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The feedback from our facebook page ‘Centre for Metabolic Surgery, Mumbai’ & emails received have shown that expectations & concerns vary between patients. Apparent annonymity provides an outlet for expression which may not happen during consultations esp in presence of family or friends.

Just last week a gentleman, operated almost 3 years back, messaged me that he has gained few kgs in last 1 year. He is one of those who is regular in follow up & extremely bullish about bariatric outcomes. However, alcohol had been his achilles heel, as is with so many others.

A common adage is that if one cannot eat, drink & make merry than what use is life? Personally, I am also a supporter of the view that quality of life is eqully important. Majority of those opting for weight loss surgeries have phenomenal will power – eating small portions, exercising regularly & have given up smoking/alcohol years back.

On the other hand, most of our obese or diabetic patients have never experienced a situation where they can consider themselves free of these diseases. Post bariatrics, patients start believing that, alcohol or sweet consumption is an expression of new found freedom or normalcy which had eluded them for decades, failing to realise that, unlike their slim friends, they continue to have tendency to gain weight if they go overboard.

Is alcohol consumption a complete no-no after bariatric surgery? Consumption of alcohol per se is not a major concern after adequate weight loss but regular & significant intake with consumption of high calorie snacks can indeed cause weight regain & maybe other health problems.

How much is too much? Well, for the first year after surgery or till weight stabilises alcohol should be completely stopped for excellent results. After that, if absolutely necessary, 1-2 drinks a week should not be a problem, but anything more & ……. It is important to remember that these lifetime problems have lifestyle origins.

For most, losing weight or getting rid of diabetes had been a major problem for years. The effort to lose weight is usually stupendous before surgery & now that you are living a dream after losing 30, 50 or over 100 kgs and with normal blood sugars, without daily insulin jabs, the party has just begun.

Why let a drink spoil the party!

Dr Ramen Goel

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