Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nutrition after weight loss surgery - Frequently asked questions

Its pretty common to have doubts and concerns before and after weight loss surgery, so we asked to our patients their most frequent concerns related with surgery..
For more doubts or questions, contact us! 1 888 349 4769

  • Why have I been requested to lose weight prior to surgery?
A: It’s not that you have to lose weight the pre-op diet that we provide is focused to reduce your liver size and prevent any risk during surgery, also it helps you to have a better and faster recovery.
  • How long will I be in the hospital?
A: The hospitalization is typically 3 days and 2 night stay.  The recovery period varies, but some patients return to work within a few weeks after the operation. Their only restriction is no heavy lifting for six weeks after the operation.
  • How often will I come back for checkups?   
A: Unless you live close by every six months if not do general blood test every six months just to check that your levels are normal.
We also recommend patients stay as connected to the program as possible by attending support groups regularly. So stay in touch on our Facebook group.
  • What should I do if I am feeling nauseous?  
A: First look at your eating behavior. You may be eating too much and/or too fast. It is also very important to keep food records to see if this is related to certain foods. Also contact us or our nutritionist if issue continues.
  • Why is protein so important?
A: Protein is essential after surgery to help the healing process, and preserve your lean body mass (muscles). Meeting your protein goals is essential, and you also want to EAT YOUR PROTEIN FIRST!
  • What if I am vomiting?
A: Vomiting is not an uncommon occurrence, however it can be controlled. If you are vomiting, there are some things you should be looking out for:
- Are you eating your food too quickly?
- Note the texture of the food. Is it too dry? Most often you will find meats difficult to tolerate. Make sure your meat is moist. If you are still not tolerating them, you can make substitutions for these foods. Leave them out of your diet for a few weeks and try them again at a later date.
- Are you chewing your food well? Enjoy, feel, and taste every bite.
- Remember to drink fluids separately.
- Do not eat and drink at the same time. Wait approximately 30 minutes before and after a meal to drink liquids. Most often liquids fill you up and may cause distress, making you feel like you need to vomit.
- Alcohol and coffee create an acid environment in your stomach and can produce vomit.
- Dinner after 7 pm also is important to be aware of.
  • Why is fluid important?  
A: It is important to maintain fluids intake of about 64 ounces or more per day. This will help maintain the appropriate body levels of fluids and replace the losses from weight loss. You need to take small slow sips of fluids throughout the day.
Fluids should have minimum calories, no caffeine and no carbonation. To help meet both nutrition and fluid goals you need to keep fluids separate from meals by at least 30 minutes.
  • What is the size of my new stomach or pouch?
A: About 1 ounce, which is approximately the size of a small shot glass
  • Will I experience some hair loss?  
A: This happens on rare occasions it's more common on the gastric bypass. Sometimes after surgery patient will complain of hair loss. It can be related to not getting enough protein or vitamins in your diet. This is often the body’s response to rapid weight loss. Hair loss is usually not permanent and re-growth typically occurs 3-6 months after it starts falling out.  Talk to your dietitian if you are experiencing this.
  • What should I do if I am having a problem with constipation?
A: You may need to increase your fiber and fluid intake. Food records will help you quantify how much you are actually drinking. Adding a fiber supplement may help. If increasing fiber doesn’t help, you may try milk of magnesia, prune juice or stool softener.
  • What do I do if I have gas and bloating? What if I have some diarrhea?
A: Some patients may experience these symptoms due to sugar found in milk products called lactose.  If you are intolerant to lactose, it may cause cramping, gas bloating, and/or diarrhea. Switch to lactic products or soy products.   
Also make sure you are not eating too much or too fast. Slow down your eating, take small bites and chew well... If you get a severe dehydration you need and IV, got to the ER to have it applied by a nurse or a doctor.
  • What if my weight loss slows down?
A: Your weight loss may seem like a staircase. You are also going to experience “plateaus” and this is normal. Everyone will lose weight at a different rate, so please do not compare yourself to other people. If you hit a plateau (not losing weight for longer than 2 weeks), continue to keep food records and track your exercise. You may need to adjust your diet or exercise to help with your weight loss. If a plateau last longer than 4 weeks call your dietitian.    
  • What is the Honeymoon period?  
A: Often you may experience a lack of appetite after surgery. In turn this often causes patients to skip meals, depriving themselves of the nutritional needs. You will need to plan to have 4-6 small meals per day to meet your nutrition goals and have a successful weight loss.  
A: Almost flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, sweating, bloating, diarrhea, etc.) that usually occur after high-fat or high sugary foods.
The symptoms typically last about ½ hour. However, not everyone experiences dumping. To avoid these symptoms, you should select foods that have 14 grams of sugar or less per serving and 3-5 grams of fat or less per serving.
  • Why should I take vitamins?
A: Being compliant with your vitamins is key for your health, meeting your nutrition goals, and preventing deficiencies. We will test your labs periodically to help prevent and/or treat any deficiencies you may develop.
  • Will I be able to take my prescribed medications after surgery?
A: Small pills or capsules can be taken as before. Larger medications may be broken or crushed, or alternate medications may be prescribed. Check with the medical team or your prescribing physician's.  
  • What could be causing me to feel a tight feeling in the middle of my chest while I am eating or right after I eat?
A: A tight feeling when eating is usually a warning sign that there is something about your eating behavior or food consistency that is not right. You may be overeating or eating too fast. Time yourself when you sit down to a meal. Remember it should take about 10 minutes to eat 1 oz food. Make sure that your food preparation methods and food consistencies are appropriate for your diet stages.  
  • When am I allowed to drive after my surgery?
A: You are allowed to drive when you are no longer taking narcotics and have enough mobility to drive safe.
  • When can I return to work?
A: You may return to work as soon as you feel able as long as you are not required to do heavy lifting as part of your job. Typically 2-6 weeks for most desk jobs, and 6-8 weeks for manual labor jobs.