Gastric sleeve, Lap-band or Gastric Plication procedures have the common purpose of a restrictive “pouch”, meaning the stomach´s limited food capacity. Under some situations the pouch can be stretched to the point where there is less restriction. Can you do something about it?
All actions count, here are the most important:
- Do not combine solids with liquids. This increases the volume at the pouch. Drink liquids 5 min before a meal and resume drinking 45 min later.
- Avoid drinking carbonated drinks as sodas, mineral water, champagne, beer. Any “bubbles” will add air, therefore volume to the pouch.
- Do not force liquids. Sipping throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated. After surgery, you´ll need to drink 1oz every 15 minutes and after a week you can slowly increase the amount you can drink. Once healed, ½ cup is what you´ll most probably can tolerate.
- Avoid forcing the feed. At the early stages before surgery most patients feel full with 2-3 tablespoons; the pouch will slowly adapt to its final size and about 7 months post-surgery, most patients will be able to eat about ½ cup of food. You should only eat what you can tolerate, stop eating once you feel satisfied, not full. If you feel discomfort, or have P-Bing you are eating too much.
- Do not use a straw. You´ll pull air in to your pouch. Same thing happens if you chew with your mouth opened (gum, or food).
- Avoid junk food. Some patients eat junk food and then food, doing so easily doubles the portions.
Eating after bariatric surgery means you have to learn how to eat until you make it a lifetime habit: Learn to eat less, plan your meals, make wise choices, avoid processed foods, take your time while eating, pay attention to what you eat; these are general bariatric dietary guidelines with the purpose of making the most out of your pouch.