Dietary Adjustment After Weight-Loss Surgery

James Pasquariello, M.D., FACS
Bariatric Surgeon
Ocean Medical Center

Weight-loss surgery can be the first step toward a lifetime of improved health, vitality and confidence. However, the procedure itself is just a tool, effective only when applied in conjunction with disciplined post-surgery nutrition and lifestyle adjustments.

Sleeve gastrectomy, the most popular procedure in weight-loss surgery performed today, involves removing a large portion of the stomach laparoscopically, leaving a narrow banana-shaped stomach “sleeve.” This allows patients to feel full quickly and remain full longer.

“After surgery, stomach volume is reduced by about 85 percent,” explains James Pasquariello, M.D., FACS, a bariatric surgeon affiliated with Ocean Medical Center. “By removing this part of the stomach, we also remove many of the cells that produce ‘hunger’ hormones. Patients are naturally less hungry and feel full more quickly.”

Patients go home from surgery to a new way of eating. They begin on a liquid diet and move to soft foods for a number of weeks before graduating to regular foods.

Patients are also taught to eat more slowly, get sufficient protein, and decrease portion sizes to accommodate their smaller stomachs.

“Weight-loss surgery is just a tool to help patients lose weight and keep it off,” says Dr. Pasquariello. “Patients have to be dedicated to a lifestyle change for it to work. What they do with that ‘tool’ is the key to long-term weight loss.”

In addition to laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, Hackensack Meridian’s Center for Weight-Loss Surgery offers laparoscopic gastric bypass and gastric band surgery.