One of the simplest but most common phrases we tell our patients is “everything in moderation” and this also applies to alcoholic beverages. However, there are some hard and fast rules that must be understood in the immediate postop timeframe that can prevent serious complications and discomfort. First, it is important that in the months after surgery, you do not drink alcohol. This is primarily because alcoholic drinks can add hundreds of empty calories. A bottle of beer can add upwards of 150 calories (and discomfort from the carbonation), a glass of wine, upwards of 125 calories and mixed drinks can add hundreds of calories and quite a bit of sugar.
Many patients focus on the psychological adjustments they will have to make after surgery. After all, we are all having bariatric surgery in order to achieve goals; one of which is to improve our diet and general lifestyle over the long-term. As the typical patient understands, improving these parts of our lives are not as easy as following a diet and exercise plan. We have a good days and bad days, sometimes we are motivated and other times we simply don’t want to follow the plan. All of this is very normal but makes for some challenges after bariatric surgery. This is especially true over the long term when our weight begins to stabilize, and we don’t see the incredible results of early postoperative life.