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Controlling weight afer surgery

I am wandering what others have done to help control their weight after have surgery? My last surgery I gained A LOT of weight. I went from 215 to 269 in just a matter of months. Its been three years now and I am having the fusion done soon at L4 L5 S1. I want to stay as healthy as I can and not do as I did last time adding the weight which is more stress on the back.

Thank you everyone.



  • Following it will result in weight loss.

    Requires commitment though.
  • I have actually been loosing weight and might have to get another size smaller back brace soon. I was worried about gaining weight but seems those worries were unfounded at this point.
  • Motorcycle Rider:

    Prior to my two level fusion (L4-S1) in Jan 2011 my daily life included physical exercise. In fact, I have been an avid, regular exerciser since I entered the Army in Dec 1972. One of the concerns I had about surgery was the potential for weight gain.

    I entered the OR weighing in at 155, with a low BMI. Here we are almost two years post surgery and I weigh 140. My exercise program is non existant. Yes I try to walk one mile daily, but it is not consistent (weather, pain levels, energy levels, etc.). So why do some people lose weight while others gain?

    Two reasons for me. 1) I lost a great deal of muscle mass and with it a lot of weight because muscle tissue weighs more than fat; and 2) my pain level is greater and more consistent now after my surgery, so chronic pain can also be a "downer" on one's metabolism. My appetite is mental only. I think I am hungry and love the smell of food, but when I sit down to eat I am no longer hungry after a few bites.

    We are all different and that saying that "one person's blessing may be another person's curse" could apply. Remember that there is a healthy weight for each of us. Too low can be just as unhealthy as too high.

    Good luck in your healing.

  • I'm a 46 year old female. In March 2011 I weighed 234 lbs & decided to take control of my life. I began a strict program of exercise (started running & worked up to 15-20 miles a week) & an even stricter diet. I restricted myself to 1200 calories on most days, measuring food & counting every single calorie. By March 2012, I had lost 50 lbs! Unfortunately, I was rear-ended by a bus, herniating 2 discs & making almost all exercises unbearable. I've at least maintained my weight since then, not gaining anything.

    I had my ADCF C4-5 & C5-6 on 12/3/12, and I am beyond pleased to have lost an additional 12 lbs since then. Honestly, most of that is probably due to the nausea & vomiting from pain meds. In the 1st 2 weeks, there were several times I went 2 days without being able to eat anything. Not good for surgical recovery, but it is what it is.

    I'm itching to get the go-ahead from my surgeon to begin running again, but that could be months away, I fear. I'm hoping to be able to begin some other exercise, like fast walking & high level pilates, very soon. I'm at 168 lbs now, and planning to lose another 38 lbs to reach my goal. It feels very attainable now!

    But that's my story. For you? Only your doctor can advise what exercise & when. I would also ask your doctor about caloric intake. Certainly, we need additional calories, particularly from protein sources, for healing in the post op period. Find out what your number is. Then start counting. Hope it's not against TOS here, but I'll recommend the website & app MyFitnessPal. It's my lifesaver. There are detailed calorie conversions for every food imaginable & an easy-to-use format to log your food & count calories. Feel free to add me as a "friend" there - same name, Pangea250, as here.

    Good luck!
    - Pangea
    ACDF C4-5, C5-6 on 12/3/12
    Bone growth stimulator 4 hrs/day
    Follow up 1/21/12 - growing bone, still in pain though. Working desk job but still not cleared for volunteer EMS :-(
  • Airborne thank you for your service from a brother Navy Vet. Pangea250 thank you for your response too. I went into surgery at 222 pounds and now at 208. Stress and the surgery have aided in me loosing weight instead of adding it on. I want to get back into an exercise routine again and even add to it if my previous routine. I have to get to that stage again to exercise and go for my first post op visit tomorrow. I am glad that this time I haven't added on weight and hope that I don't. I am conscious of it and watch what I eat. I don't really have my appetite back from before the surgery but many factors are contributing to that lose of appetite. From the pain and Stress mostly.
    Thanks everyone and I hope that you are healing and recovering well.
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