It is important to follow specific diet guidelines during bariatric surgery recovery.
Following doctor’s orders is especially important as you recover from bariatric surgery. After bariatric surgery, your diet is an essential aspect of healing and long-time health. Your dietitian and healthcare team will help to guide you through this.
Your stomach needs time to heal after bariatric surgery, and you need to eat smaller portions of food now that your stomach is smaller. This new, carefully designed, diet plan will also help you to lose weight.
Your diet plan may vary depending on your surgery as well as your surgeon and dietitian. However, you can expect some basic guidelines that gradually process you from liquids to soft foods and finally regular food and textures.
You will start with a liquid diet of about two or three ounces of liquid every few hours. After a liquid diet for a few days, you will be eased into a very smooth and soft diet. Solid food pieces in the soft food are not suggested. Blend meat, beans, eggs, with liquids such as water, broth, or skim milk. Wait several minutes after you have eaten your food before you drink. Your portions should be small, and this diet phase will likely last several weeks.
When your doctor and dietitian give you the go ahead, you can progress on to soft food with small pieces of food, including ground meat, soft fruit, and cooked vegetables. No skin or seeds should be part of your diet yet.
If your diet plan goes smoothly, you can expect to transition back to solid foods after about eight weeks. Portions should still be small, and you should chew thoroughly. Avoid foods including nuts, seeds, carbonated drinks, tough meat, fried food, and bread. Gradually you should be able to introduce these items back into your diet.
Your doctor and dietitian will help you design the best plan for your needs, and they will include vitamin and mineral supplements.
Hydration and drinking plenty of water is always essential, but it is especially important to avoid dehydration after bariatric surgery. Other possible risk factors include nausea and vomiting, constipation, and blockage of your stomach pouch. Following your health plan will also help you to continue to lose weight.
If you have any painful symptoms or are not losing weight, please see your doctor right away.