Gastric Sleeve surgery or Sleeve Gastrectomy is a weight loss surgery which cures morbid obesity by removing up to 70%-80% of the patient’s stomach, leaving a sleeve shaped stomach.
After a gastric sleeve surgery, the stomach capacity ranges from 3 to 5 ounces. In order to maximize the benefits of the surgery it is important to follow a structured diet plan post-operation.
The post surgery diet plan consists of four phases. These phases are devised by surgeons and dieticians to avoid any side effects and optimize benefits.
These phases are designed so that the patient gets the right amount of proteins, and vitamins to boost healing after the surgery. Patients should drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated to reduce the risk of ulcers and other side effects.
Phases of the post-gastric sleeve surgery diet:
Phase 1: Clear Liquid Diet
When to begin: Post-operation day 1 (if no vomiting or nausea)
Goal: Consume 64 ounces of fluids every day
- For the first seven days, the patient must take 64 ounces of fluids.
- Take small sips of beverages
- Avoid drinks containing excess sugar or caffeine or even carbonated drinks. They may lead to side effects.
- The following drinks are suggested for good results:
- Normal or flavored water
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Ice chips
- Skim milk
- Herbal tea
- Low sugar apple or cranberry juice
- Sugar free Tang, Popsicles or Koo-Aid
Phase 2: Full Liquid Diet
When to begin: Week 2
Goal: Consuming more protein with the daily 64 ounces of fluids and getting the body ready for soft foods.
- This phase lasts for two weeks or even more if suggested by the dietician.
- Besides the suggested fluids from Phase 1, the patients can have the following:
- Thin low fat soups
- Non fat yogurt
- Sugar free pudding
- Thinned oatmeal
- Soy beverages
- Thin egg custard
- Soups with soft noodles
Phase 3: Pureed or Soft Diet
When to begin: About 25 days post surgery
Goal: Transition from liquids to soft foods.
- The patient must consume about 70 grams of proteins and minimum carbohydrates and sugar.
- The intake of carbohydrates and fats should be less than 40 grams and 30 grams respectively.
- Take 64 ounces of fluids every day but avoid drinking 30 minutes pre and post meals.
- Chew slowly and avoid food like pasta, rice and breads. These are highly starchy.
- Following foods are recommended:
- Mashed potatoes
- Dried beans, lentils and split peas tender cooked without added fat.
- Scrambled eggs or egg whites
- Low fat cheese
Phase 4: Solid Foods Diet
When to start: About 30 days post-surgery
Goal: Transition into regular meals and snacks.
- This is the final stage of the diet wherein the patient can start consuming regular food.
- However, some caution must be taken. To avoid weight gain, the following should be avoided:
- Peanut Butter
- Fast food
- Steak, roast, pork chops
- Potato chips
- Fibrous vegetables
- The following foods are recommended:
- All foods from previous phases
- Cheese with less than 5 grams of fat per ounce
- Dried beans, lentils and split pea tender cooked without added fat
- Moist fish, tuna, chicken or turkey
- Soft canned fruits
- Soft cooked vegetables
- For every phase, remember to add one new food at time and complete the daily intake goals.
With a healthy diet and a track of fat and carbohydrate intake, the patient can avoid weight gain and lead a healthy lifestyle after the surgery.