Diet After Gastric Bypass Tips & Information

Definition

Gastric bypass, also known as weight loss, RNY, or bariatric surgery, is a last-resort surgical weight loss method. Those who are at least 100 pounds overweight and experiencing or at risk for co-morbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and sleep apnea usually are medically approved for weight loss surgery. While a bariatric operation can promote significant weight loss, following a proper diet after gastric bypass is crucial to good health.

Right After Surgery

Following a proper diet after gastric bypass is especially crucial in the first days after surgery. The patient’s stomach has been stapled and the body has undergone a major trauma, even if the surgery itself went without any complications. Failure to eat as directed can lead to complications such as staple-line rupture which can require emergency surgery.

For the first few days, the person will need to drink only approved clear liquids. Common choices include broth, milk, sugar-free gelatin or pudding, strained cream soup, milk and unsweetened juice. In the hours after surgery, you may only be permitted ice chips and water until the medical staff is sure you can handle more advanced clear liquids.

Next Phases

Once you can handle clear liquids, you may be sent home from the hospital. No matter where you eat your meals, you will move to the pureed food phase of the diet after gastric bypass. You can usually eat only pureed foods for anywhere from two weeks to a month after graduating from the clear liquids-only routine.

Lean proteins such as ground meat, egg whites, fish, yogurt and beans should be pureed to the consistency of a thick liquid or paste. Good liquid choices for blending include water, fat-free milk, broth or fat-free gravy.

Once you have been able to keep pureed foods down, your doctor or surgeon will likely move you to eating soft foods such as ground meat and canned fruit or vegetables. This part of the diet after gastric bypass might last an additional eight weeks depending on how well your revised digestive system heals and can handle new food.

Moving Forward

At this point it has likely been three to four months of your diet after gastric bypass. If everything has gone well, your doctor will advise you to move forward to what will become your new way of eating for life. Solid foods can be reintroduced into your regimen, with some exceptions. People who have had a bariatric surgery are usually advised not to eat popcorn, nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruits, bread, and tough meats. Nor should you drink carbonated beverages, even if diet drinks. These items have the potential to potentially cause serious stomach problems (remember your stomach has been stapled to create a smaller pouch) and/or slow weight loss or even create weight gain.

If your body cannot tolerate a food (for example you vomit after eating a steak) then let it go. You may be able to eat it at a much later date, but focus on finding healthy solid foods you can eat and are approved by your doctor.

References

"Gastric bypass diet." https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gastric-bypass-diet/MY00827