Updates for Support Group Participants ~ Provided by: Kristi Fregia Rucks, PT ~ Margee Romportl, RD, CD ~ 715.847.2819
Volume 2, Number 2, August 2006




“I can’t keep anything down.”  “Is it normal to be hiccupping all the time?”  “I’m tired all the time.”  These are just a few of the common nutrition-related complaints heard from patients after bariatric surgery.  Often times these problems could be avoided if nutrition guidelines taught prior to surgery are followed.  Returning to the basic habits reinforced before surgery may be all that is needed to solve them- take small bites, eat slowly, eat small amounts, drink between meals, exercise, and take in adequate protein.  Here are a few suggestions, in case you have forgotten some of these basic rules.


Burping and hiccups can be remedied by using techniques to avoid swallowing air.   These include chewing with a closed mouth, eating slowly, not chewing gum frequently, avoiding the use of straws and carbonated beverages. 


“Frothing”, as most patients describe it, or “foamy spit-up” may be related to overeating and/or drinking at mealtime.  It also may be related to food being too dry or dehydration. 

Be sure to include 64 ounces of decaffeinated, non-carbonated, very low calorie beverages daily.  The importance of eating slowly, taking small bites, chewing well, and stopping when full cannot be overemphasized.  If an infection is suspected, your surgeon may prescribe a medication.  Or, if your surgeon suspects that your opening into the intestine (the anastamosis) is very small, you need to be a more cautious eater, taking tiny bites, eating slowly, and chewing thoroughly.  Your surgeon will decide if you need any further treatment regarding this problem.


Getting food stuck is another common complaint.  Most often this is due to eating too much, eating too quickly, and not taking small enough bites, even when you think you are.  Use a baby spoon or fork to help make sure bites are smaller than a dime.  Foods that are too dry or tough can be problematic as well. 


You may need to return to liquids for 24 hours until the food passes.  In rare cases, excess scar tissue may develop around the anastamosis site and it becomes very narrow, resulting in a “stricture”.  Your surgeon will decide if you have a stricture and will treat you appropriately, to relieve this problem.


As you can see, there tends to be a common solution for many of the complaints that occur after bariatric surgery.  This is a journey, not a race.  Each day will be better than the previous one.  These positive habits you develop prior to surgery will keep you healthy and successful for the rest of your life!




A Plus-Sized Event:

Aspirus is hosting a Plus-size used clothing sale and event on Saturday September 30th from 9-3pm.  What are you doing with all of those extra clothes? After shrinking through the sizes it is time to clean the closet and make room for the “new to you” clothing collection.  Booths will be available to sell clothing or merchandise related to weight loss surgery patients.  We will also have area vendor booths, demonstrations and door prizes as well.  Booths are available on a first come first serve basis.  If you are interested in participating please call today to reserve your booth.  We are also looking for participants to share their success stories with a small group.  (715) 847-0024


Don’t miss out on:


  ·  Cooking Demonstrations


  ·  Used Clothing Sale


  ·  Exercise Demonstrations


  ·  Door Prizes


  ·  Success Stories


Free Seminars:

By popular demand we are taking our seminars on the road.  Look for us coming to your town soon to share information about weight loss surgery.  If you know someone who is interested in weight loss surgery, encourage them to attend one of our monthly seminars.  It is an excellent way to find out if they are a candidate, talk with a surgeon, physical therapist, dietitian, insurance specialist and someone who has been successful in the program.   If you would like more information please call our program coordinator for a confidential discussion at (715) 847-2000 ext. 53165


Future Support Group Meetings:



Our support group is facilitated by a certified Bariatric Support Group Leader and Success Habits Instructor as well as a Registered and Certified Dietitian.  Meetings are a free service provided by Aspirus Bariatrics.  Join Us!!

Night Time Support Group:


·  Third Tuesday every month


·   6:30 – 8:00 p.m.


·   Medallion Room





Day Time Support Group:


·  First Thursday every month


·  12:00-1:00


·  On-line via the internet


·  Call to register 847-2380


    24 hours in advance


Upcoming Support Group Topics:

September 19th:  The Doctor’s in the house.  We always take time out in September to have the doctors join us in a Q&A session for both pre-op and post-op questions.


October 17th:  Label Lingo.  How many times do you stand in the grocery store wondering “is this the proper nutrition for me”.  Margee will guide us through the labels to help decide the best nutrition. 


November 21:  Holiday Eating: tips to keep your success year round.  We all need a gentle reminder and sometimes a big push to stay successful during the holiday season.



Previous Support Group Topics:

Here is a review of our previous support group topics. 


April– Gene Lyman, a representative from Smart Forme was here to talk about protein choices before and after surgery.



May– We had a night dedicated to Q&A about surgery.   Lots of good questions were asked and answered.


June –Patti Gillette was our guest this month talking about staying focused on the new you.


July- “Tribute to the Losers!”  We had a fantastic time sharing stories about weight loss successes.



Featured Recipe:



8 ounces low sugar vanilla yogurt


1 kiwi, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, each half cut into ¼ inch slices


¼ cup sliced fresh strawberries                      


1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice


½ tsp. Splenda or Equal


dash of ground nutmeg


Spoon the vanilla yogurt into a dessert bowl and top with the kiwi slices.  Puree all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.   Pour over the kiwi and yogurt.


This makes one serving but could be easily multiplied to serve your family or friends.  The sauce can be combined with other fruits like pineapple, sliced peaches, or pears.  Use your imagination!


One serving: 8 grams protein



Support group members work together and help each other on the journey which gastric bypass surgery takes us.  We welcome your comments on this communiqué.  To share a recipe or suggest a topic, talk to either Kristi or Margee.


Both of us are available by phone or e-mail.  Phone:  (715) 847-0024 or 1-800-283-2881, extension 70024 or e-mail  kristif@aspirus.org or margeer@aspirus.org.