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What's the deal with "Straws vs No Straws"



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My program doesn't want me to use straws. But I love straws and I think I can manage my sips better with straws!

But then some videos by bariatric surgeons on YT and feedbacks by WLS candidates mention "they use straws just fine" - So I am kinda confused why such drastic take on straws?!

Has anyone of you guys used straws throughout their journey? Any issue while using straws? I am really looking for some feedback here. I rather continue using straws, it simply makes it a better tool for sipping at least for me!

Edited by DaisyAndSunshine

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I think you'll find that for almost any issue there are a variety of recommendations across surgery centers and even surgeons. It drives me nuts, because I work in clinical research and we have to ensure that everyone at every site follows exactly the same protocol to make sure things are consistent, here the surgeons just do whatever each one thinks is best and there doesn't seem to be a consensus. My mom works as a consultant in the field and she says this is how it is in surgery; things just aren't standardized.

I would talk to your surgeon or nutritionist about your concerns about using straws, ask why they feel it's important not to use a straw. I think some surgeons feel that you swallow more air that way, which can be uncomfortable. There are Water bottles that have openings that are similar to straws but a bit bigger; maybe that would be a good compromise? If all else fails, remember that it's your body and you get to decide what you want to do with it.

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Immediately after the op my surgeon came round and actually advised me to use a straw to sip tiny amounts

I told him I was surprised with this suggestion because I'd read so much " forbidding" straws.

His explanation was that maybe some advised not using straws because if you drink too fast you can swallow air. But that in his experience if you sip through the straw slowly taking small amounts into your mouth and then swallow it helps

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I think there are a lot of “old wives tales” when it comes to Bariatric surgery and the recommendations. I’ve taken some sips through an a straw after surgery and it actually felt like I was swallowing less air than sipping through a cup! I also see the majority of successful bari patients I follow elsewhere using straws and they have all lost 100 plus lbs. I don’t use a straw 99% of the time just because my surgeon scared me enough to not warrant using it and I’m used to sipping now.
Another thing I see being misinformed is pumping patients full of Iron when they don’t need it. Not everyone is anemic and there is a much more complex cycle to iron levels than just taking oral meds with iron formulations. You can actually do more harm than good this. Research is a powerful thing, there are quite a few “firm” stances I’ve seen on programs that I’ve taken the time to look into and they seem to be something from 20 plus years ago that is not up to date medically.

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yea - it's another issue where there doesn't seem to be a consensus among surgeons. We were told to avoid them the first few months, I think - something about the air getting into your stomach. So I did, but I've been using them without issue since then.

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Ok the no straws thing is a pet peeve of mine to the point where I would have walked out if a surgeon said this to me. One, air or gas in your stomach isn’t a problem, it’s there now, will be there tomorrow etc, it isn’t going to leak out like a bag of cheap balloons from the dollar store. Two, and this is the huge logic fail that blows my mind that anyone who went to medical school could not understand…. your stomach isn’t creating the negative pressure that draws liquid into your face hole… your mouth does this… So no matter how you suck liquid in, it’s up to you on how much air you swallow after it’s in there. Here’s a stupid overly complicated test to prove my point. Sit in a chair. Take a big sip from a cup (don’t swallow yet!). Stand up. Walk around your kitchen table two times. Swallow. Now repeat the same process using a straw. That Fluid sitting in your mouth when you get up and do the chicken dance around your table is the same. It doesn’t care how it got there. It doesn’t MATTER how it got there. All that matters is how YOU swallow it, and being a grown ass adult you can make that choice yourself.

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My water bottle has a straw. I used it immediately post-op and still do. I does not cause me discomfort and definitely does not cause me discomfort. I feel like I drink more Water with a straw 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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Another straw user! No problems!!

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I started using a straw about 1 month post RNY. No problems at all.

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Yup. Was told the same thing....to avoid straws when I get my surgery done due to taking in too much air and possibly too much liquid at a time. Who knows. I don't typically use them anyway unless at a restaurant so it's no loss for me.

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So from most responses here straws seem safe to be used except some like to avoid it for the safe of following the program @nd their Surgeon's advise!

I think as long as I can tolerate straw, I'll use it. I feel straws are more safer in sipping than risking a huge gulp of Water drinking straight up from my water mug!

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I started using one about 4 months from RNY, I feel like I drink more with a straw and it doesn’t give me any issues.

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I started using a straw 3 weeks post sleeve and never caused me any issues. I decided to give it a go when I was finally able to take in more than just a small sip. Definitely helps with my Fluid intake!

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I use straws all the time. My team didn’t give any guidance on them.

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