Vomiting Post-Bariatric Surgery

Do you vomit regularly post-surgery? No one wants to spend their days throwing up so if this is happening it is well worth investigating the potential causes.

Vomiting is often, but not always, associated with eating inappropriately. When you first have surgery, it can be difficult to determine how much food is too much to satisfy your hunger so at times you end up overeating. However most of the time you learn rather quickly to detect when it's time to stop or put an unfinished meal aside. Often the best way to tackle this is to start by chewing your food well, keeping it moist and eating very slowly. Stop eating when you suspect you may have had enough, wait and if you feel hungry you can always have more later. Chances are that you are going to feel full with very little, often less than you think (can be a ridiculous looking amount!). A couple of teaspoons may be all you fit in initially.

Sometimes fullness occurs quickly and other times you may eat the same food and are able to eat a bit more. Eating slowly is essential as it will allow you time to feel full or satisfied. Eating too quick may lead to overeating and often food isn't chewed well.

Common Causes of Vomiting

  • Eating too fast
  • Not chewing food properly
  • Eating too much
  • Eating food that is too dry or has a tough or chewy texture
  • Eating solid foods too soon after surgery, make sure you stick to the recommendations of your surgeon and dietitian
  • Drinking liquids either with meals or right after meals especially in the early weeks post surgery
  • Drinking with a straw
  • Lying down after a meal
  • Eating foods that do not agree with you 
  • Eating fatty, greasy, oily foods

If vomiting continues throughout the day, stop eating solid foods and sip clear liquids (clear and diluted juice, broth and herbal tea). Continual vomiting can also lead to dehydration so if symptoms persist more than 12-24 hours or if in doubt, contact your surgeon.