The Gastric Sleeve Diet to be taken by Patients Before and After Surgery

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The pre-op and post-op diet of gastric sleeve surgery is very important for successful treatment of obesity. It has become very common in developed countries. Either you have to exercise or have control on diet, to have the right weight proportions.

Sleeve gastrectomy (a.k.a) is a safe choice for patients seeking weight reduction with very less complications. Many health insurance companies like United Healthcare have added gastric sleeve surgery to their list of covered surgeries for weight loss. In a span of 4 years, gastric sleeve has become the quickest growing bariatric surgery procedure.

gastric sleeve advantages diet plan

This image shows the risk factors and the complications of gastric sleeve surgery which can be reduced with the right diet plan

What is the Purpose of Pre-Surgery Diet?

Your liver also has to be healthy to perform this procedure. Generally, to access your stomach for most bariatric surgeries, your surgeon will use a liver retractor. With this device, the surgeon lifts up the liver and performs the operation on stomach easily. But if you have fatty liver disease, this process becomes complicated. This increases the size of your liver. In this case, the surgeon either goes for a non-laparoscopic procedure or asks the patient to follow their 2 week pre-op diet.

What is the Gastric Sleeve Pre-Op Diet?

Before 2 weeks from surgery, you should start on a high protein diet. You can buy a protein shake from your local grocery store. This should be low in sugars and carbohydrates. Drink the protein shake for breakfast. Have lean meat and vegetable for lunch and dinner. This will help the liver shrink in size. You can also be on liquid diet (sugar-free) in-between the meals.


You need to avoid certain type of foods during the pre-op period. These include – high sugar foods, high carbohydrate foods (including bread and pasta), fats (such as butter), fatty meats, fried foods, whole milk products, ice cream, high calorie beverages (including regular soda and alcoholic beverages).

You should also take necessary precautions with certain foods before gastric sleeve surgery.

  • Do not take any herbal medications for 7 days prior to surgery.
  • You should not take carbonated beverages.
  • You should stop all beverages which contain caffeine.
  • You should exercise regularly according to a routine. (consult your physician before that).
  • Cut food into small pieces and chew well before you gulp it.
  • Do not take any aspirin, Advil, Nuprin, Aleve or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication for 7 days prior to surgery.
  • Start practicing taking meals without water. Before and immediately after 30 minutes of your meals, do not take liquids. This becomes a requirement after the bariatric procedure and should be made as one of your life-style habits.
  • You may also take 1 Metamucil capsule per day if needed for hunger.

The second phase starts just 3 days before surgery.  You can take a laxative. After that take only clear liquids. This consists of broth, Jell-o, sugar-free juice, any clear liquid. The approved liquids during this phase are black coffee, tea/iced tea, low or no sugar fruit juices, water, Gatorade, sports drinks, crystal light, beef, vegetable or chicken broth, fat-free cream soup made with skim milk etc.  You should not take any solid food during this period.


The average calorie allowance for the sleeve gastrectomy pre-op diet ranges from 800 to 1200 calories per day. The typical pre-op diet will include 70 to 120 grams of protein per day. 

What is the Gastric Sleeve Post-Op Diet?

You should avoid certain medications after the lap gastric sleeve surgery. These included and not limited to – Anacin, Ancid Ansaid, Aspirin, Daypro, Dipyridamole, Disalcid, Doan’s Pills, Dolobid Easprin, Naprosyn, Persantine, Ibuprofen etc.

The first 6 weeks of post-op diet after surgery are very crucial.


For the first 2 days, you have to be on clear liquids (sugar-free). 6 ounces every 2 hours during the day, or at least 42 ounces per day. You can take other liquids like – Water, Flavored water, Popsicles, Jello, Fruit drinks, Clear broth, Crystal light with more frequency but not in volume. 

For the next 5 days, you can take clear liquids. Protein shakes can be added if not causing any drowsiness.

After your first week of post-op diet, you can begin with vitamin supplements, if not nauseated. These include – 

  • Chewable or liquid multivitamin daily
  • Liquid B-complex daily
  • Chewable Iron (29mg) daily
  • B12 1000mcg sublingual twice a week
  • Possibly additional supplements as per physician recommendations

The second week of post-op diet should consist more of protein intake if possible. Also it’s important that low to no fat is present in it and stomach should empty very easily. If you have already started on vitamin supplements continue on them.  Otherwise, start them now onwards.

The next two weeks of treatment includes beginning little walk around the neighborhood. This is also the time to add some extra food items like –

  • Skim milk
  • Soy milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Diet V-8
  • Low fat soups (without solids)
  • Apple sauce (no added sugar)

 Your goal now is 50 grams of protein per day, but still clear liquid diet should be consumed.

The 5th week of post-op diet consists of some mushy foods. These include –

  • Banana (1/2 is a full meal)
  • Can add well-blended fruit to protein smoothies
  • Baked sweet potato (1/4 is a full meal)
  • Oatmeal, Cream of wheat
  • NO GRITS!!!
  • Coffee OK (no cream or sugar added)

And also the vitamin supplements.

From 6th week onwards, you need to add some regular foods like –

  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Light canned fruit (no sugar added and not in syrup)
  • Very well cooked vegetables and beans (no rice)
  • Low fat cheese (such as skim milk mozzarella sticks)

For the next 2 weeks, you can start lifting weights and doing abdominal exercises.

You can have additional foods like

  • Scrambled and boiled eggs (whites only, of course)
  • Fresh and cooked fruit and vegetables
  • Protein bars
  • Canned tuna (packed in water only)
  • Baked fish
  • Whole grain cereals and cereal bars (no sugar added)

Now you can also take some pills which can be easily digested.

After 8th week of post-op surgery of gastric sleeve, you can take all kinds of foods that are good for you. You should make sure to chew well and eat slowly. The caution is that, you need to avoid sugars as that may bring complications to your gastric sleeve surgery. No fried foods for some time. Do exercise regularly and take your vitamins.

A decent option for a non-bariatric specific multivitamin is below:

  • Centrum Adult Daily Chewable – you can find this at your local pharmacy (Walgreens, etc.).
  • Iron – Iron may be recommended. It’s important to talk to your doctor and follow his or her recommednation. Ferrous Fumarate 29mg.
  • Calcium Citrate – Taken 3 times daily. •1500 to 2000 mg daily
  • Do NOT take Calcium at the same time as Iron.

It’s recommended that you get at least 60 grams of protein per day after surgery.


Gastric Sleeve Surgery is low-complicated surgery with minimum risks. The death toll from this bariatric procedure is very less. To gain benefits from this surgery you need at least 2 years. Several patients have reported emotional, mindset and personality changes after the post-op period.

gastric sleeve surgery success

You can reduce 65% weight by gastric sleeve surgery within 2 years

There has to be proper diet maintenance before and after gastric sleeve surgery to have healthy life and less painful recovery. With the correct surgeon and following the diet plan given by the clinic, your weight-loss strategy will soon become a reality.

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