Weight Loss Surgery is a huge step for one to make. Whether your considering gastric bypass surgery privately or your hoping to be a bariatric patient on the NHS, there is a lot to learn and know about weight loss procedures from having a gastric bypass operation to what foods to eat after weight loss surgery.
This article aims to share the knowledge I’ve gained as a gastric bypass patient, sharing key weight loss surgery terms, bariatric meal ideas and my own personal journey both before and after gastric bypass surgery.
This guide has been written by myself, Angela Milnes, a qualified teacher and gastric bypass patient. Whilst all information is accurate, this article is for information purposes only and any concerns regarding your own weight loss surgery should be directed to your professional medical team.
Weight Loss Surgery Options
There are a number of different Weight Loss Surgery Options you can choose from when considering bariatric surgery. Taking the time to make the right decision about your weight loss surgery is really important and can take many months.
Personally I considered weight loss journey for around two years before finally starting the process and talking with my doctor. I wish I’d done it sooner.
I was not sure whether to have a gastric band, a gastric sleeve or a gastric bypass and it wasn’t until I’d learnt all I could that I decided a Gastric Bypass Operation would be best for me.
Here are a list of the most popular Weight Loss Surgery options available:
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.
- Laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding.
- Sleeve gastrectomy.
- Duodenal switch
The Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass
A roux en y gastric bypass reduces the size of your upper stomach to that of the size of an egg. When you have a roux en y gastric bypass the intestine is attached to the small part of your new stomach (pouch) resulting in a bypass. This process is called roux-en-y.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding
A gastric band can be placed around the stomach to create an egg timer shaped pouch. This can be performed during laparoscopic surgery and enables you to become full much faster.
One of the benefits to a gastric band is it can be removed if needed and the stomach is not cut or stapled.
A sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure where the stomach is reduced in size to create a sleeve kind of the shape of a banana. The sleeve reduces the amount of food you can eat but does not require a bypass of intestines meaning vitamins can be better absorbed than when having a gastric bypass.
The duodenal switch is a weight loss surgery in which you go through a procedure that induces weight loss by a sleeve gastrectomy and intestinal bypass.
During this procedure, you will have 60-70 percent of your stomach removed by the surgeon. This will change the shape of your stomach to more of a tube shape.
From here the surgeon then divides your lower intestine further down than one would get with a gastric bypass so that two thirds or more of your intestine is bypassed.
Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery. My Experience
Preparing for weight loss surgery was a long process for myself and took a number of years. I wrote about my gastric bypass surgery journey here on The Inspiration Edit which your welcome to read about. This page links to many useful articles so please don’t forget to pin this page for future reference.
Here are my weight loss preparation articles.
- Preparing For Weight Loss Surgery – A Gastric Bypass
- Why I am Having Gastric Bypass Surgery
- 10 Health Benefits Of Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Gastric Bypass A Scary And Life Changing Decision
- The Liver Shrinking Diet
Preparing For Gastric Bypass Surgery
Preparing for weight loss surgery involved a number of steps for myself. I began by researching online and speaking to the GP, I then waited for a referral, saw a dietician for one year and lost a set amount of weight on my own before seeing the Bariatric team.
After I had lost 10% of my body weight I was able to meet with a bariatric surgeon and discuss the different Weight Loss Surgery options that might be suitable. I also discussed the possibility and reality of trying to lose weight on my own without surgery.
During my one year of weight loss I was required to attend monthly weight loss lectures at a Hospital Lecture Theatre to learn about the realities of weight loss surgery, the operation, procedures and life after weight loss surgery.
It was really important for me to learn about the different weight loss surgery options so I could weigh up the pros and cons to each and make a decision about what would be best for my life.
The Liver Shrinking Diet
Before having weight loss surgery you will need to go on a Liver shrinking diet. The purpose of the diet is to help reduce the size of the liver before the operation to make operating easier for your surgeon. To read more about The Liver Shrinking diet also known as the liver reduction diet you can read my article here!
The Stages Of Eating After Weight Loss Surgery Gastric Bypass
Following weight loss surgery, be it a gastric bypass, or another weight loss procedure you will need to follow a diet through several stages to help you become used to eating again.
Your tummy won’t be able to take in much food at the start due to it’s new size and swelling and you will begin by following a liquid diet. You can then move onto a pureed blended diet followed by soft foods and eventually solid food once more.
It’s a hard process to go through but there is lots of information out there to help you and your dietician should give you some support to choose the right foods. To learn more you may enjoy reading the following articles.
Gastric Bypass And The Pureed Blended Diet – 4 weeks after weight loss surgery
Long Term Diet After Gastric Bypass Surgery
Long term you will need to focus on eating mainly protein and veg with a little carbs. Protein is very important following weight loss surgery. Not only will it help you to heal, but it will help keep muscles strong as you have rapid weight loss and will help you to stay fuller for longer.
Some people cut out carbs completely following gastric bypass. Some cannot eat bread again without being sick whilst others might be able to tolerate brown bread. Again, it is encouraged to only eat a small amount of pasta or rice and focus on protein and vegetables, however different patients react differently and again some will and some will not be able to eat pasta and rice.
I can eat small amounts of pasta but cannot eat rice at all. I’m fine with bread but have to be careful to only have small amounts to avoid weight regain.
Gastric Bypass Food After Surgery
Following gastric bypass you will need to eat more regular. Usually around 4-6 times per day and eat very small portions. As time good on you will be able to cut back and eat a little more but you will always have to control portions to avoid stretching your stomach and regaining weight.
One of my favourite foods post gastric bypass surgery is soup. Soups can be made from scratch so they are less processed. You can add lots of protein, either meat or beans and lentils and use superfoods which are healthy to help you get lots of nutrition. Soup can be super filling and you can batch cook and create plenty of portions to freeze or refrigerate.
What Can’t You Eat After Gastric Bypass Surgery?
There are plenty of foods you should not eat after gastric bypass, in particular those that are high in fat and high in sugar. Avoid fatty foods and sugary drinks.
After weight loss surgery you will not be able to drink Fizzy drinks The gas would cause severe pain and or stretch the stomach pouch. It is good to avoid and cut out alcohol completely and focus on healthy drink options from this point forward.
Avoid chocolate or sweet treats. If you eat food that is too high in sugar following a gastric bypass you may end up with dumping syndrome which can make you feel very unwell.
What is Dumping Syndrome After Gastric Bypass?
Dumping syndrome happens when sugary foods pass through the pouch into the intestines too fast. This can happen following a gastric bypass and make the patient feel sick, dizzy, nauseated, amongst other things. To read more details about dumping syndrome you can read the article below.
My Gastric Bypass Surgery Weight Loss Journey
Having gone through a gastric bypass myself, I wrote about my journey from the start of my weight loss right through to two years out. My journey was really difficult and harder than the experiences of some others. We all have different pain thresholds and have different experiences and reactions to weight loss surgery.
Due to steroid medication I still struggle with my weight and although I did lose some weight I was not able to reach the goals I had originally set. You may enjoy reading about my personal experience from the perspective of someone having a gastric bypass which failed after two years.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery – The Painful Truth
- Nine Weeks After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Twelve Weeks After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- My Meal Fourteen Weeks After Gastric Bypass
- Twenty Weeks After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Twenty Four Weeks Six Months After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- Thirty Weeks After Gastric Bypass Surgery
- 2 Years After Gastric Bypass The Truth About My Weight Loss
- The Battle Between Adrenal Insufficiency And Weight Loss