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The patient-care team at Sacred Heart Surgical Weight Loss Center includes Leah Roberts, a registered dietitian who provides a comprehensive pre-surgical assessment and nutrition education to help prepare patients for bariatric surgery.
All of our pre-surgical patients ether attend in person or view online both the Nutrition Orientation Workshop and Behavior Modification Class. (Our patients are given instructions on how to access these videos during the proper stage in their preparation for surgery.)
The dietitian also conducts an hour-long, one-on-one assessment and consultation with each patient. During this appointment, Leah will review your health history, labs, eating questionnaire, height, weight and lifestyle activities.
The goal of the visit is to assure that you are nutritionally healthy for surgery and to help
you plan for post-op dietary requirements and changes in your lifestyle. Prior to this appointment, the clinic staff will give you orders for lab work. Please have all of your labs drawn a week before your appointment with dietitian.
After surgery, the dietitian will visit you in the hospital and will be available for you to call or make follow up appointments.
Stage 1 of the post-surgical diet is water and ice chips.
Stage 2, a clear-liquid diet, will be followed during most of your hospital stay.
Stage 3 will begin right before you are discharges and will continue after discharge from the hospital until the beginning of the sixth week after your surgery. Healing will take several weeks, please follow all nutritional guidelines provided.
During this time, it is recommended you eat most of your meals at home, especially if you are trying a new food. Your foods should always be moist, easy to chew and swallow, and be somewhat bland. Avoid spicy foods, such as garlic, pepper, onion, or hot sauce.
Provide 60 grams of protein/day to aid the wound-healing process.Begin your chewable multivitamins and calcium.Get plenty of fluids (48 to 64 ounces per day).Learn how to eat, select appropriate foods, eat slowly, and to chew foods well.
Eat 3 to 4 meals a dayNo skipping meals.Meals should last 20 to 30 minutes. No drinking for 30 minutes before and after your meals.Drink 48 to 64 ounces of fluids per day.
No raw fruit or raw vegetables; only canned fruits and vegetables.No beef, including ground beef and steak.No chicken for 3 weeks.No pork chops or thick ham.No rice, pasta or soft bread.No celery, onions or relish.No fried foods, black pepper, cinnamon, hot sauce, extremely hot or cold beverages
Examples of Appropriate Foods after Discharge from the Hospital:
Beans (cooked well), Canned Chicken, Canned Tuna, Cottage Cheese, Crab, Eggs, Fish, Canned Peaches & Pears, Canned Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes, Thinned Grits
Stage 4 is a stabilization diet. You may gradually transition to Stage 4 beginning in week 6. You may want to try to add cooked fresh or frozen vegetables and baked or broiled moist fish or chicken. Beef and pork may be tried in this stage, but choose tender cuts and don't over cook them. Some patients don't tolerate leftovers if they become tough when re-heated. Cut all meats across the grain and cut thinly.
Try new foods in the comfort of our own home. If you don't tolerate a food, wait a month and try it again. If you experience nausea and vomiting, it is most likely due to eating too
much, too fast, not chewing foods thoroughly, or eating greasy foods.
This is when you can start introducing foods back into your diet by gradually eating a normal, healthy diet. Start with "simple" foods.
Transition to baked or broiled seafood, chicken, turkey. Chew meats VERY well and eat proteins first.Beef and pork may be tried. Choose lean, tender cuts and don't overcookYou may try fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits.You may try salads.NO citrus membranes, tough vegetable skins or seeds. These may cause a blockage in your intestines.You may try well-toasted bread, crispy crackers, no-sugar cereal soaked in milk or light soy milk. Butter, olive oil, mayonnaise, soft margarine, salad dressings are allowed in small amounts to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency. Fat-free substitutes may contain hidden sugars. Choose Splenda®, Nutrasweet®, Sweet & Low® , or Stevia to sweeten foods and beverages.
Foods You May Have Difficulty Tolerating:
Beef and Pork - too tough, especially if cooked well-done, Ice Cream - too high in sugar content, Milk - you may become lactose-intolerant, PastaRice - absorbs too much moisture; will expand in pouch and cause discomfort, Soft Bread, Sushi - especially if includes rice, Sweet desserts - too high in sugar content
When you can eat solid foods without problems, you will need to pay close attention to your diet. Liquids will pass through the reduced stomach pouch quickly and will not
make you feel full. You should avoid high-calorie drinks from this point on. Drink water, broth, tea, and decaffeinated coffee (without sugar).
