Nutrition

Pre-Operative Nutrition

An important first step in your weight loss journey is to develop a healthy lifestyle before surgery. The following guidelines should be incorporated immediately:

  • Reduce or avoid soda (even diet soda), all beverages should be calorie-free
  • Eat less fried foods, added fats and high-fat fast foods
  • Increase your awareness of your eating patterns and behaviors
  • Chew your foods thoroughly and eat meals slowly
  • If you eat in response to boredom, find alternative activities to occupy your time

GroceriesYou will receive the Jeanes Bariatric Informational Handbook at our educational class. The handbook includes diet information, weight loss surgery descriptions and what to expect during and after your hospital stay.

You will then meet with the Jeanes dietitian for a nutritional assessment and individualized diet instruction. Your weight and diet history and food intake patterns will be reviewed. Your body measurements and weight will be taken. Bring any supplements that you are taking with you. This is the ideal time to ask questions so be sure to read the handbook and write down your questions before the meeting.

The time from initial consultation to surgery varies but generally can range from one month to several months. During this time period, you will need to submit specific documentation to your insurance company. Since every company is different, you should check with yours to determine what it requires. During this period, you will also be thoroughly evaluated to ensure that bariatric surgery is right for you. In every case, we attempt to expedite this process but please know that this evaluation process varies by individual and is important to ensure maximum patient safety.

Post-Operative Nutrition

Bring your Jeanes Bariatric Informational Handbook with you to the hospital. Our dietitian will review this information with you during your hospital stay.

After surgery, you will follow a liquid diet. Any liquids containing sugar, carbonation (soda) and caffeine must be avoided. You will add protein-based liquids to your diet, then pureed foods and gradually incorporate foods with texture. The length of time of the diet progression varies but most people are eating small amounts of soft (non-blended) foods by week four or five. Weight loss surgery restricts the amount of food that you can eat at one time. It is vital that you eat nutritional foods after surgery to help heal the incision and maintain your health.

Since you will have a small stomach pouch, you should eat about four ounces (about half a cup) of food at a meal and eat in a regular pattern of three meals a day. You should eat proteins first and then vegetables and fruits. You should drink water or non-calorie-containing liquids and avoid carbonated beverages. Do not drink liquids with your meals, which can make the pouch empty more quickly and make you feel hungry too soon. Snack in between meals on foods that are low in calories.

You may NOT consume the following foods after surgery

  • Sugary foods such as candy, ice cream, syrup, cookies and cake
  • High-fat foods such as chips, fried foods, sausages, cream soups or cream sauces
  • Starchy foods such as pasta, rice and doughy breads
  • Fibrous foods such as corn, popcorn and nuts

All of these foods will not be well tolerated after surgery and may make you sick.

Supplements

You will need to supplement your diet with protein, vitamins and minerals. Supplemental requirements vary and are tailored to each individual's needs. Our dietitian will determine the supplements appropriate for you and provide a list of products from which to choose. You will need to have your blood checked several times in the first year and every year thereafter to make sure you are absorbing your nutrients adequately.

Dumping Syndrome

Dumping syndrome is a result of the rapid passage of food into the small intestines. This can be caused by eating sweets; fried, fatty or greasy foods; eating too much at one meal; or drinking fluids with meals. Symptoms include cramping, sweating, flushed appearance, dizziness, weakness, headache and eventually diarrhea. The best way to avoid dumping syndrome is to follow our dietary guidelines.

Bariatric surgery requires a lifelong commitment of following dietary guidelines, vitamin and mineral supplement regimes and lifestyle changes to maintain your weight loss. And the Jeanes weight loss team works with you every step of the way.

To register for a free informational seminar or to make an appointment for a consultation with a bariatric surgeon at Jeanes, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).

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