After gastric band, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery you will need to follow a special diet for about six to eight weeks. This enables your body to recover fully from the surgical intervention while you learn to live with your new stomach capacity and appetite levels.
The diet is set out over four stages:
- Fluids (liquids)
- Pureed food
- Soft moist foods and then finally
- Normal solid diet
Each stage normally lasts around two weeks. You will be supported and advised on an individual basis by our team of specialist nurses and dietitians. Never be afraid to ask if you have any queries or want to check when to progress to the next level.
Stage one: Fluids (liquids)
This stage of the diet gives your body time to heal and recover from the surgery. If you had gastric banding, this diet will help the band to settle into position.
Your surgery has reduced your stomach capacity. Your stomach is now much smaller than it was before surgery – about the size of an egg-cup.
The liquid only stage of the diet preserves and protects the new stomach structure. If you have had gastric banding, eating solid food too soon will dislocate the band. This will allow the stomach pouch to get bigger which defeats the purpose of the surgery.
Stage Two: Pureed Food
This stage allows the body to continue to heal. If you have a gastric band the diet will help the band to settle into position. At this stage of the diet, you are ready to progress onto pureed food, but must be careful not to eat too much food, drink a large amount of fluids or consume solid food. These could cause vomiting and at worst, your gastric band might slip.
Stage Three: Soft, Moist Food
At this stage of the diet you can introduce soft and crunchy textured foods to your diet. With trial and error you will find there are some foods you can’t manage at this stage.
It is very important at this point to chew all food very well to prevent discomfort. You will also have to eat very slowly, and will need to stop eating as soon as you feel full. This is because the healing process is still in action. Eating too much at this stage of the diet, or eating too quickly may cause pain, vomiting and aggravate your surgical wound.
Stage Four: Solid Food – Normal Diet
When you start stage four of the diet, you will be consuming normal foods. It remains important at this stage to avoid swallowing big pieces, or tough sinewy meats, if in doubt chew well to avoid discomfort.
Although you have a “normal diet” you will be consuming less than previously, so aim for a healthy, balanced diet, which incorporates a wide variety of foods from the five food groups.