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Naturally around Christmas I wouldn't expect to hear back anything too soon. I know the basic stuff that you have to avoid eating for pretty much life and but for anyone that has had it before. Can you tell me everything I need to know as a basic rule of thumb.

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I will be happy to tell you my experience since it is very recent history. However, everyone's doctor and experience is a little bit different.

I elected for the gastric sleeve. It was a personal choice.

Prior to surgery, my doctor requested that I begin a special diet to reduce the size of my liver. From what I have read on this forum, these diets very greatly, from surgeon to surgeon, in the types of foods you can eat and the length of time you must diet prior to surgery. However, I believe that, in all cases, one is required to consume more Protein than carbohydrates or fats.

Apparently, your liver, while overweight, is large and fatty. The diet reduces the size of your liver. This reduction allows the surgeon more room to operate. (I have no idea if this is true...just forwarding you what my surgeon told to me.)

On the day of the surgery, I arrived at the facility at the appointed time. I was prepped for surgery with an IV. I chatted with the various staff who needed information and chatted with the surgeon prior to the procedure.

According to my doctor, the surgery would take a little less than one hour.

At the appointed time, I was taken to the operating room. My last memory was meeting the staff in the operating room. I was put under anesthesia shortly thereafter. For me, anesthesia is like time travel. My last memory was in the operating room but I woke up in a recovery room a short time later. I know that time had passed but it feels instantaneous...perhaps like time travel would feel.

At this point, there are numerous posts on this forum from people who will recount their experience with recovery. I can only share with you my personal account.

I awoke in a recovery room with a little discomfort. It wasn't pain per se, just a feeling of being bloated. I was not nauseated nor was I in any real pain. Again, I only felt bloated discomfort.

Apparently, the surgeon inflates your abdomen with CO2 gas in order to have room to perform the surgery. Not all of this gas escapes prior to the end of surgery. This gas was the cause of my discomfort.

My assigned post-op nurse encouraged me to get up and walk as much as I could to help relieve the gas pressure. I spent a good amount of time pacing about the floor trying to relieve the pressure. The process works but not as fast as you would like. The remainder of the time, I spent eating some ice chips and taking fluids intravenously.

After a few hours, since I had no complications, I was released to my nearby hotel room. This was an outpatient procedure for me. However, an overnight stay at a hotel was required.

I was instructed by the surgeon to immediately contact their surgical center if I experienced any issues such as pain, discomfort, etc. Otherwise, if I felt good in the morning, I could go straight home.

I awoke in the morning and went home. I had no real issues.

My surgery was on a Wednesday. My follow up appointment was exactly one week later, the following Wednesday.

I was instructed by the surgical staff that during that week, I could only consume Clear Liquids. The only things on the menu were clear broths like chicken or beef, no sugar sport drinks, Water, protein water and diluted, no sugar cranberry juice.

Again, every doctor is different. There are many posts on this forum which provide different details about the immediate post op diet. You can find both positive and negative experiences.

In my case, the one week follow up appointment allowed my doctor to assess my situation and determine if I could move on to the next phase of food consumption.

At my follow up appointment a week later, I had experienced no pain or adverse effects from the surgery. I was permitted to move on to the next phase of food consumption. I could move on to pureed foods. This phase is to last for a period of three weeks.

I am currently in the pureed food phase of my recovery. I was given a list of acceptable foods that I can eat. I was also given nutrition goals to achieve. That is, I am expected to consume a certain number of grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats each day.

The acceptable foods on my list would be considered "soft" foods. These types of foods are on the list but this is not the entire list:

There are acceptable meats on the menu as well. Items such as chicken, turkey and different types of fish.

However, this is the "puree" portion of recovery. I am to puree these foods prior to consumption. That is, I put most of these items, like meat and vegetables, in a food processor to puree them before I eat them. I believe the idea is allow your stomach some time to heal.

So there you have it. This is my experience to date. I have followed the doctor's program in its entirety. I have not experienced any problems or issues. I am about two weeks from my next follow up appointment. I expect that I will be able to go back to eating solid foods again at that time.

I will leave you with something that I read on this forum. Someone's doctor told them that gastric surgery will give a person about one year to lose weight. During that one year, one must learn how to eat properly to maintain a lifelong weight loss.

My plan is to change my past eating habits to more permanent, healthy choices in the future. I have about 11 months remaining to learn.

Best of luck to you.

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you don't have to - and shouldn't - avoid eating for life. You won't be eating all that much the first few months after surgery (and can't, really...), and you'll have some food restrictions those first few months (a lot of programs encourage low-carb diets, but not all do), but once you're a ways out, you'll be eating pretty normally -just less than you did before surgery.

I used to eat 3000+ calories a day. Now I eat somewhere in the 1500-2000 range, depending on how active I am (and that'll be different for everyone depending on a lot of factors). When I go out to eat, I'll either order an appetizer and just have that, or I'll order an entree and take half of it home. Really no different than what my never-been-obese female friends do (I'm female, btw - men can usually handle more calories). I've always eaten mostly healthy foods even when I was morbidly obese, so from that angle, things haven't changed much - but if you're more of a junk food person, then that part will need to change. Although an occasional junky treat is OK once you're a ways out, you have to be more mindful of nutrition since your stomach won't be able to hold all that much food anymore - but other than that...

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