Also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), gastric sleeve surgery can help patients suffering from severe obesity achieve a significant reduction in excess body weight. Following the operation, long-term lifestyle changes – particularly regarding diet – must be observed to ensure optimal results and to reduce the potential for complications. Our bariatric surgeon James N. Parrish, MD emphasizes the importance of following the post-operative nutrition guidelines. To make this process easier, our friendly and knowledgeable medical staff is here to provide support and advice as needed.
The recommended diet following gastric sleeve surgery is strict. This is designed for your safety, and it’s important to be as prepared as possible for the changes. For the first two days you will be allowed liquids only, including water, broth, sugar-free Popsicles, and decaffeinated coffee or tea. Your diet for the next two weeks will also be liquid-based, and you can begin adding protein—generally in the form of protein powder, as well as foods such as soups, scrambled eggs, and yogurt. By the third week you can start introducing pureed foods like hummus, chicken, soft vegetables, and mashed fruit. Try to limit sugars and fats, and eat slowly. Week four typically will be the time to start whole foods, but they should be chewed thoroughly. Try each new food one at a time to see how you respond. Caffeine can also be incorporated in small amounts, unless Dr. Parrish suggests otherwise.
In addition to liquids and soft foods, you will be taking vitamins daily, the type and amount will be recommended based on your individual needs. For snacks and meals, choose nutrient-dense foods (bread is not nutrient-dense, but fruits, fish, and vegetables are). Avoid drinking your calories, as it will not make you feel full and many beverages contain far too much sugar. While acclimating to your new diet can be a very difficult process, Dr. Parrish and our team are here to provide help and support as you embark on your new, healthier lifestyle.