By Stephen Archer, MD, FACSBariatric Surgery

I would like to thank the BMC family for welcoming me and my team. We are settling in and are already very busy. Bariatric patients are fortunate to enjoy a quiet area (Area 12) in the BMC with our whole team in one place including myself, Nicole O’Neill PA-C, Vanessa Cobarrubia RD, Kathryn Wilson coordinator for bariatrics and Sara Kersh, our CMA. Please feel free to pass along the link to this blog to your friends.

One of the questions I am often asked about bariatric surgery is what diet will patients be on after surgery? Will they require protein drinks for the rest of their lives? Will they be calorie counting?

Most patients who have the disease of morbid obesity have been on countless counting diets—count calories, protein, carbs, etc. 98% of the time calorie restrictive diets fail and patients regain weight. This is not a moral or self-will problem. It is a reality of metabolic set points (topic for a future blog).

After bariatric surgery we progress patients quickly to real food. Usually patients are drinking water 6 hours after surgery. For three weeks we do use protein drinks to allow for swelling to go down. From 3-6 weeks they progress to pureed food. After that it is real food for real people. We emphasize that whole, unprocessed real foods are best. The obesity epidemic has resulted from many things, but it is very clear that processed foods—in boxes, full of fillers and chemicals and processed carbohydrates—is at the heart of the problem with respect to our food supply. I tell patients to take a child to the grocery store and if the child can pronounce the ingredients it is more likely to be food. For instance, hamburger is food. Monosodium glutamate, while edible, is not food. Avocado, berries, pork and milk are all foods. One of the things I hear a lot after surgery is that patients are happy to no longer be dieting. They can eat real, delicious food and feel satisfied.


One Response

  1. Mollyt June 29, 2024 at 6:10 am |

    This article was a great read! It managed to break down complex ideas into easily understandable concepts. Im really interested in seeing how this topic evolves. For those who want to delve deeper, check out my profile by clicking on my nickname!

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