Post Gastric Bypass Surgery Care

Recovery from gastric bypass surgery typically takes several weeks, during which time patients will need to make several lifestyle changes to promote healing and ensure successful weight loss. Gastric bypass surgery causes significant changes to the digestive system, meaning patients will need to make permanent changes to their diet and exercise habits to maintain weight loss.

Gastric Bypass Diet- Post Op

After undergoing gastric bypass surgery, a carefully planned diet is essential for a successful recovery and sustained weight loss. Here’s a condensed overview of what to eat post-surgery

Gastric Bypass Diet Progression Stages

Dr Siva and Gemma, our dietitian, will provide you with specific guidelines for your post-surgery diet. It is important to follow these guidelines closely to ensure a successful recovery. 

Stage 1: Thin Liquid Diet (1-2 weeks post-surgery)

In the initial 2 weeks post bypass surgery, only clear liquids are to be consumed. These liquids can include:

  • Water
  • Tea and herbal teas
  • Coffee
  • Low calorie shakes
  • Broths – Beef, chicken or vegetable

Keep in mind that the bypass is newly formed and swollen during this period. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated and avoid extremely hot or cold liquids until your stomach fully heals.

Stage 2: Pureed food (3-4 weeks post bypass surgery)

After 1 -2 weeks, you will move on from liquids to pureed or liquified sources of protein. During this phase, your daily protein intake should be around 60-70 grams. You should also begin to take chewable vitamin and mineral supplements whilst keeping your fluid intake levels up.

Some suggested pureed foods include:

  • Protein shakes
  • Cream soups
  • High protein, low sugar yogurt
  • Puréed beef, chicken, or turkey
  • Pureed vegetables: spinach, carrots, or green beans
  • Pureed fruits: peaches, apricots, pears, pineapples, melons

Stage 3: Soft Foods (5 weeks post bypass surgery)

This stage involves reintroducing solid foods into your diet with a focus on soft foods. It’s crucial to maintain your daily protein intake of 60-70 grams, chewable vitamin/mineral supplements, and uphold a high level of fluid consumption.

Some examples of soft foods include:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Chopped chicken or turkey breast
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soups
  • Soft cereals
  • Mashed vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots,
  • Soft fruit without skins: peaches, nectarine, apricot

Stage 4: Post gastric bypass diet long term

Return to Normal Diet (6 weeks plus)

During this stage, you’ll transition to consuming foods with a standard texture. It’s essential to understand that this doesn’t mean you can revert to previous eating habits and routines. During this stage you should aim to eat three nutrient-dense meals each day. It’s important to avoid sugary or fatty foods that don’t contain protein, vitamins, or minerals.

Some examples of nutrient-dense food options include:

  • Shredded lean meats such as, poultry and fish
  • variety of vegetables and fruits
  • dairy products such as low-fat cheese and yogurt
  • Starches and wholegrains

When transitioning to solid foods post-bariatric surgery, it’s crucial to adopt a gradual approach. Tips for introducing solid foods to your diet:

  • Start with softer meats such as shredded chicken / fish or minced meat.
  • Wait for two months before having chunks of meat such as beef, lamb or pork.
  • Start by introducing one new food item at a time, ideally limiting it to one per day to effectively gauge your body’s reactions.
  • Eating slowly is key; aim to chew each bite for about 15 seconds.
  • To aid digestion, maintain a 30-minute gap between eating and drinking.
  • Prioritize consuming protein first, followed by vegetables, and finally, carbohydrates.

Your First Week After Gastric Bypass Surgery

Wound Care

After surgery, incisions are closed with sutures and surgical glue, with sutures dissolving and glue peeling in 1-2 weeks. Getting incisions wet during showers is ok, but refrain from complete submersion until they have completely healed. As glue peels, apply Vaseline or Aquaphor to keep the skin moist and prevent scabbing. Some clear or coloured fluid drainage is normal but watch for signs of infection such as increased redness, foul-smelling discharge, severe pain, or a fever. If infection symptoms occur, contact your our team as soon as possible.

