In order for one’s gastric sleeve surgery to remain successful, the patient must make many healthy lifestyle changes for success. Most importantly, a patient should make healthy diet choices that include low fat dairy, low fat and lean protein meat, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and limited intake of sugar, fried foods and sweetened beverages. All caffeine should be avoided as it contributes to dehydration.
Ultimately, the post procedure diet is an important part of the healing process. It’s important to follow the diet strictly as it will directly affect the patient’s overall health and weight loss.
It’s important to learn new rules when eating such as limiting beverage intake because it can lead to increased hunger faster after a meal. This is because liquids flush food from the pouch faster. Also, all food should be chewed till it is an applesauce consistency to prevent any blockages in the sleeve. Refrain from using any straws because it can lead to expansion of the pouch.
Patients should also avoid alcohol as their stomach is no longer able to metabolize it when it enters the bloodstream at a faster rate and can increase one’s chance of liver disease.
After gastric sleeve surgery is performed, a patient’s stomach can only consume 3 to 4 ounces of food, down from the average of 60 ounces a stomach typically can hold. In order to have a successful overall experience, the patient must follow a strict diet plan immediately after surgery.
In conjunction with the proper diet, a patient should take several vitamins – a multivitamin with iron, Calcium (1,500 to 2,000 mg), Vitamin D and maybe even B complex. Always consult a doctor before taking a new supplement.
A clear liquid diet will occur for the first 3 weeks after surgery. Clear liquids include and are not limited to sugar-free fruit juices, broth, tea, drinkable yogurts, protein shakes and Gatorade. The next phase will re-introduce soft foods into the day with 60 grams of proteins daily. These foods include: ground meat, eggs, cooked beans, low-fat cottage cheese, well-cooked vegetables, soft fruit or poultry. Avoid rice, bread and pasta as they feel you up without much nutritious benefit.
The last phase of the post-op diet will consist of a healthy balanced diet of protein, fruits and vegetables as well as grains. It’s important to learn portion size. Strive for five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, adequate fiber intake and 60 to 120 grams of protein daily.
The surgeon will most likely recommend you take daily supplements including iron, calcium, a multi-vitamins and vitamin b-12 during your post-operative process.
During the first week after surgery, a patient should aim to consume 64 ounces of fluids daily. Avoid sugary drinks, caffeine or carbonated beverages. A patient should never use a straw and take small sips. Approved drinks include: water, chicken or beef broth, skim milk, sugar-free Jell-O or Popsicles, sugar free Crystal light, green tea, low-sugar fruit juices (no orange), fruit ices and ice chips.
After about a week of clear liquids, a patient will transition to all liquids for two more weeks. The patient must focus on consuming as much protein as possible. The required 64 ounces daily still comes into play, but 60-70 grams of proteins should also be consumed. For those who are lactose intolerant, they may have rice or soy milk. Some approved liquids include: skin milk, soy milk, no pulp fruit juice, sugar free gelatin, soups, fruit smoothies (fully blended), Carnation, sugar-free popsicles, V-8, applesauce and protein shakes.
After liquids, the body will transition to soft foods for a week. Patients should continue to consume 60 to 70 grams of protein while staying away from sugar, fat and carbohydrates. Some approved soft foods include: scrambled eggs, tuna fish with low-fat mayo, low-fat cottage cheese, mashed fruit, low-fat cheese, mashed vegetables, bananas, mashed potatoes and yogurt.
Because the patient is still acclimating to their new stomach size, several small meals should be consumed daily. Consume only 3 to 4 ounces at a time. A patient should aim to consume 600 to 800 calories a day.
After these four weeks of liquids and soft foods, the body should now be ready for solid foods. This transition will include all the foods you will now be eating for your lifetime. Some food to always avoid to keep the weight off include (and are not limited to): bacon, sausage, peanut butter, processed meats, fried foods, rice, pasta, desserts, salty snacks, alcohol, sauces and fruit juice.
Ultimately, following these diets strictly will only ensure that patients will lose the most amount of weight in the safest way possible.
Exercise or activity is suggested for 45 to 60 minutes a day. Ultimately, exercise will further extend the success of your gastric bypass surgery and increase weight loss. Start by walking and gradually increasing the time you walk. From there, gradually add in aerobic exercise such as bike riding and swimming. Be sure to discuss your activity with your surgeon and make sure they believe it is safe for you to do participate in these activities. For weight training, start with light weight exercises and gradually increase your number of reps. This type of exercise helps increase your metabolism, which will lead to greater weight loss. Remember to always drink plenty of water before, during and after you are active.
Generally, a gastric sleeve patient will visit their surgeon several times to closely monitor their current health and weight loss. A patient will first see a surgeon about two weeks after surgery then again at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a 1 year. A surgeon will be able to guide you on the medications you take and their dosages. In terms of weight loss surgery, gastric sleeve does not affect the body’s absorption so the effectiveness of any medication will not be affected.