Alcohol & Bariatric Surgery

  • Alcohol is not recommended after bariatric surgery. Alcohol contains calories but minimal nutrition and will work against your weight loss goal.
  • For example, wine contains twice the calories per ml that regular soda does. The absorption of alcohol changes with gastric bypass and gastric sleeve because an enzyme in the stomach which usually begins to digest alcohol is absent or greatly reduced.

Presently, there are no official guidelines that have been established pertaining to the use of alcohol after having bariatric surgery.

However, based upon knowledge of changes in the absorption and metabolism of alcohol, coupled with the metabolic state of the bariatric patient at various stages postoperatively, the following suggestions are recommended:

  • Do NOT drink alcohol during the rapid weight loss period of first 6 months.
  • When drinking, remember that small amounts of alcohol can cause intoxication or can result in low blood glucose with serious consequences.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy equipment after drinking alcohol—even small amounts.
  • Eat if you plan to have a drink.
  • Make certain to take your bariatric vitamin and mineral supplements.
  • Avoid carbonated beverages and sugary drink mixers.
  • If you find yourself drinking regularly to cope with emotions or stress, seek help by consulting with your doctor.

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