Dietary advancement: risky textures

Pureed food

We hear it quite frequently: patients less than 2 or 3 weeks following a bariatric surgery venturing into soft or even fully textured food items.

'I felt fine, so I was ready to move on’

‘I’m just so tired of liquids and purees, and the (insert solid food choice here) went down fine.’

It doesn’t stop at items like chicken, fish and muffins. Patients will report having a bite of a hot dog or even a burger and French fries. Regardless of the outcome, we need to respect that such choices are inappropriate during the early post-operative stages. Following roux-en-y gastric bypass, patients are instructed to follow 10 days of full fluids, followed by 1-2 weeks of pureed texture foods and 1-2 weeks of soft foods. Gastric sleeve patients are instructed to follow 4 weeks of full fluids, followed by a similar week-by-week transition to pureed and soft foods.

What are the risks of advancing textures too soon, you may ask? Well, how about:

  • Bowel blockages
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Inappropriate weight loss or weight gain
  • Indigestion +/or difficulty swallowing
  • Nutrient deficiencies or malnutrition

Invite patience to your post-operative experience. Take time to be present in observing balanced, nourishing and guided dietary practices day by day. A bite of desire is not worth risking a lifetime of health.