Itís easy to think that once your stomach band operation is over, the toughest part is done. But in some ways, the hardest aspect is only just beginning. The surgical procedure itself doesn't lead to weight loss. It's the diet you follow afterwards that makes those pounds disappear.
In the first three days after your banding operation, you must follow a clear liquid diet. Caffeinated and fizzy drinks must be avoided to maintain your new stomach's size, and give it a chance to settle.
After this initial period, you will enter the second phase of the diet, commonly called the modified full liquid diet. This three to five week stage involves eating protein shakes, diluted juices, and sugar-free meal replacement drinks.
The third stage is known as the soft food phase and lasts for a further three to five weeks. As the name suggests, you may consume soft foods such as scrambled eggs, oatmeal, soft fish, soup, soft cheeses and soft cooked vegetables. You can eat meat provided is has been cooked until very soft.
The final stage comes approximately ten weeks after surgery, and is when you can begin eating normal foods again. The two important points here are to reintroduce solid foods gradually, and to remember that your portion sizes will need to be considerably smaller than before.
Although after week ten you can eat most of your favourite foods, there are a number of foods that you should try to avoid indefinitely:
- tough meats that are difficult to digest.
- spicy or fired foods
- seeds and skins of most fruits and vegetables.
- very high fiber vegetables such as sweet potatoes.
- spices including cinnamon and pepper.
You may also need to adjust any medication you were on prior to your operation, as you will now struggle to swallow all but the smallest of pills.
Common Bariatrics Questions
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How much pain will I experience during or after a stomach banding procedure?