Too much food or big chunks of food can block the stomach pouch outlet. You can avoid this problem by chewing food well and eating small bits at a time. Eat only three small
meals a day. Make sure that these meals contain adequate nutrients. A healthy meal has vegetables, fruit, lean meat, whole grains, and/or low fat dairy products.
During the first few weeks following surgery, foods should be reintroduced slowly in small amounts. Calories consumed will be reduced so it is very important to take the recommended vitamin and mineral supplements.
Please remember that certain liquids and soft foods that contain simple sugars (for example: milkshakes, soft drinks, ice cream, puddings, juices, cakes, etc.) can pass
through the small opening created by the band. Intake of these types of high -caloric foods will defeat the purpose of the procedure, thereby inhibiting weight loss.
Initially, you should keep a food diary so that calorie and nutrient intake can be monitored.
Making wise and healthy food choices becomes more important because you are
consuming less food. Remember ... your digestive system is completely intact, but you are eating much less.
If you are vomiting OFTEN when you eat, you are eating in the wrong manner. SLOW
DOWN! CHEW MORE! Or you may need to switch back to soft food or even full liquids temporarily. Lap Band ® patients may also have difficulty digesting certain foods.
Swallow and then wait before your next bite.Make sure the food went through your stomach pouch before eating another bite.Take another small bite and chew, swallow and wait. Listen to your lap band!A small meal, like a chicken Caesar salad, should take you about 30 minutes to eat.
Foods to Avoid:
Alcohol, Cake, Candy, Carbonated beverages, Chips, Chocolate, Cookies, Fried foods, High-calorie drinks, High-fat, creamed soups, High-fiber vegetables such as celery and sweet potatoes, Junk food, Meats that are especially tough, such as steak and pork chops.
Nutrition and Weight-Loss Specialist
The Sacred Heart Medical Group Weight Management & Nutrition staff: (L-R) Anthony Huynh, DO; Shantara Noel, MA; Misti Harrison, LPN; and Jade Price, Program Manager.
Anthony Huynh, DO, is a board-certified internal medicine physician who specializes in nutrition and weight management. He is credentialed as a Bariatric Specialist and is a Certified Nutritional Support Clinician (CHSC). Dr. Huynh is the medical director of Sacred Heart Medical Group’s Weight Management & Nutrition program. He and his staff develop individualized weight-loss plans to help each of his patients reap the physical and emotional benefits that result from weight loss. Dr Huynh believes weight loss is a key to preventing many other health difficulties, such as joint pain, back problems, heart disease, cancer and more. He also knows that successful weight loss and weight management are the result of a partnership between physician and patient.
“We are here to support our patients, design a plan for them, advise them and help them to be accountable. But, it’s the patient who must follow the routine we prescribe. Each plan we create is individually customized because each person is unique; there really is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ weight-loss program. We look at your family history; the medications you are taking that may cause weight gain, and other factors. Also, there may be other health issues, such as sleep apnea or thyroid problems, that need to be addressed first.”
Dr. Huynh also works closely with the Sacred Heart Surgical Weight Loss Center to help patients prepare for bariatric surgery. He is very familiar with the weight-loss trials required by most insurance carriers. He helps patients set realistic goals of diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, and then documents patients’ success or failure to lose weight by these traditional methods. Dr. Huynh is a valuable resource both before and after bariatric surgery to help patients learn how to adjust their diet to meet their weight-loss goals while fulfilling their nutritional needs.
Originally from Vietnam, Dr. Huynh earned his medical degree at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern University. He completed internal medicine residency training at Tufts University School of Medicine and completed fellowship training in nutrition and bariatric medicine at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Penn.
If you are interested in this focused, weight-management and nutrition program to lose weight and achieve a healthier lifestyle, please call Dr. Huynh’s office at 850-416-2884. His office is located in the Gulf Coast Medical Arts Building at 4501 North Davis Hwy., Suite C, in Pensacola. Download map.
The best preparation for weight-loss surgery is to learn as much as you can about what to expect before, during and after surgery. We encourage all potential patients to talk to as many gastric bypass and Lap-Band patients as possible and ask about their experiences.
Sacred Heart Surgical Weight Loss Center has established a support group to provide a forum for pre-op and post-op weight-loss surgery patients to ask questions and interact with other patients who may benefit from their personal experience.
The support group meetings are free and open to the community. They are held on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the Greenhut Auditorium at Sacred Heart Hospital. The meetings are facilitated by Leah Roberts, our dietitian, and guest speakers lead discussions on various topics of interest. Dr. Lord and various members of the staff will be on hand to answer questions. All are welcome to attend, even if Sacred Heart did not perform the original weight-loss surgery.