5 Tips for Success after Bariatric Surgery


All bariatric surgery patients can benefit from these tips but especially those who have a gastric band. Remember, for those of you who have had a gastric band, you have asked your bariatric surgeon to place a band around the upper part of your stomach to create a gastric pouch and adjust this band so the outlet is only about the size of the end of your ring finger. This is what gives you the resistance to eating too fast and too much at any one time.

  • Liquid calories are not your friend

Your pouch and narrowed outlet from the band is like a funnel. The purpose is to hold solid food in your pouch for a time, allowing the solid food to slowly leave the pouch and therefore suppress your appetite by releasing a small amount of the food over the next couple of hours.

  • Minimize crunchy foods

Crunchy foods like chips, crackers, pretzels and cookies, after saliva is added, go to mush and will go into the pouch and pass through the narrowed outlet too quickly. These types of foods can be your downfall.

  • Apply the “rule of 30s” consistently

Chew 30 times before swallowing

Wait 30 seconds before your next bite

Wait 30 minutes before drinking

  • Avoid foods that are likely to be difficult; steak, and bread

Steak will not pass through the narrowed outlet of your pouch if the particle sizes are larger than the tip of your ring finger. Doughy bread will become a “dough ball” in your pouch and block the small outlet of your pouch. This is a frequent cause of vomiting after a band is placed.

  • Establish a “No Fly Zone”

Establish good boundaries for what comes on your property and tell their friends and family, “Certain foods just don’t fly here.” We all have what I would call trigger foods; that is foods that comfort us and when these are around we have difficulty staying away from them. For me it is chocolate (M&M’s to be precise), so guess what? I buy York peppermint patties because It satisfies my chocolate craving and I don’t feel like I need to overeat.
Maybe your food trigger is pizza or soda or ice cream. Whatever it is you should establish a no fly zone at your house. You don’t bring these things into your house and family or friends and not welcome to bring these things as well. Let them know they are welcome to go out for these things but these foods just don’t fly at your house.

Applying these principles consistently is the key to understanding what is going on with your body after having an adjustable gastric band or any other bariatric operation as well. If you are doing these things you are more likely to understand what is going on if you are having difficulty.

~When we accept ourselves as we are today and gradually proceed to make the changes we want for ourselves we have more power to recreate our lives~