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Life after Bariatric Surgery


Bariatric surgery entails long term modification in the dietary pattern of patients. The diet is low in calories with high protein and low in carbohydrates and fats. The diet is gradually progressed from a clear liquid to normal diet over several stages to allow the person to adjust to the new anatomy and allow the internal organs to heal.

Phase 1 – Clear liquids

Day 1 -3 after bariatric surgery
Coconut water, apple juice, green tea, clear soups, lemonade without sugar


Phase 2 – Liquid diet

Days 4 -15 after bariatric surgery
Juices, vegetable soup, dal water, rice water,


Phase 3 – Pureed diet/Soft diet

Days 15-30 after bariatric surgery
Porridge, khichdi, dal rice, salted lassi, mashed potatoes, pureed boiled vegetables, pureed fruits


Phase 4 – Normal Diet

After 30 days of bariatric surgery

Do’s

1. Eat regularly at proper scheduled time.
2. Meals should be small and frequent, usually 3-5 meals with two in between snacks
3. Eat food slowly and chew thoroughly
4. Take measured portions to avoid overeating
5. Proteins should be taken at the beginning of the meal

Don’t’s

1. High calorie drinks like shakes, smoothies and sweet juices are a strict no-no
2. Avoid drinking water during and for 30 minutes before and after your meal
3. Avoid aerated drinks and using straws as they can cause bloating
4. Avoid alcohol and smoking

There is a need for strict follow up for some time after your bariatric surgery to ensure that weight loss is according to the plan and there are no side effects. We advise follow up visits at 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after the procedure. Thereafter, follow up can every year by visits or simply telephonic consultations or via e mail.

We check for the following things during your visit

1. Weight loss- real and expected
2. Diet plan
3. Supplements
4. Blood tests to detect deficiencies
5. Consultation for any medical problems
6. Exercise programme
7. Support group activities

The weight loss after bariatric surgery is usually in two phases- initial phase of rapid weight loss which lasts 3-5 months and the second phase of more gradual weight loss which may continue for 1-2 years.

The total expected weight loss is calculated as in terms of the excess weight which was present before the surgery. 100% of EWL (excess weight loss) is ideal which means that the person would reach his/her ideal weight after the procedure. The percentage of excess weight loss varies according to the procedure and is usually as follows-

1. Gastric banding – 50 -60%
2. Laparoscopic Sleeve gastrectomy – 60- 80%
3. Laparoscopic Mini gastric bypass – 70- 90%
4. Laparoscopic Roux en Y gastric bypass – 70 -90%

The main advantage of bariatric surgery over other weight loss treatments is that the weight loss has been demonstrated to be sustained over the long term i.e > 5-10 years after the procedure. This makes it a permanent solution for obesity.