Diet After Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Eating After Bariatric Surgery

Gastric sleeve surgery is a type of weight loss surgery. The bariatric surgeon usually decides on the suitable bariatric surgery technique. There are a host of factors including eating habits, body mass index, health problems and history of surgery which need to be considered. Gastric sleeve surgery is a newer type of bariatric surgery.

Gastric sleeve surgery is increasingly preferred as it is associated with fewer complications compared to conventional bariatric surgery. Gastric sleeve surgery comprises of a changing the shape of the stomach into a tube, to restrict the calories absorbed.

Stages Of Diet After Bariatric Surgery

The diet prescription after a bariatric surgery would usually depend upon the surgery type and the individual’s condition. The objective of the dietary regimen is to ease the gastrointestinal system back to routine functioning. In principle, the regimen allows an individual to eat regular food after about three months of surgery.

This may however depend upon how quickly your body heals. In some cases, individuals may also develop food allergies.

Typically, the diet is divided into four phases.

  • Phase 1: Liquid Diet – Following the surgery for almost a week, the individual will have to depend upon liquid diet. Liquids and semisolid foods are easier to digest and don’t put strain on the intestinal system. Some foods that are allowed during this stage include milk, cream soup, sugar free gelatin, unsweetened juice and vegetable broth. A max of 2 to 3 ounces is allowed at a time, at a difference of 30 minutes. Avoid caffeinated beverages and carbonated drinks. It is recommended to eat and drink slowly.
  • Phase 2: Pureed Foods – Once liquid foods are tolerated well, the next stage involves consuming mashed foods. This phase may last from two to four weeks. It is important that the food be smooth and consistent, without any solid pieces. Mashed foods that can be included are fish, beans, ground meat, yogurt, vegetables, fruit, egg white and cottage cheese. Mashed foods can be consumed with liquids like fat free milk, water, broth, gravy, juice without sugar, etc. Avoid spices and limit the intake of dairy foods, as your intestinal system is still sensitive.
  • Phase 3: After a few weeks of mashed foods, soft solid foods can be added to the diet. Soft food means it can be mashed with a fork. Include cooked vegetables, fresh fruits, ground or diced meats. This phase would typically last for eight weeks, before an individual can start eating food with normal/ regular consistency.
  • Phase 4: Normal consistency food can be consumed almost after eight to ten weeks after the surgery. Even at this stage it is recommended to avoid spicy foods, nuts, popcorn, granola, broccoli, corn, cabbage, celery, tough meats, breads, soda and carbonated drinks. These foods are not tolerated well by the intestines and may lead to distress. Eventually over time an individual may be able to consume these foods in limited proportions.

Healthy Eating After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

There are certain eating and lifestyle tips that are essential across all the four phases,

  • Consume small quantities of food. Stop eating before feeling full.
  • Take mineral and vitamin supplements as directed.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated, between the meals.
  • Eat slowly and chew thoroughly before swallowing the food.
  • Focus on high protein diet. Avoid foods high in fats and sugars.
  • Try only one new food at a time. Move on only when your body agrees with that type of food.

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