Now, every surgeon’s office is different. Your surgeon’s office may give you different instructions than I was given. Remember, I am not a medical professional. I am a life coach who is trying to provide you with information. Take the information as provided. It is meant to educate you on the processes surrounding the sleeve surgery.
Now, most surgeons will provide you with a progression diet. This is to help your stomach heal. There are several phases to the post-surgery progression diet. They are:
How long you stay on a given level of the progression is up to your doctor. Mine was a five-week plan with two weeks set aside for liquids. We were told that after ten days, if you wanted to go on pureed foods to contact the practice’s nutritionist to get approval from him directly. I personally waited until my two-week checkup with my surgeon to ask if I could go liquid.
It’s really up to you and how ready you are. Some people get sick of liquids. I personally was not and was wanting to ensure my stomach was healing properly. It’s an individual choice and remember, your surgeon may tell you differently than I am. When in doubt, always follow your surgeon’s advice.
Okay, so here goes.
For the first two days after surgery, stick to clear liquids only. Basically, whatever you ‘ate’ the day or two before surgery is what you’ll stick with the day or two after. You will be tired and groggy and not really hungry, so it’s not usually a big issue. Clear liquids include:
- And Water.
On days, 3-7, you can add in full liquids with your clear liquids. These include your protein shakes with milk as well as:
- Cream soups (make sure they’re blended),
- And V-8.
You are shooting for between 40-64 oz. of liquids per day. At this point, all liquids count equally. As for supplements, we were encouraged to start our sublingual B-12 on Day 4 and nothing else at this point. How your surgeon handles supplementation is something you need to address with him or her. Follow their guidelines. They are there for a reason.
On the third week, we were allowed to go to pureed foods. It was a happy time for me. I was excited to eat pureed food and ready. These included:
- Apple Sauce,
- Mashed Potatoes,
- Sugar-free pudding,
- Baby foods
- And anything else that was blended to a pureed consistency.
I really enjoyed mashed potatoes in chicken broth at this point. I thought it was the best thing ever. I was also told to add in 1 multi-vitamin per day, preferably a chewable. I personally crushed the Bariatric Advantage multivitamin with my meds and had to use two because it was requested if I used that brand, to do two by my surgeon. I had to crush mine for all five of the post op weeks. Not sure if that’s common or because I’m bipolar and on so many different medications. Again, check with your surgeon if you have questions.
You must remember at this point, that you cannot have liquids with meals. You need to wait at least half an hour after eating to have a liquid. I was told I could drink up to five minutes before a meal and I learned the hard way that I need to wait a full hour before I can drink after. It’s all a big learning process. Be curious as to how your body reacts to different triggers and events.
Oh I could not wait for this point. I was in heaven eating refried beans and guacamole. Week 4 was soft foods and my mind if not my body was ready for them. I noticed some regurgitation at this point because I was so hungry I was eating too fast. Make sure you consistently chew 30 times per bite. I forgot to do that. You also want to make your meal last about half an hour. Stop between bites. Don’t sip anything.
Some of the foods I could eat at this point were:
- Canned fruit,
- Baked potato,
- Soft cheese,
- Scrambled eggs,
- Canned veggies,
- And refried beans.
At this time, I was to add to my daily supplement list a Calcium chew. I use Bariatric Advantage Caramel Calcium Chews daily. Women will eventually need to add another calcium supplement to their day. I added a second one during the regular foods phase. I still use it to this day.
Regular food means good, healthy nutritional food. My surgeon likes to see us eat:
- Fresh fruit,
- Fresh vegetables
- And meat.
We are also encouraged to eat certain complex carbohydrates like quinoa. At this point, I was raring to go. I was ready for regular food and I eat like this to this day. Unfortunately, I have some weird side effects. I can’t eat animal protein so I supplement with protein water and shakes still even though my surgeon prefers ‘real food’. He and my nutritionist understand my challenges.
Now, I want you to remember that this is according to my bariatric surgeon, Dr. Steven Fass. He is located at Southwest Bariatrics in Austin, TX. Your surgeon may have a different plan in mind. That’s fine. Follow your surgeon’s office and ask a nutritionist if you need further tweaking or advice.
As a bariatric life coach, I can offer you support through the process, an ear to listen and a heart to hold your joys and sorrows. I am here for you. Feel free to call me at 512-484-7634. I work with people all over the country.