Children's Hospital Colorado
Jessika sitting on a couch with her mom talking about bariatric surgery

Life After Bariatric Surgery

The continuing weight loss journey after surgery

Bariatric surgery is just the first step in a lifelong journey of making healthy choices. Mona shares the challenges of changing ingrained habits and the positive results she's experienced from the steps she's taken so far.

Realistic expectations after bariatric surgery

Most teens can expect to lose about 28% of their body weight after surgery over time if they commit to the recommended lifestyle changes. These changes include a diet transition program that focuses on protein, learning to eat less at each meal, making healthier choices at each meal, taking vitamins for life, and finding ways to stay physically active. These changes help to promote continued weight loss after surgery.

Diet Stage Time After Surgery Calorie Limit Protein Goal Meal Volume Fluid Goal
#1: Sugar-free clear liquids Days 1 and 2 Less than 300 N/A 1 oz every 15 min At least 64 oz daily
#2: Full, high protein liquids Day 3 – 16
(two weeks from discharge)
300 – 500 60 – 90 grams 2 oz every 15 minutes 64 – 80 oz daily
#3: Soft protein foods Weeks 2 and 3 About 500 60 – 90 grams ¼ to ½ cup per meal 64 – 80 oz daily
#4: High protein foods, vegetables and fruits Weeks 4 – 12 500 – 750 60 – 90 grams ½ to 1 cup per meal 64 – 80 oz daily
#5: High protein foods, vegetables, fruits and whole grains Lifelong after week 12 About 1,000 60 – 90 grams or more About 1 cup per meal At least 80 oz daily


Tips for weight loss success

Support after bariatric surgery

Having people to support teens on their weight loss journey after bariatric surgery is vital. Mona found that she wanted to have people around her who could support her in social situations. She also wanted friends who would join her for physical activities that were now a regular part of her life.

Our bariatric surgery team is committed to providing the ongoing support that teens need after bariatric surgery. This may include anything from continuing to meet with a dietitian regularly to seeing a psychologist who can help them cope with the physical and emotional changes that happen after surgery.

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Bariatric surgery research

Results from our research studies provide invaluable information about bariatric surgery surgical outcomes.

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Our Bariatric Surgery Center

Read more information about our bariatric surgery program and the types of surgeries we offer.

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"I know if I didn't have the surgery, I wouldn't be able to do half the things that I'm doing now."

Mona, patient who has had bariatric surgery
Mona posing at the top of a mountain path she climbed after bariatric surgery


Partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Children's Hospital Colorado partners with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where many of our physicians and care providers serve as faculty.