The main issue will be dietary. For the first four weeks you should remain on what is called a “toothless/liquid diet” – that is, restrict yourself only to things that you could eat if you had no teeth. Eat slowly – at least 30 minutes for each meal, and take frequent pauses. Foods that may go particularly well might include yogurt, soups, pureed vegetables and fruits.
Drink plenty of fluids, but make sure these are non-calorie fluids such as water, decaffeinated iced tea, diet drinks. Stay away from carbonated beverages. It is a good idea to drink three to four cups of skim milk daily – this is an excellent source of protein with very few calories.
When you are eating a regular diet, fiber containing cereal or fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Citrucel, or bran, are musts to help you get enough roughage in your diet. You will need to continue to eat slowly and chew your food well.
You will be required to take vitamin supplements for the rest of your life. This will include a chewable or liquid multivitamin, Vitamin B12, Calcium, and Iron. You will be encouraged to be as active as you can as soon as possible. Vigorous exercise will need to become a part of your daily routine.
What To Expect After An OperationMost patients are able to return to normal work levels within two to six weeks of their operation. For several weeks after the operation you may find that you tire easily. This is normal. You may find that a daily nap is a must – take it.
You should expect to lose no more than ten pounds per month. Any excess weight loss during the first month or so is due to loss of water, not lean body mass. You will not achieve a normal weight, but most patients lose over fifty percent of their excess weight and can be expected to maintain most, but not all of that weight loss when followed for several years.
Some regain of weight happens in many patients after about two to three years. Significant regain usually represents faulty dietary habits and lack of exercise.