Managing Your Pain

Patients will experience some pain and discomfort during the first few days after surgery. This pain can be managed with a combination of oral pain medication and local anaesthesia. Patients will be instructed to move around as soon as possible after surgery to prevent blood clots and promote healing.

Managing Your Sleep

Patients will typically have difficulty sleeping for the first few nights after surgery due to discomfort and may need to get up and walk around. It is important to get enough sleep to promote healing, so patients may be advised to take short naps during the day if they are having trouble sleeping at night. Sleeping on your back or on your side will take pressure off the stomach and lungs which can help relieve discomfort.

Managing Your Exercise

Patients will be instructed to start walking as soon as possible after surgery. It is important to avoid strenuous activity for the first few weeks after surgery before building up their endurance gradually. As patients heal and their energy levels improve, they will be encouraged to increase their activity levels, with the goal being to engage in regular exercise to help maintain weight loss.

Returning to Work After Surgery

Returning to work after gastric bypass surgery typically takes 2-4 weeks.This period can vary depending on the type of work and the individual’s recovery. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions and to take the time they need to heal properly before returning to work.

For those who have physically demanding jobs, returning to work may take longer as they will need more time to heal and regain their strength. They may also need accommodations to perform their job duties safely and comfortably.

Follow Up Appointments

After a 2-3 day hospital stay post-gastric bypass surgery, you’ll have key follow-up appointments. You’ll see Siva at two weeks and again at three months to assess recovery and discuss diet and exercise. Gemma will be your support at four weeks post-surgery and four more times over the following year, offering continuous guidance for your journey to better health. These follow-ups are essential for your post-surgery success and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Gastric Bypass Last?

Majority of patients lose a large amount of weight in the first year following surgery, and they continue to lose weight in the years that follow. Weight loss is usually most noticeable in the first 12–18 months following surgery though can last for up to 2–5 years. 

This procedure is reversable through surgery. However, requires an that can be more invasive than the original procedure. 

What can you never eat again after gastric bypass?

After 3 months of following the staged post-surgery diet, you can start eating regular foods again. To achieve sustained weight loss success, it’s crucial to maintain a diet free from greasy, high-fat, and refined sugar foods in the long run.  

What are things you can't do after gastric bypass?

Once fully recovered from the surgery, there are no notable constraints on activity, and you can anticipate a greatly improved quality of life. You are however required to fully commit to embracing a number of lifestyle changes. Following the bypass surgery, patients must diligently monitor their portion sizes and incorporate daily physical activity into their routines. 

What is the recovery time for gastric bypass?

You will spend 2-3 days in the hospital after surgery, followed by several weeks of recuperation at home before you’re prepared to return to work. It is necessary to refrain from strenuous activities for as long as six weeks, and it takes around 12 weeks before you can resume your regular diet. 

Can you ever eat normally after gastric bypass?

After gastric bypass, you’ll need to adopt a new eating pattern and make healthier food choices. While you can enjoy a wide variety of foods, portion control and nutrient balance will be essential for long-term success. 

How long after gastric bypass can I exercise?

Exercise is crucial for long-term success in weight loss surgery. Collaborate with your surgeon and a fitness professional to create a tailored plan. Initially, start walking within the first week, increasing gradually. Lighter activities such as swimming can begin once wounds heal, while more strenuous exercises are discouraged for around three weeks. Once you feel up to it, im for 10,000 steps daily. As you progress include aerobic and weight resistance exercises. 

Gastric Bypass Surgery – Bulk Billed Consultation

Perth Obesity Solutions is dedicated to fostering an environment of trust, expertise, and personalised care. We believe in empowering our patients with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions about their health.

Embarking on a journey towards better health is a commendable decision, and at Perth Obesity Solutions, we are committed to ensuring that you have all the information and support you need. Whether you are considering gastric bypass surgery for the first time or seeking more information about the procedure, our expert team is here to guide you every step of the way.