Dehydration After Bariatric Surgery 


Bariatric surgery is one of the most used surgeries for weight loss. It is also known as weight loss surgery. It is the last resort for obese people who are not able to improve their weight with diet and lifestyle changes. Like other surgeries, bariatric surgery also involves several risks and side effects. One of the major side effects is dehydration. You can easily notice signs of dehydration after surgery. But the good news is that you can also easily prevent them. Learn the signs and prevention of dehydration after bariatric surgery in this article. Log on to to know more about weight loss. 

Signs and symptoms of dehydration after bariatric surgery 

  • Increased thirst and dry mouth: This might be the first sign of dehydration you experience after the surgery. But you can relieve your symptoms of dry mouth by consuming some water.  
  • Darker urine and lower urine volumes: This is a warning sign of dehydration as your urine volume is getting reduced or darker than normal. If you notice your urine getting darker than usual, it does not mean you are dehydrated, it means that you might be getting dehydrated really soon.  
  • Dry skin or reduced skin turgor: Dry skin is a sign that your body needs to be hydrated. You can notice dry skin if your hands or feet appear white and rough. Another symptom is decreased skin turgor, which you can also check by yourself. Just pinch a bit of your skin on your hand and see if it returns to its original position quickly, then your body is hydrated. However, if it takes time to return to the original state, that means you need to drink some water.  
  • Lightheadedness: This symptom is more serious than the previous ones because if you feel lightheaded that means your body is running low on electrolytes too. It can be caused by low blood pressure or by dehydration. You need to drink an electrolyte beverage to cure your lightheadedness. However, if it doesn’t go away after that drink, then you might need medical attention. 
  • Dizziness or nausea: It is a serious symptom that shows dehydration. If it doesn’t go away by having an electrolyte beverage, then you might need to seek medical attention.  

Risks of dehydration 

Certain factors increase the risk of dehydration after bariatric surgery, such as: 

Decreased stomach volume:  

Bariatric surgery shrinks the size of the stomach up to 85% of its original capacity. As a result, patients are not able to drink as much water as they want. And they must wait at least 30 minutes to drink after each meal, which can make them nausea while drinking water and discourage them from doing so.  

Watery bowel movements:  

Diarrhea or vomiting does not happen to everyone, but it is a side effect of the surgery. As their digestive system is rerouted to the point where they need to recover. During the recovery process, you are not able to digest some foods, and food that isn’t rejected outright can cause watery stools. 

Prevention of dehydration 

To prevent dehydration after the surgery, both surgeons and nutritionists suggest that the patient drink at least 48 ounces (about 1.42 L) of water each day. If you drink from bottles, you need 4 bottles of water to prevent dehydration. 

Other prevention tips to avoid dehydration 

  • Drink water in sips to avoid nausea and maintain the right hydration levels throughout the day.  
  • You can have sports drinks with measurements given on the label to know how much is enough to keep you hydrated. Remember, do not gulp liquids, instead, take small sips throughout the day.  
  • You can also drink beverages and sugar-free liquids that contain electrolytes, to avoid early symptoms of dehydration.  
  • Eat sugar-free popsicles to keep yourself hydrated.  
  • If you’re experiencing severe dehydration, then receiving IV fluids can help you prevent dehydration. 
  • In your diet, you can add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to give your water some flavor without adding many calories to your meal.  
  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, or are carbonated because it is harmful to your body after the surgery.  

Keep in mind, to prevent dehydration you need to make constant efforts to drink water and other fluids to slow the fluid loss after any bariatric surgery. Because water is essential to maintain good nutrition in the body.  

Dehydration is one of the most common side effects that happen after weight loss surgery. It happens due to fluid loss after the surgery and the new stomach not being able to hold and utilize the water and nutrients. But you can prevent dehydration by staying hydrated after bariatric surgery. Drinking water in small sips, adding sports drinks or electrolyte drinks, eating water-rich foods, and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks are some of the common ways to prevent dehydration.   

Need help to prevent post-bariatric surgery symptoms, walk in for an appointment at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212. Our bariatric and nutritionist specialists can make effective weight loss plans according to your body’s requirements. Doral Health & Wellness has an advanced bariatric clinic that offers laparoscopic surgeries in bariatrics including Gastric sleeve surgery, Gastric bypass surgery, and Sleeve gastrectomy.  

Call us at 1-347-384-5690 to schedule a consultation.