After You Go Home: Duodenal Switch Surgery 101 And Post-Op Diet

For many people, obesity is an issue that affects them cosmetically. However, obesity creates many serious medical conditions that can be life threatening. With over two-thirds of the population currently overweight or obese, you may be a part of this number and searching for an effective way to lose the weight.  From fad diets to surgical procedures, there are many options available. Unfortunately, finding the best method of weight loss for your particular needs can be challenging.

While not a popular procedure, Duodenal Switch surgery is a successful option for many obese patients. Not only do patients see a significant amount of weight lost, but the surgery also improves diabetic conditions, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. If your doctor is scheduling Duodenal Switch surgery, use this post-operative guide to plan your diet after you go home.

Recovery 101

Before your trip to the grocery store, it is important to know how the first few days after surgery will be. Considering the surgery involves removing part of your stomach and trimming off a section of your intestine, your digestive system will be in a state of shock after surgery. Due to this change, your surgeon will most likely keep you in the hospital for 2 to 3 days to monitor your digestive system.

The Duodenal Switch Surgery requires multiple incisions, so you will experience some pain and discomfort. However, your doctor will prescribe you a low dose medication to ease the pain.


Your smaller stomach and intestine restricts the amount of digested food. This can create malabsorption issues, leading to excessive weight loss and possible malnutrition. Although the goal is to lose weight, it should be a healthy weight loss. Adding supplements to your daily regimen is imperative to prevent malnutrition after your Duodenal Switch Surgery. Here are a few beneficial vitamin supplements:

  • High potency multi-vitamin – Should contain extra iron, folic acid, zinc, and copper.
  • Calcium – Add a calcium citrate supplement each day.
  • Vitamin D, A, E, and K – Or choose one supplement that contains all of these fat soluble vitamins.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics are necessary for a healthy digestive tract.

Many people utilize supplements because they are unable to follow a well-rounded, healthy diet. However, supplements are necessary even with a healthy diet after any type of bariatric surgery.

Daily Diet

A clear liquid form will be the sole ingredient for each of your meals immediately after surgery. Small portion of gelatin, broth, and juice are options your doctor will approve in the hospital and a few days after you are home. Here are some meal options to consider when you arrive home:

  • Sugar free, nonfat yogurt
  • Nonfat or 1 percent milk
  • Sugar free pudding
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat soup, blended
  • Low fat, broth-based soups
  • Hot cereals, rich in fiber, blended

Two weeks after your surgery, your diet can consist of options you may find more appealing. Choose high protein foods that are low in sugar and fat. Of course, be sure each meal consists of small portions that you can digest without discomfort. Here are some approved meal options:

  • Applesauce
  • Cooked vegetables, pureed
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled egg whites
  • Canned tuna fish
  • Tofu
  • Lean fish, poultry, and ground meats
  • Soft crackers and bread

Although your options may be small, changing your diet is essential for a successful surgery and weight loss. Consumption of the wrong foods or overeating can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, bloating, gas, and overall discomfort.

It is important to note that the Duodenal Switch Surgery is not a quick fix. The invasive procedure requires a complete change in lifestyle. However, using this guide and the instructions from your doctor, you can lose weight and live a healthy, productive life. For more information on Duodenal Switch Surgery, visit