After the Surgery

Returning to normal life after a weight loss procedure is a long process. Specific rules must be followed in order for the surgery to be effective, beneficial, and successful. The actual procedure is only a tool, albeit a very effective tool, but made more so when an individual works in partnership to achieve maximum results.

First few days — Clear liquids (broth, juice, water, tea, coffee, Jell-O and Popsicles (sugar-free). It is important to take in at least 48 ounces of liquid a day to prevent dehydration. Count your calories. Remember liquid calories add up very fast.  Do not exceed 800 calories/day.  No carbonated beverages, this will make the gas worse.  Avoid milk products until gas has improved.  Remember to walk, walk, and walk some more.  

Week 1 — Liquid diet: soups, thicker liquids, fat free or low-calorie yogurt and puddings. Must be the consistency that will go up thru a straw.

Weeks 2-4 — Soft foods: eggs, cheeses, salads, ground meats, beans.

Weeks 4-6 — Regular food: this will be trial and error.

Remember:

  • Chew, chew, chew and chew some more
  • Drink all the way up until you take the first bite, than nothing to drink for at least 60 minutes after you ea take no longer than 20 min. to eat.t
  • once you begin your soft diet, no more liquid calories.  No milk, No protein shakes, No juices.  Avoid all high caloric liquids.
  • When trying a new food, eat it by itself, and introduce all new foods slowly

Above is a general guideline. Patients will receive more specific instructions from the dietician and from the surgeon.

A New Nutritional Plan
Once solid foods can be consumed without nausea or stomach irritation, close attention will need to be paid to the diet. Liquids will pass through the digestive system quickly and will not create a sensation of being full. High-calorie beverages should be avoided from this point on. Instead, water, broth, tea or coffee can be consumed as long as no sugar is added.

Too much food or large chunks of food can block the reduced stomach. Chewing food well and eating only small bites can avoid this. These meals must contain adequate nutrients and elements such as vegetables, fruit, bread, and/or dairy products.

In addition to dietary changes, other changes may naturally occur or must occur by necessity in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve successful weight loss goals. These include regular exercise as directed by a surgeon, doctor, or physical therapist; emotional changes in regard to food and physical change that the body will experience; changes in relationships; daily lifestyle habits; and changes in regard to overall health and wellness.