Dismiss Modal

Frequently Asked Questions About Nutrition

Taste changes and alterations are common after surgery. Some protein supplements may taste sweeter than before surgery. Food preferences may evolve over time. Follow up with your Dietitian to discuss taste changes and promote variety.

Caffeine is a diuretic which means that it will encourage your body to lose water. Since dehydration is the most common complication after bariatric surgery, drinking caffeinated beverages should be avoided/limited for the first 2-3 months post-op.

Normal fullness after surgery will likely be a gentle tightness or pressure below the breastbone. Pain or discomfort after drinking or eating is usually due to eating or drinking too much too fast. To prevent discomfort do not drink fluids while eating or for 30 minutes after eating a snack or meal. Take small sips and do not gulp fluids. Chew food thoroughly, take small bites and avoid extremes in temperatures. Pain or discomfort that does not resolve is not normal and you should call the clinic.

Carbonated drinks (soda, diet soda, sparkling water etc.) or drinks with fizz contain carbon dioxide gas. This gas expands when it reaches your stomach and may cause pain or discomfort.

Some patients experience lactose intolerance after surgery. Lactose intolerance is your body's inability to digest the naturally occurring sugar (lactose) found in milk and dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance include cramping, gas, bloating, loose stools and nausea. If you don't tolerate lactose after your surgery, look for a lactose-free protein shake or powder.

Alcohol has a much more pronounced effect and is not recommended for the first year after surgery to ensure a safe post-operative course. Most people feel the effects of alcohol after just a few sips. In addition, alcohol provides empty calories that can sabotage your weight loss goal. For these reasons, patients are to avoid alcohol for at least one year after surgery. After that, alcohol should be consumed sparingly and in small amounts in a safe environment.

Nausea or vomiting may occur after bariatric surgery. Common causes of nausea/vomiting include dehydration, eating too much or too fast, not chewing food well and drinking fluids with meals. If your symptoms persist we recommend that you call your bariatric team to discuss.

Vomiting is usually related to eating or drinking too much too quickly, swallowing too big of a bite or not chewing well. Vomiting that is not associated with eating or drinking is not common. If you are experiencing nausea and vomiting on a daily basis we recommend that you call your bariatric team to discuss your symptoms.

Learn about our support group, or try using a web search to locate a support group that may be more convenient for you.You do not have to register to attend. Attendance is free.

Nutrition and Bariatric Surgery

We have guidelines, recipes, and valuable information to help you make the right nutritional choices both before and after surgery. Check out our nutritional resources.

To schedule a nutrition appointment with your Bariatric Dietitian, please call:

Dr Bovard, Dr Pilati:

  • Pre-surgery nutrition appointments — 919-234-4468
  • Post-surgery nutrition appointments — 919-350-7000 (follow prompts)

Dr Chung, Dr Roy, Dr Villanueva