What to Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Once you’ve had a weight loss treatment such as gastric bypass surgery, you will be placed on a special diet designed to help your stomach heal, reduce the chances of complications and side effects following the procedure, and ultimately help you develop new habits that can maximize the potential for a safe and effective weight loss. Our bariatric surgeon, James Parrish, MD, and an experienced nutritionist here at our practice will provide you with detailed information on what to eat after gastric bypass surgery so that you will have a full understanding of the guidelines. Following this diet closely is extremely important as it is not only designed to minimize health risks after surgery, but also to get you accustomed to eating in a different way. 

Each patient has unique needs, and will therefore receive dietary recommendations that may differ from other patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. With this in mind, most gastric bypass diets generally follow a similar basic approach. Immediately after surgery, patients can usually expect to be on a clear liquid diet for a minimum of 24 hours. Once cleared by our bariatric surgery team to progress to other types of liquid, patients may begin to ingest items such as broth, sugar-free juice, skim or low-fat milk, and other options that are approved to eat or drink. 

Pureed and other foods that are mashed up and easier to consume are often cleared by our team after approximately one week, as long as the liquid diet has been tolerated well during that time. Items that can be pureed for the gastric bypass diet may include cottage cheese, soft vegetables and fruits, scrambled eggs, and even products such as fish, chicken, and lean ground meat. 

A few weeks after gastric bypass surgery, Dr. Parrish may feel you are ready to begin a soft food diet. This may include oatmeal, yogurt, canned fruit (minus the skin or seeds), certain kinds of cooked vegetables and lean meats, and other options. 

Approximately two months after gastric bypass surgery, many patients are able to slowly begin eating solid foods; however, the kinds of solid food items recommended and how often they can be eaten will depend on toleration. Our team will go over the options with you once we determine how well you’ll be able to handle solid foods at this point in the healing period. 

It is very important to understand that not all gastric bypass diets are the same for everyone. In addition to differing particulars for each patient, protocols on how food is consumed (such as making sure to eat and drink slowly, eating small meals several times each day, and drinking enough fluids to reduce the potential for dehydration) often vary among patients and will need to be strictly followed. Individuals will also need to ensure they are supplementing the diet with the recommended daily vitamins and minerals. Our team at Mid Louisiana Surgical Specialists will provide you with your unique recommendations, and will always be available to answer questions or address any concerns you may have. 

For more information on gastric bypass surgery or other advanced bariatric surgery procedures, please contact us today.