levels in both men and women, which will often lead to higher levels of energy and a greater sex drive. A recent study published in February 2019 in the journal JAMA Surgery, also indicated that one-half of participants who underwent weight loss surgery saw better sexual function, including a boosted libido and more frequent sex, for at least five years following on from the surgery.
Loose skin after gastric sleeve
One of the most common problems that bariatric surgery patients can face in the wake of their procedure is that of loose and saggy skin. Older patients are at higher risk for getting loose skin after weight loss because their skin is less elastic and less able to recover from the change in size. Also the amount of weight you lose will impact the quality of your skin after surgery. Weight training and a regular exercise regime may help prevent or minimise excess skin, and in more severe cases, if loose skin becomes a medical issue due to infection or if the patient is uncomfortable about the look of the skin. You may need a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options.
Weight loss surgery is a life-changing decision that will benefit and impact patients in a wealth of different ways. By taking into account the effect surgery will have on lethargy, loose skin and libido, you will be well equipped for the surgery ahead, and in the best possible position to achieve excellent long term weight loss results.
Arrange a FREE and Confidential Phone Chat with our friendly Patient Advisors.
Dr Arun Dhir
Surgeon, Health & Wellness Advocate.
If you have thinking about weight loss surgery you may like to book an online consultation with Dr Arun.
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