Many people complain about weight changes during the early and late postoperative period following abdominal surgery. Appendectomy is one of the most commonly performed abdominal operations. Although there are no scientific studies investigating this issue, here we will try to propose some reasons for this phenomenon.
Weight Loss In The Early Postoperative Period
During the first few hours after any abdominal surgery, a state called paralytic illeus occurs. In other words, the intestines are confused and it takes several hours for them to start working. During this period, the patient should not take food, and during the first postoperative day, only clear liquids are allowed. General anesthesia can produce nausea that can last for 24 hours.
During the five to seven days after surgery, you are advised to take easily-digestible food and to avoid spices, fats, lactose, and foods that cause bloating, such as beans, lettuce and broccoli. The appetite is also decreased during the first few days post-op. Dietary changes have the strongest effect on obese persons who are used to eating large amounts of high calorie food daily. A caloric deficit during the early postoperative period can cause them to lose up to 5 pounds during the first few days after surgery.
Weight Gain During The Late Postoperative Period
Different abdominal interventions have different recovery periods. For an appendectomy, it takes three to four weeks, if there were no complications, before a person becomes fully active. During this postoperative period, the appetite is recovered and most of the pain is gone, but staying in bed is advised due to stitches and proper wound healing.
As the appetite is restored, it is natural to feel the need to eat more food, especially after dieting during the early postoperative period. Taking more food than usually causes weight gain that compensates the initial loss, but the patients usually gain a little more than they have lost.
People who don't usually eat large amounts are usually affected more seriously, as their metabolism is not trained to burn a large amount of calories, so it turns them into fat.
Changes In The Amount Of Physical Activity
A person's level of physical activity is also very important for maintaining weight. During the postoperative period, you are obligated to avoid exercise. Imagine how that can affect a person who was used to exercising daily. The organism still expects the exercise to burn excess calories, but as it doesn't happen, it turns them into fat.
We come to the conclusion that changes in eating habits and physical activity during the early and late postoperative period after appendectomy are the main causes of weight disturbances. It is not only about how much you eat, it is also about how much your new activity level and diet patterns differ from the previous patterns.
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