At our center, we perform gastric sleeve surgery as a method of surgical weight loss. To learn more about this procedure and what it involves, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.
Nutrition Immediately After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
After a gastric sleeve surgery, your nutrition will be one of the most important aspects of your healing. During the gastric sleeve surgery, part of your stomach is bypassed. This means that the amount of food you can eat in one sitting is severely limited. Because your stomach will need time to heal, your doctor might prescribe intravenous fluids for about 24 hours after your procedure. This helps to keep your body hydrated and keeps your potassium and sodium levels properly balanced. Once the intravenous line is removed, you will be able to drink clear liquids. Clear liquids include chicken broth, water, and electrolyte solutions. This will be your diet for a few days. Once your body is adjusted to the clear liquids, your physician may allow you to expand your intake to unsweetened juices, decaffeinated tea or coffee, broth, skim milk, sugar-free gelatin, and sugar-free popsicle treats.
Tips for Staying Hydrated After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Staying well hydrated after gastric sleeve surgery is of utmost importance. At first, you may only be able to chew crushed ice or take ice chips. You may then be able to drink small sips of water, amounting to about 1 ounce at a time. Sip the drinks slowly. If cold water irritates your throat, stick with room temperature water.
Avoid any carbonated club soda or sparkling water drinks. These could irritate your stomach or cause you to develop painful hiccups. The carbonation could also cause your stomach to expand too much, which could be painful at this stage of recovery. As your healing progresses, you will be able to add other beverages such as green or herbal tea to your diet. Your doctor may advise avoiding alcoholic beverages because they can irritate the stomach and esophagus, and they are devoid of nutrition. Alcohol also contains empty calories, which may hinder your weight loss goals.
How to Eat and Drink After a Gastric Sleeve Surgical Procedure
After gastric sleeve surgery, you will need to modify everything about the way that you eat and drink in order to see continued weight loss. Following your surgery and your liquid diet, you will receive permission from your physician to begin a diet of soft foods. When you eat, you will need to do so slowly. Eating too quickly may make it more difficult for your stomach to digest foods. In addition to eating slowly, you will need to chew your foods more thoroughly. Your smaller stomach will not be able to perform as much mechanical digestion as it did before the procedure. Your teeth will have to do the work of breaking down the food into easily digestible pieces. You will need to select foods that are low in fat and sugar because they are easier to digest.
Take your time for each meal. Each of your meals should take about 30 minutes to chew and swallow the food. Avoid drinking at the same time as eating, because your stomach may not be able to handle a meal’s worth of food and a beverage all at once. You can drink about 30 to 60 minutes after eating a meal. Drink slowly and take about 30 to 60 minutes to consume 8 to 12 ounces of water. Drinking beverages too close to meal time could make you feel too full to eat. This could result in you not getting the nutrition that you need.
Making Good Food Choices After Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Making good food choices after gastric sleeve surgery will help you to avoid vitamin deficiencies and can help to promote continued weight loss. You and your doctor may work together to create a meal plan once you are able to return to eating regular foods. Your doctor might also refer you to a nutritionist. Making a meal plan will help to ensure that you get enough protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates into your body. You may need to stop eating certain foods that could irritate your stomach and digestive system. For example, some foods to avoid after a gastric sleeve surgery include fried foods, meats with gristle, popcorn, nuts, seeds, and fibrous raw vegetables. Some good high-protein foods to add to your diet include eggs, nut butters, boneless and skinless chicken breast, and fish. Healthy fats include nut butters, avocado, and oily fish such as salmon. For carbohydrates, choose whole grains that are easy to digest, such as quinoa and brown rice.
Monitoring Your Vitamin and Mineral Levels
Because of the decrease in the quantity of food that you are able to consume after gastric sleeve surgery, you will need to monitor your vitamin and mineral levels on a regular basis. Your doctor may have you come in for regular blood tests to make sure that your calcium, potassium, and vitamin D levels are within the normal range. Most people who have a gastric sleeve surgery will need to take one or more daily supplements. These supplements help your body to get essential minerals in the correct quantities. You may need a multivitamin plus other supplements such as calcium.
Your doctor will provide you with the instructions you need to follow after your weight loss surgery. These instructions will be tailored to you and will be based on your current health and medical history, as well as the exact procedure that you had performed. It is very important to follow these instructions carefully. They are designed to help you see the most success and also to keep you healthy and safe.
To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery and the other weight loss procedure that we perform, contact our office today and schedule a free consultation. Please feel free to ask any questions that you have about the process and the different options that are available