It is possible to lose up to 90 pounds of excess weight after three months of duodenal switch surgery. However, you must follow a strict diet plan to ensure proper healing and avoid complications. 

As this surgery changes the way your digestive system functions, many foods will be difficult for you to consume. That’s why a diet plan is provided after the surgery to reduce any side effects and help patients lose weight faster.

Here are the most critical aspects of a post-op duodenal switch diet:

Foods to Avoid After Duodenal Switch

As mentioned earlier, you must avoid certain foods after a duodenal switch to help your body recover. There are multiple stages after the procedure and each stage asks for a specific diet plan. Let’s learn what you cannot consume during each phase of the 

Stage 1

avoid Solid food of any type

The first stage lasts for a couple of days after your surgery. During this stage, you can only drink clear liquid; more precisely, sugar-free clear liquids every 15 minutes throughout the day. During this stage, you need to avoid the following:

  • Solid food of any type
  • Liquids with chunks of solid food
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chewing gum
  • Sugary liquid

Stage 2

After the first stage, you need to consume a complete liquid diet for the next 11 days. Avoid the following food during this stage:

  • Solid food
  • Fluids with more than 5 grams of sugar
  • Fruit juice
  • Sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Regular milk
  • Bits of solid food in liquid meals

Stage 3

The 3rd stage is when you can have pureed foods, lasting about 15 days after the 2nd stage. During stage 3, avoid:

  • Drinking fluid within 30 minutes of finishing a meal
  • Solid meat such as beef, chicken shellfish, pork
  • Sweet yogurt
  • High-fat food

Stage 4

The last stage of the diet is dedicated to adopting regular eating habits. However, you still need to avoid the following food for some more time:

  • High-fat food
  • Fried food
  • Smoothies
  • Juices
  • Sweet tea or coffee
  • Drinking liquid within 30 minutes of finishing a meal

What Foods to Avoid In General After Operation

While each stage of the post-op diet requires you to avoid specific types of meals, there are some common foods you need to steer clear of throughout the whole diet. These are:

  • Dry Meats: Pepperoni, red meat, hot dogs, pastrami, etc., are high-fat food that you must avoid throughout the diet.
  • Raw Vegetables: Raw vegetables are high in fiber and can be hard to consume with the changes in your digestive tract. Therefore, better have them cooked.
  • Carbonated Beverages: Soda, beer, sparkling water, etc., should be avoided as they can cause bloating.
  • Caffeine: Take decaffeinated tea or coffee if you wish to have them.
  • Alcohol: Must avoid alcohol for up to 6 months following the surgery.
  • Pasta, Bread and Rice: Avoid for 6 months as well.
  • High Sugar Food: Sweetened drinks or foods with high amounts of sugar can cause dumping syndrome. 
  • Tough Food: Foods that are hard to chew, dry, and tough can cause dysphagia. Therefore, avoid doughy bread, dry chicken, overcooked steak, and similar meals.

Life After the Duodenal Switch

It’s clear that your life will drastically change after duodenal switch surgery for the better. During this change, you will be adopting a new lifestyle through different eating habits and many other aspects. Here’s what life can be like after the duodenal switch:

Strict Diets

After the surgery, you will be going through some specific diet plans to help your body adapt to the new changes. This diet consists of high-protein and low-calorie, and carbohydrate meals. You will start with liquid food, then gradually switch to pureed and solid meals. 

Follow Up Appointments

patient following up

After this surgery, you must regularly conduct follow-up appointments for the next year or two. This will help you monitor the changes in your body and be safe. Moreover, you will have appointments periodically for the rest of your life!

Getting Back to Work or Regular Duties

It usually takes around 6 weeks to recover after the surgery. Therefore, you can expect to get back to duties after 1 ½ months. Your healthcare provider will help you know when to start going back to work.

Side Effects

Some common side effects can happen during the recovery process as your body is losing weight rapidly. These side effects are:

  • Body aches
  • Dry skin
  • Mood changes
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling cold
  • Hair loss or thinning

Losing Weight

You will be losing a lot of weight within the first three months after your surgery. And by one year, you will lose more than half of your excess weight. Within two years, 85% of your excess weight is usually reduced.

The duodenal switch helps you lose weight rapidly, but you must be ready to adapt to post-op changes. Strict diet, supplements, regular checkups with your surgeon, and being careful of your well-being will result in a swift and safe recovery!