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Post operative diet

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The SAGB operation is the first step towards major readjustment in-patients lifestyle. The patient will learn a new pattern of behavior, attitude, physical ability and so much more, almost immediately after and during the next several months of their new beginning.

You will understand the importance of modifying your attitude towards physical activity or exercise, for it will become a natural and daily part of your life.

You will pay attention to what you eat and how you eat it (the importance of chewing your food). During the first month following the operation, the patient's diet should be limited mostly to liquids. The reason for this is that the body needs time to heal and develop adhesions around the SAGB, which will maintain it in its correct position. Patients who eat solid food too soon run the risk of dislocating the band, thereby developing an enlarged upper gastric pouch.

The patient starts a fluid intake on the evening of the operation. A spoonful of water should be given (to the patient) every 5-10 minutes until a total of 250 ml (one glass) has been administered. The remainder of fluid will be given intravenously. The oral intake of fluid can be rapidly increased over the next few days. The intravenous drip is removed on day two and the patient is able to obtain his/her full liquid diet orally.

This is the recommended diet for a patient after SAGB surgery:

Week 1

On average, 100 ml should be absorbed every hour in small amounts. The type of food/liquid should vary. Here are some examples:

  • Low-fat sour milk, yogurt, tea, coffee, fruit or vegetable juices, and warm soup or broth. It is important to spread the fluid intake over the whole day, in small amounts at a time.

Week 2

It is at this time we recommend that pureed food be introduced in small portions. Baby food suitable for infants ages 5-6 months, has the right consistency and is easily found at the grocery store.

Patients should not drink liquid during their meal. It is important to drink plenty of fluid between meals. Meals can be adjusted to the condition of the patient, but should be followed as closely as possible.

The total mount of pureed food should approximately 500 ml/daily. The pureed food should include meat or fish and be divided into meals no larger then 100-150g at a time. Food must always eaten slowly and in small mouthfuls.

The total amount of liquid intake must be at least 1500 ml/daily. Liquid should be absorbed at regular intervals (100-200 ml at a time, a little less then a full glass). The type of liquid should vary and include tea/coffee, sour milk, yogurt and fruit/vegetable juices.

Week 3

Food of normal consistency can now be introduced into the daily diet. The portions should, however, always be kept small. It is important to remember to restrict drinking liquids to periods between meals. It is imperative to eat slowly and chew food thoroughly. The solid food may be taken at normal eating hours. It is important to allow enough time to eat slowly. The patient should not eat more then 500ml/daily. The patient should make sure that their fluid intake is low-fat and maintains 1500 ml/daily.

Week 4

Patients can now start to make up their own menus. It is important to eat smaller meals and more often. It is important to chew food thoroughly. Restrict drinking fluids to, between meals and make sure that they are sugar-free and low-fat. Menus should be based on boiled or mashed vegetables. Fish and lean meat should be baked or broiled (rather then fried). Food choices that are recommended are that of low-fat content (low-fat milk, low-fat cheeses with a maximum fat content of 17%, light ice cream, etc.)

Food Restrictions

Certain foods are not easily tolerated and should be avoided unless they can be broken down into easily digestible alternatives. These are foods that generally get stuck in the opening of the stomach and are therefore likely to cause an obstruction, thereby resulting in vomiting and fluid depletion. The majority of patients find it difficult (if not impossible) to eat whole chunks of meat.

They find it much easier to eat ground beef, fish and chicken if it is well chewed. Therefore it is advisable to abstain from eating meat in the beginning and is introduced progressively into their diet.

The ability to determine what and how much food is tolerated, is based on how much fluid is injected into the SAGB's balloon. This affects the size of the opening between the upper and lower part of the stomach.

A small hole will allow greater weight loss, but will require the patients to be more careful about what they eat. With the balloon empty, the patients will be able to eat almost the same amount as before the surgery.

Food Restrictions

  • Fibrous Foods/ Sticky foods
  • Asparagus: blend into soup
  • Pineapple: press into juice
  • Rhubarb: blend into soup
  • Broccoli: use only the buds
  • Oranges & dried fruits: These should not be eaten at all, as they are likely to swell and get stuck in the new opening of the stomach.
  • Coconut
  • Popcorn
  • Soft, white bread

Foods difficult to digest:

  • Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts

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