Nutrition and Bariatric Surgery:

Bariatric surgery is a wonderful tool available for weight loss and control over co morbidities that are associated with excess weight. For any bariatric procedure to work, diet and lifestyle changes are essential for maximized weight loss and maintenance. We know everyone is different and that is why we take an individualized approach to patient care, working with patients one on one to effectively educate on diet and exercise requirements before and after surgery to appropriately equip all of our patients for success.

The basic focal point of the bariatric diet we use in our office is high protein, low carbohydrate. When an individual looses a significant amount of weight, a high protein diet is critical to be able to maintain lean, metabolically active tissue and facilitate healing. This diet composition allows the body to fuel off of its fat and carbohydrate stores, while providing those essential building blocks that come from the amino acids in protein.

Diet Prior to Bariatric Surgery:

Patients meet with our registered dietitian or nutritionist a minimum of two times prior to surgery, during these visits we get to know you and your diet history, while educating you on the critical information needed to be successful with bariatric surgery. Our diet education focuses on providing information on how to eat before and after surgery, vitamins that will be needed, instruction on our 6 Eating Rules, appropriate serving sizes and exercise needs; these components vary from person to person depending on the selected procedure, weight, age and gender.

Two weeks prior to surgery, we have patients begin a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. This allows the body to use up some of its stored carbohydrate supply, which generally decreases time spent in the operating room, by reducing the size of the liver.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes Following Bariatric Surgery

Immediately following bariatric surgery, it is critical to allow the digestive system adequate time to heal before getting back to a normalized diet. This period of rest is achieved by working through five stages of diet advancement from clear liquids to soft foods. The time spent on each phase of the diet can vary for every person, but on average patients are back to a normal diet after one to two months with the focus still being placed on protein.

We emphasize the importance of regular follow up, which is critical for long-term success. We require six follow up visits with different members of our bariatric team in your first year post-op and annually thereafter to ensure maximized weight loss and maintenance. Our dietitian will work with you to ensure your diet progresses appropriately, vitamin regimen is suitable and lasting lifestyle changes are being made.

All of our patients receive a binder full of detailed information on bariatric surgery and includes a large section that is dedicated to the nutritional components required pre and post operatively.

Healthy regards!

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