Nutrition and diet
Prior to bariatric weight loss surgery you will meet with a nutritionist who will advise you which vitamins and supplements that you will need to take post-operatively. It is imperative that these supplements be taken in order to maintain energy because food intake is restricted after surgery. She will also work with you to develop an individualized, nutritionally balanced meal plan.
Changes in diet and habit
After bariatric surgery, you will remain on a liquid diet and then advance to a diet of pureed foods and then onto solid foods. The nutritionist will instruct you on a diet that will work best for you. After your operation, water may cause cramping or nausea. It is a good idea to add a small amount of juice, tea or sport drink to help this. Carbonated beverages should be avoided. You must now eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. If you eat too quickly, it may cause nausea or vomiting. After you have moved on to a solid diet, patients usually eat 4 to 6 bites of food before they feel full. Patients must reduce meal size and avoid overeating or drinking excessive fluids. Snacking throughout the day and consuming high calorie liquids should be avoided. With time, the capacity will increase to half to a whole cup of food. Some patients report that their tastes change after surgery. Many patients experience the "dumping syndrome" in which foods, usually those high in fat and/or sugar are not well tolerated. In the dumping syndrome contents move too rapidly through the small intestine. Symptoms include nausea, weakness, sweating, faintness and diarrhea after eating these foods. Patients find that this negative incentive helps the patient eliminate high caloric foods from their diet.
It is helpful to purchase certain items ahead of your bariatric weight loss surgery date. The following items are suggested to have at home:
Compliance with post-operative dietary guidelines is very important. For this reason, a multi-disciplinary team is often utilized by your bariatric surgeon. This may include, among others, a dietician or nutritionist and a psychologist. The nutritionist can help you learn how and what foods and fluids to eat and drink following the operation. The bariatric surgery psychologist can help educate and prepare both you and your family for the changes that accompany weight loss, and assist you in following the post-operative guidelines. Remember, once you are in the bariatric surgery program, you and the specialists form a team with the purpose of achieving your sustained weight loss, improvement or resolution of serious medical conditions and increase the quality of your life. Because morbid obesity is a chronic disease, frequent and long term contact with your surgeon and regular follow-up visits are very important for a good outcome. The goal is to live better, healthier and longer.
Vitamins and Supplements
Patients who have undergone bariatric surgery are required to take several vitamin supplements. It is recommended to take a multivitamin with minerals daily which are available in both a liquid and chewable form. Additional Calcium of 400-500 milligrams daily may be required, especially post-menopausal women.
Should I see a Nutritionist?
Patients are free to see a nutritionist after their weight loss surgery. All patients follow closely with Dr. Artuso after surgery and can see Ms. Bunkers during any of the follow-up visits.