Gastric Sleeve

          Preparing for Gastric Sleeve: Essential Items to Buy Before Surgery

          Undergoing sleeve gastrectomy is a life-changing decision, and proper preparation can make the journey smoother and ...

          Undergoing sleeve gastrectomy is a life-changing decision, and proper preparation can make the journey smoother and more comfortable. As a bariatric dietitian, I’ve helped many individuals prepare for this procedure, and I want to share some essential items you should consider purchasing before your surgery.

          These items will support your recovery, help you adhere to your new dietary requirements, and ensure a more comfortable post-operative experience.

          1. Protein Supplements

          Adequate protein intake is crucial for preserving lean muscle mass, promoting wound healing, and supporting metabolic function. High-quality protein supplements are crucial since it may be challenging to meet your protein needs through food alone in the initial stages post-surgery. Look for:

          •  Whey protein isolate: This is highly absorbable and often well-tolerated.
          •  Plant-based protein powders: For those with lactose intolerance or a preference for non-dairy options.
          •  Ready-to-drink protein shakes: Convenient for quick and easy consumption.

          2. Vitamins and Minerals


          Due to reduced food intake and changes in absorption, it's important to take bariatric-specific vitamins and minerals to prevent deficiencies. Key supplements include:

          •  Multivitamins: Choose ones specifically designed for bariatric patients.
          •  Calcium citrate with Vitamin D: Necessary for bone health, usually required in divided doses.

          Take 1200-1500 mg of calcium citrate daily split into 2-3 doses. Your body can only absorb 600 mg of calcium at one time. Separate calcium doses by at least 4 hours. Separate calcium from multivitamins by at least 2 hours. You can also meet your daily calcium needs from food and supplements.

          •  Vitamin B12: Often needed in sublingual or injectable forms to ensure absorption. Take 350-500 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily in the form of a tablet or liquid. You can also get vitamin B12 in a nasal spray or injection.
          •  Other supplements: Some patients may need extra vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin D, or B vitamins. We will check your vitamin and mineral levels regularly through lab tests and discuss extra supplements as needed.

          3. Hydration Tools

          Staying hydrated is critical post-surgery, but you’ll need to sip fluids slowly and consistently throughout the day. Consider:

          Water bottles with measurement markings: To track your fluid intake.
          Small sippy cups: To help take small sips.
          Sugar-free electrolyte drinks: To maintain electrolyte balance without added sugars.

          4. Meal Prep Supplies


          Transitioning through different dietary stages post-surgery requires careful meal planning and preparation. Helpful items include:

          Blender or immersion blender: Essential for pureeing foods during the initial post-op stages.
          Small measuring cups and spoons: For portion control.
          Food storage containers: To portion out meals and snacks.
          Baby spoons: Encourage small bites and slower eating.

          5. Food and Beverage Essentials

          Stock up on foods and beverages that you will need in the various post-op dietary stages:

          Clear liquids: Broths, sugar-free gelatin, decaf coffee and tea, and popsicles for the initial phase.
          Full liquids: Low-fat milk, lactose-free options, and unsweetened non-dairy beverages.
          Pureed foods: Items like unsweetened applesauce, Greek yogurt, and pureed soups.
          Soft foods: Cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and mashed vegetables for the soft food stage.


          Preparing for sleeve gastrectomy involves more than just the surgery itself; it’s about setting up a supportive environment to help you succeed in your weight loss journey. By investing in these essential items, you’ll be well-equipped to handle the dietary changes, support your healing process, and stay comfortable throughout your recovery.

          Every individual’s journey is unique, so always consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice and recommendations.

          If you have any questions or need further guidance, feel free to reach me. Your journey to a healthier you is just beginning, and with the right preparation, you’re on the path to success.

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