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Food Packaging

Post-Op Eating Tips

“For my first meal, I’m having ___” So many MALS patients have a dream meal they want after surgery to celebrate their surgery. This usually doesn’t go too well  As many people's favorite meals are hard-to-digest foods. This can end up with people setting back their recovery because they pushed their digestive system too hard too soon. This can lead to pain and discomfort which can then cause anxiety that the surgery wasn’t successful. 


When starting to reintroduce foods to your diet the old saying “slow and steady” is the way to go. We hope that these tips can help in your journey back to your favorite meal.

Slow & Steady

It can take weeks to months after surgery for your GI system to kick back into gear. You have to be patient with yourself and allow the healing process the time it needs. Pushing too hard too fast can cause some serious backfire events.

Backfire Symptoms:

  • Pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Constipation

  • Vomiting

  • Bloating

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

Easily Digestible Foods


  • Eggs

  • Chicken

  • Salmon



  • Bananas

  • Applesauce

  • Toast

  • White Rice

  • Saltine Crackers

  • Oatmeal


  • Cooked Sweet Potatoes

  • Cooked Potatoes

Foods to Avoid

  • High Fat

  • Uncooked Vegetables

  • Spicy Foods

Probiotics & Vitamins

Many people find probiotics and vitamins to be helpful after surgery. Fiber has also been shown to be helpful after GI surgeries in helping to get back to a normal GI system.


We always suggest talking to your doctor before taking them just in case they interfere with their post-op plan.


Keeping hydrated is crucial post-op. Staying hydrated has been shown to decrease post-op complications. If you aren’t able to drink a lot try to at least drink something that contains electrolytes. Don’t push yourself to drink more than your body is comfortable with.

Frequent Small Meals

Having smaller meals more often makes it easier for our bodies to digest. So while you are trying to get back to that healthy rhythm try out the “grazing” method.


Grazing Method: The “grazing” approach is a dietary method where a person eats six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals. You can snack between each meal in small amounts so that your body slowly gets back into the swing of eating regularly again.

Post- Op GI Complications

Dumping Syndrome (DS)

Dumping syndrome is a condition in which food, especially food high in sugar, moves from your stomach into your small bowel too quickly after you eat. Sometimes called rapid gastric emptying. This leads to chronic diarrhea and lower abdominal cramping.


Some MALS Patients will develop Dumping Syndrome after their surgery. This is not uncommon for surgeries that affect the GI system. This is usually a temporary effect but it has been known to last for up to a year. While for some it can be a permanent effect after surgery but that is considered a rare complication.

Treatment for DS is more so lifestyle changes.

  • Lying Down After Meals (to slow down the GI process) 

  • Smaller Meals

  • Low Sugar Diet

  • Increase Fiber Intake

  • Drink most of your Fluids with Food

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

SIBO is another complication that can arise after surgery. It is defined as the presence of excessive bacteria in the small intestine. SIBO can cause diarrhea and malabsorption. MALS patients who are already malnourished may suffer from more malnutrition because of SIBO. It can also lead to weight loss and osteoporosis in severe cases.


Treatment for SIBO is usually a course of antibiotics.

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