Recently, I’ve received multiple questions about why we have a liquid diet following surgery and/or people who want to skip ahead to solid food. I promise there is a “method to our madness”, which I wanted to further explain.
Following any type of stomach or gastrointestinal surgery, it is very important to gradually progress the diet to allow the tract to heal and rest. Liquid foods are typically digested more easily and prevent the stomach from doing extra work to break food down. Solid foods contain different components that the stomach has to work harder to break down, using not only muscles, but also enzymes. Ensuring that patients are tolerating liquids is an important step to ensure the safety of the patient and prevent unnecessary complications.
Since liquids are easier to digest, we often see less nausea and discomfort from these foods, which is important following a procedure. Even though a patient may feel as though they are comfortable with liquids and are tolerating them well, it is important to see the surgeon before progressing to solid foods.
The progression of the proper stages of the diet following surgery allows for less overall discomfort and complications and leads to greater success in the long-term.
Katherine Horner, MS, RD, LD, NASM-CPT, CES
Surgical Weight Loss Dietitian & Exercise Specialist
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