A typical approach to a post-op duodenal switch diet involves a modern diet. This diet typically progresses in the following manner:
This is used the day the following surgery if the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) is clear. A clear liquid diet consists of clear liquids such as water, broth, and plain gelatin. These substances are easily digested. They do not leave any undigested residue in the intestinal tract.
If clear liquids are tolerated, patients will move forward to clear liquids though lactose products will likely not be added for several months. A full liquid diet consists of fluids and foods that are normally liquid and foods that turn to liquid when they are at room temperature.
This dietary phase may be used for up to 2 weeks following surgery. Some patients can reach this stage before discharge from the hospital. Foods are blended into the consistency of small-curd cottage cheese, baby food or applesauce. A pureed diet assists with the healing process and also ensures that blockages from food don’t occur while healing occurs.
This is the transitional dietary phase preceding a regular diet. The soft food stage provides more nutrients and bulk than the previous stages. This good step readies the body to digest solid foods that are part of a regular diet. Examples of food items that may be offered in a soft diet include canned vegetables and fruits, soft fresh fruit, cooked vegetables, ground meats, cottage cheese, or soft scrambled eggs.
There are numerous dietary considerations to take into account when reaching the phase of a healthy diet. A high-protein diet is critical to ensure the body gets the protein it needs. Many bariatric surgeons recommend consuming 80 to 100 grams of protein daily from sources such as lean meats, eggs, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Foods high in fat should be avoided following a duodenal switch procedure. The body is no longer able to absorb fats as it once did and consumption of fatty foods may result in diarrhea, increased frequency of bowel movements, and gas. Sugary, calorie-rich foods such as soda, candy, and other sweets should also be avoided. These simple carbohydrates can quickly lead to weight gain. Complex carbohydrates, however, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are an extremely helpful part of a diet following duodenal switch surgery.
Each patient undergoing this bariatric procedure will respond differently. Various surgeons may have their approach to post-op dietary recommendations. This modern diet plan is just one example of a typical postoperative duodenal switch dietary regimen. Patients may experience problems at any phase of a continuous bariatric diet which could result in a longer time frame to reach the regular diet phase. Some of these issues may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bowel obstruction. The good news is that patients that adhere to the dietary recommendations from their health care providers will likely experience life-changing results.