Diet After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

What to eat after a Gastric Sleeve Surgery – Bariatric Surgery Post-op Diet

Many people struggle to lose weight after becoming overweight or obese. Despite exercising and healthy eating, it can seem like nothing can help reduce the excess weight. The reasons for this can include metabolic and hormonal changes, issues with the thyroid, genetics, lifestyle choices or even brain chemistry issues. Many obese patients consider a popular bariatric procedure like gastric sleeve surgery.

Obese people are likely at a point where their stomach has the capacity to consume more calories than they should or could ever hope to burn off. Living with obesity is also very dangerous to your health and longevity.

Crash diets have adverse impacts on our health as extreme dieting is taxing on the organs and other body functions. Extreme diet regimes are also unlikely to help keep your weight off over time and can also lead to weight gain after you finish the diet.

If your weight, waistline and BMI are dangerously high, your GP or specialist may recommend considering bariatric surgery options such as a gastric sleeve or bypass.

Dr Mark Gittos is a body contouring expert and Plastic Surgeon in New Zealand helping patients from all over the country to achieve their aesthetic goals.

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What Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery involves reducing the size of your stomach. This limits how much food you can comfortably or safely consume by reducing the size of your stomach. Once your stomach is reduced, a your appetite is also reduced and you feel hungry less often. Further, a smaller stomach size gives the sensation of being full, faster, which also helps to decrease food intake and excessive calorie consumption.

Gastric sleeve surgery is gaining more popularity due to its much shorter procedure time. It is also effective in helping patients lose weight to overcome obesity. Unlike lap band, no adjustment is needed with gastric sleeve procedures. As a result, it appears that surgical patients are able to lose more weight with a gastric sleeve procedure compared to a lap band or gastric bypass.

Gastric Sleeve Diet and Liver Health

If you choose to undergo gastric sleeve surgery, your specialist bariatric surgeon will have specific pre- and post-operative diets that you will need to follow. The surgeon will discuss with you the potential complications and surgical risks of bariatric surgery.

At least 4 weeks before surgery you will need to start a special diet to help reduce the size of your liver. An enlarged or fatty liver impacts your surgeon’s access during bariatric operations. A fatty liver also increases the risk of serious complications from gastric surgery. As a result, diligence is imperative when following your pre-operative nutritional instructions.

Further, changing your diet before gastric sleeve surgery not only ensures you are healthier, it also prepares you for an altered diet that you will need to continue after gastric bypass surgery.

Pre-Surgical Diet for Bariatric Patients

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You will likely be told to consume more protein and less carbs prior to surgery. This will also require eliminating any added sugars and soft drinks. Following these steps will also help reduce your weight as sugary drinks are a serious contributing factor to high obesity rates.

You will also need to drink lots of clear fluids to stay hydrated – water, of course, being the best option. Further, your bariatric surgeon may also advise that you undergo a strict liquid diet two days out from your surgical date. Some surgeons also recommend Ultra Low-Calorie Diet shakes like Optislim.

Preparation and planning are very important for bariatric surgical patients and this can often take more time than most patients realise. As a result, if you are considering a bariatric procedure, you will need to book a consultation with your chosen surgeon as soon as possible.

Post-Surgical Diet for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Serious changes to your diet are incredibly important in the days, months and years following your bariatric procedure. You will need to pay attention to your eating routine and nutritional intake. This varies from patient to patient, which is why you will need to follow specific instructions from your surgeon.

Here we have some general recommendations. However, your instructions might vary, and it is important to discuss them with your specialist.

*The information below is of a general nature and is not intended as advice. It is not a substitute for the medical information or pre and post-op recommendations given to you by your GP and bariatric surgeon or any other health professionals assisting you with your medical care. It is intended only as an information starting point for discussions with your specialist about how you’ll need to adapt your eating style after surgery. Every patient, every procedure and every bariatric surgeon and nutritional team has a unique approach – so please, follow your Specialist’s instructions.

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Week One Post-Gastric Sleeve Surgery Diet

The first week after your gastric sleeve surgery, you may only be allowed to have clear liquids. These include water, fresh juices, soups and/or broths. You will also be told to take small sips of these liquids, in order to ingest them slowly. Decaffeinated tea and coffee are usually alright a few days after surgery. It is important to check with your bariatric surgeon first.

You must avoid all carbonated drinks, as well as those with added sugar. Once you are able to tolerate liquids, you surgeon will advise you to move to the next stage of your eating plan.

Week Two Post-Gastric Sleeve Surgery Diet

By week two, you will typically be able to have foods in pureed form. This also includes easy to digest foods such as mashed potatoes, low-fat cottage cheese, sugar free yoghurt, water oatmeal and soup with blended vegetables. It is important not to overdo it. Eating the wrong food or having too much of the right food can lead to post-surgical risks and discomfort.

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Week Three Post-Gastric Sleeve Surgery Diet

You can generally include protein shakes once a day by week three. You may also get approval from your surgeon to add more, simple foods to your diet, including:

  • Mashed fruit
  • Steamed fish
  • Ground chicken in stock or soups
  • Hummus
  • Steamed or boiled vegetables
  • Soft cereal
  • Scrambled eggs

You will still need to avoid starchy foods like bread, rice and pasta, as well as fibrous vegetables like broccoli, celery and asparagus, as these are difficult to digest.

Week Four Post-Gastric Sleeve Surgery Diet

By week four, you may be able to add some solid meals. Your surgeon may start you with:

  • Cereal
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Fruits
  • Sweet potato
  • Baked potato

You should continue to avoid foods that are difficult to digest, such as:

  • Whole milk
  • Nuts
  • Fried food
  • Desserts
  • Lollies

Foods like hard-boiled eggs and bananas are good options but only at the approval of your surgeon. Your meals should also be of high nutritional value with low calories. At this point in your post-surgical journey you may also be allowed to have one or two healthy snacks between meals.

In the months following your surgery, you will be given specific eating recommendations. It is important to monitor your eating regime and portion control.

FAQs about Diet after Bariatric Surgery

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How long does it takes to see results after my Bariatric Surgery?

  • Bariatric Patients can see weight changes just weeks after their gastric sleeve procedure. On average, you can anticipate losing up to 50 to 60% of your pre-surgery weight. However, every patient is different, and it is important to follow your surgeon’s advice to achieve the best results.

What happens to my skin after weight loss surgery?

  • Gastric sleeve surgery and other weight loss procedures can leave you with extra sagging skin. Unfortunately, you cannot exercise away redundant loose skin, and you may find you still have stubborn fat that will not disappear with diet and exercise. As a result, some patients require excess skin reduction surgery and liposuction performed by a plastic surgeon to complete their weight loss transformation.

Excess Skin Removal Surgery by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Gittos is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and offers a range of body contouring procedures to benefit you after weight loss surgery. He offers a realistic approach to reshaping your body after bariatric surgery.

Breast Reduction or Breast Lift, Tummy Tuck, Lower Body lift and Armlift surgeries are most common for post-Massive Weight loss patients.

Medical References

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 30. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $350 incl GST

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