Gastric bypass surgery is an effective weight loss treatment for morbid obesity, but it requires a commitment from the patient to adopt dietary changes and learn new eating habits. Even though the restrictive aspect of gastric bypass will control eating and the malabsorptive effect will reduce calorie absorption, the success of gastric bypass surgery is primarily determined by the foods you choose to eat.
Your diet will change even before surgery takes place. The pre-op diet will prepare your body for surgery by increasing protein intake and reducing daily calories. It will also help you ease into the changes that will be required after gastric bypass surgery.
Immediately after surgery your diet will be limited to liquids. As your body recovers from surgery, you will progress from liquids, to purees, then to soft foods, until you are finally able to handle solid foods. Recovery will vary from patient to patient, but it can take up to three months for the body to heal.
Your bariatric surgeon will carefully monitor your recovery and diet progression and provide you with specific dietary guidelines to aid recovery, promote good health and cause satisfactory weight loss.
The following information is a general overview of the gastric bypass diet and the required eating behaviors, but as specific guidelines can vary for each patient, it is important for you to follow the diet instructions given to you by your bariatric surgeon and nutritional advisor.
In RNY gastric bypass procedures, a smaller stomach pouch is formed in the upper portion of the stomach and a new stomach outlet (stoma) is formed. After the intestine is divided, the lower intestine is connected to the new stomach outlet. The remaining "remnant" lower stomach, the natural stomach outlet (pyloric valve), and the upper portion of the small intestine are all bypassed. The length of either section of the intestine can be made shorter or longer to affect the levels of absorption.
After gastric bypass diet, eating is focused on providing the body with healthy proteins and nutrient rich foods. Protein is necessary for maintaining muscle tissue and burning fat reserves. The diet will eliminate any unhealthy foods that add calories to the diet without providing any significant nutritional benefit. Since the amount of food eaten each day is very limited, every bite counts. It is important to eat only healthy and nutritious food.
Your diet should not include sugary foods or high-fat foods which add excessive calories to the diet without providing any nutritional benefits.
You will also want to avoid fibrous foods and other problematic foods which can cause eating discomfort or digestive difficulties.
Nutritional supplements are necessary to supply the body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly and prevent deficiencies that lead to serious health consequences. Generally, patients will need to take a multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, B-complex (for B12), calcium, and iron (for menstruating women).
Protein supplements, such as whey protein powder, whey isolate (for lactose intolerant), lactaid milk, soy milk or other soy products, may also be advised to meet protein requirements.
Dumping syndrome occurs when food enters the bloodstream too quickly. It is a common effect of gastric bypass surgery because the natural stomach outlet (pyloric valve) has been removed and food enters the small intestine more quickly. Gastric bypass patients commonly experience dumping syndrome after eating sweets or high-fat foods, eating too much food, or drinking fluids with meals.
Since dumping syndrome usually results from eating high calorie foods, it controls the intake of sweets, fried foods, and fatty foods. Depending on how you view this effect, dumping syndrome can be either an advantage or disadvantage of gastric bypass surgery.
After gastric bypass surgery, not only will your diet change, but so will the way you eat. Because your stomach size is smaller and the digestive system is altered, you will not be able to eat the way you did before surgery.