Diet & Exercise Program for Gastric Sleeve Patients

Bariatric surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach to reduce food intake and promote weight loss. The procedure is permanent and requires a lifetime commitment to a maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The most common types of bariatric surgery are gastric bypass, lap-band and gastric sleeve. Gastric sleeve surgery is a relatively new type of bariatric surgery.

Cooked vegetables are okay to eat on a preoperative gastric sleeve diet. (Image: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images)

Procedure

The surgeon uses a laparoscopic tool to make small incisions in the abdomen. He then inserts a viewing tube with a small camera, or laparoscope, into the incisions, which allows him to see inside the abdomen during the surgery. He inserts tiny instruments into the incisions to remove 85 percent of the stomach so that it takes the shape of a sleeve or tube. The surgeon then closes the new sleeve-shaped stomach with staples. You will spend one or two days in the hospital before being released, and recovery can take a few weeks. Your abdomen will be swollen and sore. Your doctor may prescribe medication for the pain. You will also have to become reaccustomed to eating regular food.

Diet Before Surgery

Your surgeon may put you on a preoperative diet two weeks before your surgery to prepare your body for the procedure and reduce the amount of abdominal fat in and around the liver, which could make the surgery go smoother. It is a full liquid diet consisting of high-protein drinks and low-calorie, sugar-free, noncarbonated and decaffeinated liquids. Protein supplement drinks must provide 70 to 120 g of protein per day, and you must limit your daily caloric intake to 1,100 to 1,200 calories. you must avoid whole or 2 percent milk, caffeinated or carbonated beverages and high-sugar liquids.

Diet After Surgery

Your postsurgery diet will involve three stages, beginning with a two-week liquid diet consisting of protein supplement drinks, low-calorie, sugar-free, decaffeinated and noncarbonated liquids, broth or sugar-free gelatin. The second stage begins on the third week after surgery, where you gradually add soft foods like like bananas, melons, soft pasta, eggs, cooked vegetables except corn and seafood. You follow the second stage for four weeks, then start the third and final stage of your diet, gradually adding regular foods and discontinuing the protein supplements.

Exercise

Refrain from driving until postsurgical pain has subsided and no longer requires medication. Avoid lifting more than 25 lbs. for the first three weeks after your surgery. Start walking as soon as you are able, and only do as much as you can comfortably do, even if it is only five minutes. Aim for 30 minutes of walking, 7 days per week, within the first four weeks after surgery. Build up slowly to that goal.

Tips

Eat slowly, chewing all foods well before swallowing. Wait 30 to 45 minutes after eating soft and regular foods before drinking liquids. Eat only at set meal and snack times. Avoid high-sugar and high-calorie liquids, fatty foods, sweets and junk food. Stop eating when you feel full.

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